Ben Whipkey

OU Major: 
Biology
Research Mentor: 
Elizabeth Bergey
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

The Tiger Snail (Anguispira alternata) is an eastern land snail that extends into northeastern Oklahoma. Beyond this range, a large disjunct population occurs in the central Oklahoma (Cleveland and McClain Counties). We assessed possible mechanisms for long-distance dispersal, using timed searches of preferred habitats in woodlands in 19 counties extending westward from the eastern Oklahoma range limit. No snails were found in between historical and disjunct populations. However, empty shells were found in Bryan County (southcentral Oklahoma), washed up along the shoreline of Lake Texoma. These shells originated in the Washita River drainage and were carried downstream to Lake Texoma during floods – indicating that the disjunct population is widely spread (e.g., possibly in Garvin County). Because snails move slowly, the lack of tiger snails between the known and disjunct sites indicates movement via human activities, such as the transport by firewood or the plant trade, rather than...

Awards and/or presentations:

Whipkey, Ben. "Long distance travel - at a snails pace." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Published Work:

n/a