Why I don't observe more seashells on Nevis, West Indies

Some seashell-oriented people here on iNat have noticed that I am not observing many seashells from Saint Kitts and Nevis. They may be wondering why.

I could certainly increase my species count if I observed more seashells. And no doubt add quite a lot of new things to the iNat database too. I know that I found over 100 species on Cockleshell Bay on St. Kitts during this trip, but not so many species on Nevis, as the shelling overall was not very good. The beaches were mostly very short of sand, and shells were generally very sparse. but why am I not photographing all the shells that I do find?

The thing is, I am working on writing a big checklist-style paper on the shallow-water marine mollusks of Nevis. Over the years since 1997, when I first started coming here, I have found about 600 marine mollusk species on Nevis (with a few extras found only on Saint Kitts) although a number of the micros I have found are not yet successfully ID'ed to the species level.

I currently have no idea where the paper will be published, or of course when it will be published. I am hoping it will be accepted by a peer-reviewed journal.

I have allowed myself over the years to make a few iNat observations of the more common shelled marine mollusk species here, but I don't want to do more than that, because uploading photos and data onto iNat counts in some respects as publishing the data. Therefore I don't want to undercut my own publication by pre-publishing more than a little info here on iNat.

I am hoping to acquire a few coauthors to help me get the paper together. If anyone would like to assist me with that aspect of it, please let me know. If you help in an intellectual capacity, your name will be on the paper as a coauthor when it is published.

I will also need help with photographing a shell of each ofl the species, many of which are very small. But simply organizing and checking all of the info that will go into the paper is a big task, and one that can sometimes seem quite overwhelming for just one person.

Posted by susanhewitt susanhewitt, April 17, 2022 15:58

Comments

"...because uploading photos and data onto iNat counts in some respects as publishing the data." An interesting perspective! It's interesting to me the space that inaturalist occupies between science and social media, but overlapping into both depending on one's perspective.

Posted by muir 2 months ago (Flag)

Love this! Such an amazing feat.

Posted by steph_thecnidarian 2 months ago (Flag)

Thanks Matt, and thanks Stephanie.

Since iNat feeds into GBIF, I think one can argue that the iNat data is somewhat published, or perhaps we can say partway published.

It may be an extraordinary feat to see and ID close to 600 species of marine mollusks in one small area, but it is arguably not a very useful feat until the data is published as a scientific paper.

Posted by susanhewitt 2 months ago (Flag)

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