Dr. Gerald Summers

Gerald Summers
Associate Director and Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
110 Lefevre Hall

PhD, 1981 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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.

Awards and Honors

Richard F. and Sharon A. Keister Faculty Enhancement Award in Biological Sciences 2020

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

Selected Publications