Dams & Crayfish Genetics

In Alabama, crayfishes are being separated and genetically changed, which increases the risk of local extinction. This work is not done by a mad scientist, but by dams with their reservoirs and unnatural pools of water. A novel study published in the journal Freshwater Biology by USDA Forest Service scientists Zanethia Barnett and Susan Adams,…  More 

Two New Species of Crayfish Discovered in Alabama and Mississippi

In 2011, a group of researchers traveled to southern Alabama and Mississippi in search of the Rusty Gravedigger crayfish (Lacunicambarus miltus). They wanted to refine the species’ range and hoped to find a new population west of Mobile Bay. Instead, they found a potentially undescribed species of crayfish. Years later, a team led by Mael…  More 

Digging Deep for Crayfish Clues

Kneeling in a wet prairie, arm extended to the armpit in a muddy hole, most biologists would quickly arrive at the thought, “There’s got to be a better way.” So it’s not surprising that, when it comes to sampling for burrowing crayfishes, researchers have devised some creative solutions. In the southeastern U.S. – the global…  More 

Susan Adams Receives National Rise to the Future Award

USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station aquatic ecologist Susan Adams received the 2019 Rise to the Future Jim Sedell Research Achievement Award. The award was presented during the Forest Service’s Rise to the Future (RTTF) awards reception in Washington, DC. The RTTF awards recognize outstanding individual and group achievements by natural resource professionals in the…  More 

Rediscovering the Yalobusha Rivulet Crayfish

In 1989, Joseph Fitzpatrick discovered the Yalobusha rivulet crayfish (Hobbseus yalobushensis). After the species description was published, silence reigned. For the next 29 years, no studies focused on the species. “That’s not uncommon,” says USDA Forest Service aquatic ecologist Susan Adams. “We know very little about the ecology and life history of many crayfish species.”…  More 

Women in Science: Meet Susie Adams

The Southern Research Station (SRS) has the distinction of having employed the first woman research forester in the U.S. Forest Service. It was 1930 when Margaret Stoughton Abell began her pioneering work with what was known then as the Appalachian Forest Experiment Station (the precursor to the SRS). Today the number of women working in…  More 

Mystery Crayfish Highlights Conservation Challenges

On a recent sampling trip to the Bankhead National Forest in northwest Alabama a team led by U.S. Forest Service scientist Susie Adams scooped up a crayfish from a river flowing into the Lewis Smith Reservoir. The crayfish had a distinctive black, orange, and white color pattern on the tips of its largest claws, which quickly…  More 

Freshwater Crayfish in Peril Worldwide

In early January, scientists led by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) published results of a global assessment that shows that almost a third of the world’s species of crayfish are threatened with extinction. U.S. Forest Service aquatic ecologist Susie Adams was a co-author on the report and provided important information about North American crayfish…  More 

Life in the Rubbish: Crayfish Habitat in the Mississippi Yazoo River Basin

Crayfish – also called crawfish, crawdads, or mudbugs, depending on where you live – look like tiny lobsters, and live in freshwater rivers and streams. Crayfish need instream cover to hide from predators – and from larger, cannibalistic kin. They also use cover to find food, to shelter while incubating eggs, and to keep themselves…  More