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February 10 Zoom Meeting

Born in Boston, John developed an interest in coin and stamp collecting at an early age, and also picked up the odd shell during the summer months.  After enlisting in the Air Force in 1972, he received a posting on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam in 1975 where he joined the Reef Roamers Shell Club on the base.  Eventually, he was assigned to Hickam AFB, Hawai’i in 1978.  He became a member of the Hawaiian Malacological Society, met his wife, Cheryl, in 1980, and after four years there, was transferred to San Antonio where he was stationed for four and a half years before returning to Hawai’i in 1987 for another six years.  He and Cheryl arrived in Florida in 1993.  He retired from the Air Force in 1996 after 24 years.  He worked at the Base Exchange on MacDill AFB for 21 years before retiring in 2019.

Over the years he has gone form a general collector to specializing in several families and fossils.  His main interests are limpets, Spondylidae, Strombidae, Cymatiidae/Ranellidae, Hawaiian fossils, and Florida fossils.  During his stint in San Antonio, he rekindled his stamp collecting when he discovered that there were stamps depicting shells.  His collection has grown tremendously over the years to include stamps, postal stationary, covers, cinderella items, and picture postcards.

John will be giving us a program on Shells on Stamps.  

John and Cheryl have won many awards for their exhibits and work extremely hard for the Conchologists of America. They have been Silent auction chairmen for many years and have earned the Neptunea award from COA.

Many of you may remember John as one of our Scientific judges for our last shell show. 

I hope you can make our ZOOM format. For those of you who are not joining our ZOOM meetings, I hope you will consider joining us. We do have a nice time and get to chat, see speakers who would normally not be able to appear in person at a club meeting and learn. We still do not have a date that we can meet at the Civic Center, but it is nice to keep in touch this way until the Civic center opens back up.

Zoom Meeting on Wednesday, January 13.

The Speaker will be Robert Myers. Here is the program:

Into the Heart of Diversiy, Ambon to West Papua A bit over a year ago we went on our last major dive trip, to Ambon and across the Banda Sea to West Papua. To you molluscophiles, Ambon is where all species bearing the name “amboinensis” come from, the Maluku Island where those named “molluccensis” come from, the Banda Islands where those named “bandanensis” come from. To naturalists, these are the islands just to the east of Wallace’s LIne, where the flora and fauna transitions from Asian to Australian lineages. While this was not a shelling trip (collecting is forbidden in preserves) and we saw few mollusks other than those without shells, it was a wonderful glimpse of the environment they inhabit.  Our first 5 nights were at Spice Island Divers in Ambon, on the shore of a bay that slopes steeply down to 1,000 m. The shallows offer a variety of  coastal coral community and soft sediment muck dive sites. The steep slopes are subject to seasonal upwelling and have a number of somewhat deeper-dwelling species that encroach into safe diving depths. The rest of the trip was on the Damai Dua, a luxurious fanisi-style live-aboard. Our 12-day excursion began with daily stops through a chain of isolated coral pinnacles and active volcanos including the historic island and city of Banda Niera. From there we travelled to the eastern end of Ceram, the largest of the Maluku Islands, then on to Misool, the largest of the Raja Ampat Islands. These isands sit on the West Papuan shelf and are home to the world’s most diverse coral reefs. Of special interest to us are species of carpet and epaulet (“walking”) sharks, found only on the Papuan-Australian continetal shelf. We finished the trip with a dive on a pinncale reef in the Fam Island group, a site we first dived 15 years earlier, during our first digital photo trip.

Zoom Meeting, Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020

November Program

The naming of shells is a personal thing. Some scientists exhibit a fair amount of whimsy in naming new species. One scientist I know named shells in honor of his cat and another for his dog!!! In addition to his children and wife. 

This month, since we still cannot meet in person, is an interesting program by our own Tom Ball. Tom is a musician and has a great collection of shells named for musical instruments, musical artists, writers, singers and scores.

Tom also has, in addition to his regular collection, a side inset of shells named for science fiction creatures, actors and characters. This month he will treat us to a program on this subset.

A fun program with a little history of how Tom even knew to look for these shells.

We hope you can tune in. Check your newsletter for the link. 


ZOOM meeting, Wednesday, Oct. 14th.

Wednesday October 14, 2020 7 P.M.

Broward Shell Club ZOOM meeting. Carole Marshall will be giving a program,  Cephalopods on Coins, Paper Money and Exonumia. I will have live footage of Octopuses in motion. Great video by Brenda Hill, who has graciously loaned her video to me. Many stories of why these cephalopods came to be on coins and exonumia, including the Forest Octopus of the Cascades and the Kraken of the Game of Thrones.  Learn about the Octopus who predicted soccer games and some million year old ammonites.  Tune in on Wednesday at 7 P.M. Zoom Meeting: 85812?pwd=Y1A3bVVoallOQzU4N UwxaUpnNFNldz09 Meeting ID: 828 1928 5812 Passcode: 844342 Mobile Phone call (if you need to connect by phone only): +13017158592,,82819285812#,,,,,,0#,,844342# US (Germantown) +13126266799,,82819285812#,,,,,,0#,,844342# US (Chicago) Dial by your location: +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown) +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

ZOOM Programs for September

ZOOM Programs for September

September has always been an iffy month for a Shell Club meeting. Usually it is hurricanes, this year it is COVID.  I try to schedule our ever popular show and tell for September and we will try to do that in our ZOOM meeting for this September.  So dust off an old shelling story or two and prepare to share it with the group.

IF, for some reason, we do not have enough show and tell stories, I have prepared a short program on Coins and Cephalopods. Most of you know I collect shells on coins, paper money and exonumia.  Since 1999, they have become very important to me. I have money with mollusk motifs from about 145 different countries. For this program, I will only focus on the money with an Octopus, Squid, Nautilus or Cuttlefish.

I hope you get to tune in and we get to see your smiling faces again. Perhaps we can have another real meeting soon.

Carole Marshall

A most successful auction

Good morning everyone,

The auction for 2020 took in $3812.68.  This included the shell cases sold to Bob and John Chesler for a total of $320.  Highest results since we have been keeping records.  Thank you to Linda Zylman for all her work putting the auction together! Also, to all who attended and made this year’s auction a great success!

Take care everyone and stay safe!

Alice Pace


             Around the world with cone shells. We welcome our new members with a selection of seven different cone shells from seven different countries.  The cones are venomous and are predators. Most live among the coral reefs in tropical waters. While many species have a natural gloss, others are flat with barely a shine. Cones are a collector’s favorite.
   The collection includes from top left to bottom right the following:
   Conus omaria Hwass in Bruguière, 1792. This popular tent cone is from north west Australia, the southern extent of its range. One could make a huge collection of tent cones as there are so many species. Conus omaria is most typical.
   Conus ebraeus Linn, 1758 is named the Hebrew Cone because the regularly spaced black markings on white resemble Hebrew writing.  This specimen, which is very large for the species, is from Hawaii.
   Conus pupurascens Sowerby, 1833 is the Purple Cone. Unfortunately the purple mottling eventually fades. This one is from an offshore island in Panama.
   Conus janus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792 is an Indian Ocean cone from the island Madagascar. It comes in to two distinct varieties., one with dark brown flamules and other with gold.
   Conus terebra Born, 1758. This plain whitish cone has horizontal striations that completly encircle the shell and that along with its usual shape makes it quite distinctive. This is a Philippine specimen.
   Conus achatinus Gmelin 1791 is called the Agate Cone. It has a striking pattern of clouds and spiral dashes and is quite colorful.  This one comes from the hard to get nation of Myanmar and is the scarcest one in this collection.  
   The final cone is a local representative of the family, Conus regius Gmelin, 1791, and was collected off Key West. The Crown cone has a range that goes down the Caribbean Islands all the way to Brazil.
   All the specimens are in excellent condition; growth lines are natural in cone shells as they grow is spurts and the line marks the end of each growing period.  All shells have a data slip with collection details.  The seven specimens were donated by Richard Kent and should have a combined retail value of $60 or more in today’s market.

February Meeting

Title: Ecological interactions between marine macrophytes and small invertebrate epifauna in tropical shallow coastal systems

Synopsis: Marine macrophytes form biogenic habitats that maintain the biodiversity of marine coastal systems, especially for small invertebrate epifauna that maintain essential ecosystem functions. These macrophyte-invertebrate interactions are prevalent in shallow coastal systems, including subtidal seagrass beds and intertidal sandy beaches. These shallow coastal systems are also challenged with periodic influxes of pelagic Sargassum, a region-wide issue affecting much of the Caribbean, including South Florida, since 2011. Though these Sargassum influxes occur periodically, we know very little about how these influxes affect the local macrophyte and invertebrate epifaunal communities. This upcoming meeting will provide an update on research related to macrophyte-invertebrate interactions in shallow coastal systems. Current findings of ongoing research and further opportunities of investigation, particularly with effects of Sargassum influxes, will be discussed. 

Biography: Lowell Andrew Iporac is a Ph.D Candidate at Florida International University’s (FIU) Biology Doctoral Program. Lowell obtained his B.A. in Biology from California State University, San Bernardino, where he completed four different undergraduate projects. Among those four research projects, it was an internship at Shannon Point Marine Center that sparked his interest in marine biology. Upon moving to FIU, he joined the Marine Macroalgae Research Lab (MMRL) with Dr. Ligia Collado-Vides in 2016. When not doing his research, Lowell likes snorkeling, diving, hiking, and playing with his Nintendo Switch. 

Recap of Aplys1a Lab Field Trip

Phillip Gillette, our speaker for August 2019, offered our members a tour of the Aplysia Marine Lab at Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Science on Virginia Key, Miami. So, on November 10, about 14 members of our club went to the National resource for Aplysia Lab. This lab is the only one in the country to raise Aplysia californica from egg to adult. They keep stringent records and know lines of ancestors. Since the Aplysia hatches to a veliger, raising them is extremely labor intensive. The water needs to be kept clean, the animals need to be fed daily and the veligers need constant turning so as not to settle prematurely. 

Aplysia californica is an extremely important animal for neuro research. The ganglia are the largest in the animal kingdom and scientists can work with them easier than other animals. 

Phillip gave us a great tour and we are very grateful he gave us this opportunity. 

Before we even got to the time to meet, our members were fossil hunting in the parking lot.