Faculty Advisor

Buckholt, Michael Allan

Faculty Advisor

Mathews, Lauren M


The objective of this project was to investigate the evolutionary relationship and ecological interactions between the two crayfish populations: O. virilis and O. quinebaugensis. These two populations were compared genetically by examining the COI mitochondrial gene and a microsatellite-containing nuclear locus, and morphologically by measuring the chelae and curvature of the male gonopods. Mating trials were used to determine whether there are reproductive barriers between the populations other than geographic isolation. The results of this project suggested that these two crayfish populations are in the process of speciation. However, since some interhaplotype mating trials were successful, introgressive hybridization may occur in nature where the crayfish cohabitate.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2009


Biology and Biotechnology

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology