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Gerald Summers

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
PhD, 1981 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Office: 110 Lefevre Hall
Phone: 573-882-4369
Headshot of Gerald Summers


Research summary

Life history and ecology of invertebrates

Research description

The life cycle of freshwater mussels includes a larval stage (the glochidium) which is an obligate parasite on fish gills or fins. Glochidia are retained in the gills of the female prior to release of the parasitic stage. Species vary in the length of the breeding season as well as in growth rates and shell dimorphism. Students have examined life history from an evolutionary perspective to determine the adaptive significance of alternative breeding strategies.

A second area of research deals with systematics and ecology of non-insectan terrestrial arthropods. This work focuses on systematics and biogeography of woodland centipedes, especially the Lithobiomorpha.

Select Publications

Select Publications

Decker, T., Summers, G. and Barrow, L. 2007. The treatment of geological time and the history of life on Earth in high school biology textbooks. American Biology Teacher 69(8): 401-404.

Summers, G. 2001. Laboratory Exercises in General Biology (5th ed). Pearson, Boston, MA., p. 245.

Rushin, J., J. deSaix, A. Lumsden, D.Streubel, G. Summers, and C. Bernson. 1997. Graduate teaching assistant training — a basis for improvement of college biology teaching and faculty development? American Biology Teacher 59: 86–90.

Honors & Awards

Selected honors and awards

Win Horner Award for Innovative Writing Intensive Teaching 2016

William T. Kemper Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching 2000

Arts & Science Purple Chalk Award for Excellence In Teaching 1994