“The Flint is one of the most diverse river basins in Georgia, for both fishes and mussels. So, it’s really important for conservation reasons,” said Peter Hazelton, an assistant professor at the UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Out of the 28 mussel species in the river basin, nearly a dozen are listed as endangered at either the federal or state level.
Hazelton teamed up with John Wares, a professor in the Odum School of Ecology specializing in genomics, to launch the first phase of an ongoing project to learn more about the relationships between mussels and the fish who serve as hosts early in the mussels’ lives. The two are part of a team of researchers including biology professor Shayla Williams and Gail Cowie of the Water Planning and Policy Center, both at Albany State University.