First time WLU is cover story! February 3, 2016 by Maureen Zambito
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va, Feb. 2, 2016 — West Liberty University’s Dr. Zachary Loughman and his crayfish research was featured on the cover of the Winter 2016 issue of Neuron, West Virginia’s Journal of Science and Research, edited by Amanda Ramey.
Loughman is the subject of Scientist Spotlight. The in-depth article looks at his work in the classroom and lab.
“Zachary Loughman cares a great deal about creatures in West Virginia that most people tend to not think twice about – at least not beyond the interest of children playing in a stream or fishermen seeking bait. Known as crawfish, crawdads, freshwater lobsters or even mudbugs, it turns out that crayfish are an important asset to the state’s freshwater ecosystems. Loughman, an associate professor of biology at West Liberty University, focuses his research on these freshwater crustaceans that resemble small lobsters–and he’s gaining national recognition for it. Many basics of crayfish biology are widely understood, but nuances about each species and the implications these small animals have on their surrounding habitats have been largely overlooked by scientists in the past,” states the article.
It continues by describing his work with students in the biology department. To read the complete article click the word Neuron above.
Selected as West Virginia’s 2014 Professor of the Year by the Faculty Merit Foundation, Loughman is well known for his research and surveying of crayfish. He joined WLU in 2007.
His research focuses on the natural history, taxonomy, and conservation of North American crayfishes and he has named five species of crayfish.
Loughman’s laboratory is one of the few in the country that focused solely on astacology, the academic study of crayfishes (crayfish biology). To date, Loughman and his students have sampled crayfish in 13 states, and over 3,000 streams across the eastern and central United States.
Also a WLU alumnus, he is a co-director of the new Zoo Science major announced recently by the College of Science.
The Neuron is produced by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission’s Division of Science and Research, which coordinates federal and state scientific research grants, including WVEPSCoR,to academic institutions in West Virginia and conducts outreach activities to broaden the public’s understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Visit www.wvresearch.org for more information.