Fieldwork

Panama |June, 2017|

Located in Central America, Panama is a relatively small country with high biodiversity. Together with Dr. Alejandro Oceguera-Figueroa (UNAM) and Danielle de Carle (University of Toronto), I wanted to find representatives of two particular families of leeches, Salifidae and Cylicobdellidae. Panama is one of the few countries were both of these families have been recorded…Read more Panama |June, 2017|

Slovenia/Croatia | September, 2016 |

The Balkan peninsula houses a diverse fauna, in large part due to the natural separation of populations due to the complexity of the landscape. In addition, climatic variations across the landscape is afforded through altitudinal gradients. Much leech work has been performed in the region due to the hard work of Dr. Peter Trontelj and…Read more Slovenia/Croatia | September, 2016 |

Southern Canada (MB, SK, AB BC) | June, 2016 |

As part of a Schad Conservation Grant from the Royal Ontario Museum, the fieldwork in southern Canada had the main goal of collecting different populations of the North American medicinal leech, Macrobdella decora. We only found two population across the 1100km drive covering a large chunk of MB, SK, AB and BC. Are we seeing a…Read more Southern Canada (MB, SK, AB BC) | June, 2016 |

Lake Vermilion, Minnesota | May, 2016 |

The North American medicinal leech, Macrobdella decora, was originally described from Lake Vermillion in northern Minnesota. In order to tease out the evolutionary relationships of members of the genus Macrobdella, we needed to collect specimens from the type locality, which is why we travelled there in May, 2016. After attempting, in vain, to find the leech the…Read more Lake Vermilion, Minnesota | May, 2016 |

Chile | December, 2015 |

Chile houses an unusual array of leeches due to geomorphological complexity of the country, as well as the climatic variables. Michael Tessler, currently at the American Museum of Natural History, and I set out to recover some of the diversity, with focus on Americobdella valdiviana and Mesobdella gemmata. We found both of these taxa and more. All in…Read more Chile | December, 2015 |

United States (MN, IA, NE) | September, 2015 |

This was our first trip to Lake Vermillion to find the notorious North American medicinal leech, Macrobdella decora. Lake Vermillion is the type locality of the species and it was therefore of utmost import to find the leech in this surrounding. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find this specific leech but we did recover other diversity – mainly…Read more United States (MN, IA, NE) | September, 2015 |

Ontario | August, 2015 |

The ROM has a rich tradition of field expeditions in and around Ontario and the invertebrate section is no exception. Although we were primarily concerned with finding separate populations of the North American medicinal leech, Macrobdella decora, this trip also unveiled a lot of different diversity during our 10-day trip. Not including the fish leeches (family…Read more Ontario | August, 2015 |

Mexico | February, 2014 |

As part of a Putnam Expedition grant from Harvard University, I set out with a team of researchers (Alejandro Oceguera-Figueroa and Jossue Jiménez-Armenta of UNAM and Michael Tessler of the AMNH) to find shark-feeding piscicolid leeches. We solicited fishermen active in the Gulf of Mexico to retrieve leeches form their catch and visited local markets…Read more Mexico | February, 2014 |

Baja California | August, 2010 |

Together with Anna Phillips (Smithsonian Institution), Alejandro Oceguera-Figueroa (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico) and Alejandro Grajales (American Museum of Natural History), the team set out to discover the leech diversity of Baja California Sur with emphasis on the praobdellid Limnobdella mexicana. One of the aspects that made this such an outstanding fieldtrip was that we were simultaneously…Read more Baja California | August, 2010 |

Algonquin Park, Ontario | June, 2009 |

This was my first experience collecting leeches in Canada and what better place to go to then “Leech Central”, Algonquin Park, ON. The focal species for the trip was Placobdella parasitica, which proved a lot harder to find than initially thought. With the aid of Matt Keevil, we were able to recover a few specimens from…Read more Algonquin Park, Ontario | June, 2009 |

Washington | May, 2009 |

This fieldtrip took us to stunning Washington State, with its moist temperate forests to the west and arid plateaus to the east. We (Alejandro Oceguera-Figueroa of UNAM and myself) were searching for a new species of Placobdella that had previously been collected by colleagues in that area. Not only did we recover that species, but we serendipitously…Read more Washington | May, 2009 |