Freshwater Mollusk Biology and Conservation (formerly Walkerana)

The Society Journal, Freshwater Mollusk Biology and Conservation (FMBC), began publishing under this name in 2015 through an expansion of journal services and collaboration with Allen Press. FMBC publishes original papers that advances the knowledge of freshwater mollusk biology and enhances the conservation of these animals.
Topics covered include, but are not limited to, community ecology, population biology, reproduction and host use, physiology, genetics, biogeography, toxicology, impact assessments, conservation or management case studies, and methodological advances.
FMBC invites and accepts manuscripts for publication in this online-only journal. Issues are published two times per year, in March and September. Anyone may submit a manuscript to the journal, however, all non-member authors are encouraged to become a member of the Society to help defer the costs of publication. There are no page charges for publishing in FMBC and all issues are open-access. Please see the Journal Description and Author Instructions for the requirements and procedures of manuscript submission.

From 2012 through 2014, the journal was published by the Society under the name Walkerana—The Journal of the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society. The journal Walkerana, initially founded in 1980 and edited by Dr. John Burch, was published by the University of Michigan until it transitioned to the auspices of the FMCS in 2011.

Triannial Unionid Report

Richard G. (Dick) Biggins was a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) endangered species biologist located in the Asheville, North Carolina Field Office working primarily on freshwater mussels. In the early 1990s, Dick was administering a large number of FWS mussel research contracts and was familiar with most other mussel research studies then being conducted, at least in the southeastern United States.
From his various contacts, Dick came to realize that many mussel researchers did not know what was being studied by other institutions or individuals. His solution to this information gap was to invite any and all mussel workers to send him short status reports and notes that he would, literally, cut and paste into a report that was photocopied and sent out to anyone who wanted a copy.
Because Dick decided to issue this report three times in each calendar year, he called it the Triannual Unionid Report (TUR). The first issue, distributed in May 1993, consisted of 37 pages and included information from 25 institutions. Dick's idea was an instant hit that was embraced and appreciated by the growing community of mussel biologists. The complete run of the TUR included 19 issues, distributed between May 1993 and March 2000.


As indicated elsewhere on this website, the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society (FMCS) was formed in 1999 as an extension of several meetings focused on freshwater mussels and their conservation. Following the initial FMCS Symposium in March 1999, the President-Elect, Paul Johnson, volunteered to serve as Editor of a Society newsletter to help members stay informed about activities of the standing committees and plans for future events. Paul chose to call the FMCS newsletter Ellipsaria because the native mussel Ellipsaria lineolata is found in several major drainages in North America, and it's common name "Butterfly" suggests renewal and rebirth; a fitting emblem for the society.

The first issue of Ellipsaria, mailed in September 1999, consisted of eight pages that documented the results of the Symposium, announced an Outreach Workshop to be held in 2000 and a second Symposium to be held in 2001, and presented reports from each of the newly-formed standing committees. That issue did not include any mussel research reports but did include an announcement that submissions for the next issue of the TUR (No. 18) should be sent to Dick Biggins by September 22, 1999. In March 2000, both the second issue of Ellipsaria and the final issue of the TUR included announcements that the TUR was ceasing publication and that Ellipsaria was adding the publication of informal mussel research reports to its scope.

Also in March 2000, Christine Mayer volunteered to take over as Editor of Ellipsaria, and she continued to serve in that role through December 2010. The ten volumes of the newsletter that Chris compiled, had printed, and mailed out to FMCS members quickly became the primary way the officers and committee chairs communicated with the far-flung members of our society. In addition to publishing minutes of Board Meetings, details about upcoming FMCS activities, and committee reports, Chris made sure each issue of Ellipsaria included pertinent job notices, new publication announcements, and Contributed Articles (the updated form of the research reports presented in the TUR), all focused on freshwater mussels and snails. Also in 2000, Ellipsaria started including an annual list of additions to a Freshwater Mollusk Bibliography being compiled by Kevin Cummings. Volumes 2 through 12 of Ellipsaria included three issues each, continuing the pattern established by the TUR.

In 2010, FMCS developed a new website, started getting serious about producing our journal as an online publication, and Chris Mayer decided it was time for someone else to serve as editor of Ellipsaria. By the end of that year, the decision had been made for Ellipsaria to be posted only online and John Jenkinson had volunteered to follow Chris as newsletter editor. Volume 13, Number 1 was posted on the FMCS website in March 2011, including all of the usual features, but also with the ability to include links to pertinent websites and to present high quality photographs and other images (even in color !). The time and cost savings that came from neither printing nor mailing the newsletter made it possible to add a fourth issue each year and adopt a shorter compilation schedule. Starting in 2011 (Volume 13), Ellipsaria has been posted on the FMCS website quarterly: by the first of March, June, September, and December of each year. Society officers, committee chairs, and other members have continued to use the newsletter in the way Dick Biggins started – to informally share what they are doing to study, enhance, and protect freshwater mussels and snails.


The Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee (a pre-cursor to FMCS) published two proceedings from their symposia on conservation and management of freshwater mussels. Both the 1993 and 1997 proceedings offer insight about the biology and population ecology of freshwater mussels, and offer papers discussing sampling techniques, effects of habitat alterations and invasive species, and many other topics on the preservation of North American’s most imperiled taxa.


Malacology Data Net (1986-1994) was a part of the Ecosearch Series published by Ecosearch, Inc. Portland, Tx and edited by Arthur H. Clarke. To quote the announcement from the first publication:
Malacology Data Net embodies a new concept in biological publication. It is an information-exchanged network for research workers whose discoveries cannot wait a year to see the light of day. It is an inexpensive and democratic system where each author is his own editor and publisher. It is a permanent record of birth and development of ideas and a vehicle for initiating redistribution by sale of un-needed scientific literature. But most of all it may be a service to malacology and a promoter of greater efficiency in our chosen field.


Sterkiana was a privately published journal initiated by Dr. Joseph Alfred Aurèle La Rocque, known as Aurèle La Rocque, in the Department of Geology, Ohio State University, Columbus Ohio and the first issue was published in November 1959. This journal was named in honor of the malacologist Dr. Victor Sterki who is best known for his work on Sphaeriidae, Pupillidae and Valloniidae. This journal was dedicated to publishing research on modern and fossil non-marine mollusks of the Americas and was to include articles in English, French or Spanish. It clearly stated in the Announcement that Sterkiana was not going to publish new species or higher taxa due to its limited distribution. A variety of freshwater and terrestrial mollusk papers were published as well as biographies, obituaries of malacologists and reprints of rare papers.