Conferences and Presentations you may have seen me at. This page is a simple over view of the topics discussed. If you have followed the link here from a poster or presentation, than welcome back! I’ll hit the highlights for you again. If you have any questions or concerns about my topics please feel free to reach out to me.

Conferences 2020

2020 Virtual Baylor University McNair Research Conference

October 1-2 2020

8th Annual Black Doctoral Network Conference

October 29-30 2020

2020 Topics

Impact of Heavy Metals on Growth and Mortality in a Freshwater Bivalve (Epioblasma brevidens)

By Samantha Romines 2020

Acknowledgements :

Dr. Michelle Hurley

Dr. Dinah Deford

Brian Dempsey

Taraysha Moore

Research question: Is the contamination of the Clinch River a contributing factor to the lowered survivability of endanger freshwater mussels, such as the Cumberland Combshell?

This is a copy of the poster seen at the conferences in 2020

Heavy metals contamination causes

lower survivability in Cumberland

Combshell Mussels


In 2008, The clinch was subject to a coal ash spill dumping 4.1 million m3  of ash into the aquatic ecosystem.

Populations of freshwater mussels has fallen over 80% in the past 10 years.

Cumberland Combshell is an endangered freshwater mussel in the Clinch River.

Heavy metals effect freshwater mussels physiologically.

Lead and Mercury can leave deposits in the gills and mantel. Cadmium can be found in the digestive gland and kidneys.


Determine if the sediments of the Clinch River have contamination levels high enough to effect the Cumberland Combshell.

Explore the survivability of Cumberland Combshell mussels with  in high exposure rate.

Explore the downstream effects of contamination sediments on survivability of the Cumberland Combshell.


In lab testing with husbandry acquired juveniles (240).

Sediments will be collected from four locations on the Clinch river. Control will be above the spill site. Experiment 1 will be the highest exposure with in .5 Km of spill site. Experiment 2 will be .5 Km downstream of spill site. Experiment 3 will be 1 Km downstream of spill site.

Each group will be 60 individuals and be exposed to correlated locations. Dry weight, biomass and glycogen analysis bi weekly with 6 individuals chosen at random.

Anticipated Results

The group closest to the high exposure location will have lower bio mass and lower glycogen analysis

Down stream location will also have effects, it is possible for them to have better over all rates compared to the exposure location

Presentation Video

Conferences 2021

Boland Symposium