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Haag honored with Presidential Early Career Scientists Award
Date:12/19/2008

Washington, DC U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) Fisheries Research Biologist Wendell Haag, Ph.D., received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers during a ceremony today at the White House. Haag was among the nearly 70 scientists and engineers receiving the award, which is the highest honor that a young scientist or engineer can receive in the United States.

The Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, established in 1996, honors the most promising young researchers in the Nation within the fields of science and technology. Federal departments and agencies annually nominate scientists and engineers early in their careers whose work shows the greatest promise to benefit the nominating agency's mission. Participating agencies award these scientists and engineers up to five years of funding to further their research in support of critical government missions. Haag will receive a total of $125,000 in research funds over a five-year period.

Haag's research is focused on understanding the poorly known biology of freshwater mussels and using this information to develop effective conservation strategies. The southeastern United States supports the most diverse mussel fauna on Earth and, because they are filter feeders, these animals play a crucial role in maintaining high water quality in rivers and lakes. Unfortunately, mussels are disappearing rapidly, threatening the integrity of freshwater ecosystems.

Haag has made important contributions to several aspects of mussel biology and conservation. His research has been central in revealing the fascinating life histories of mussels. Because their larvae must spend a brief period of time as parasites on the gills of fishes, mussels have developed strategies to attract host fishes and infect them with larvae. These strategies include displaying elaborate lures that closely mimic minnows, crayfish, and other prey items of host f
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Contact: Stevin Westcott
swestcott@fs.fed.us
828-259-0512
Southern Research Station - USDA Forest Service
Source:Eurekalert

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