On April 20, 2017, Gerry Dinkins, curator of natural history and malacology, met with Eriko Morishita Rossano of the Institute of Freshwater Biology in Osaka, Japan. Rossano was accompanied by Ikuko Morishita and Shuichi Ikebuchi.
Together, the trio from Japan traveled from the Northwestern United States to the Knoxville to interview Dinkins in preparation for a book Rossano and her colleagues are writing in Japanese on the Mississippi River. They were particularly interested in learning about the high biodiversity of mussel species in the Tennessee River drainage, which will be featured in their book.
Dinkins provided the group with a tour of the McClung mollusk collection so they could photograph and examine selected species of freshwater mussel specimens, and he provided logistical help so the group of Japanese scholars could visit several local rivers to observe freshwater mussels in their natural environments. Dinkins also coordinated a tour of the new state mussel hatchery in Middle Tennessee operated by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
The McClung’s malacology collections continue to be an important resource for regional and international researchers interested in river health and biodiversity.