Marla Coppolino

Joined: Jul 25, 2017 Last Active: Feb 05, 2023 iNaturalist

I've felt connected with nature for as long as I can remember. I always love learning more and am happy to exchange knowledge with others here on iNaturalist.

While I enjoy meeting most every living thing, I'm particularly curious about the less-appreciated critters, like snails, slugs, millipedes, centipedes, rotifers, slime molds, and others with many legs or no legs.

I'm a part-time malacologist. I focus on land snails and slugs. I'm interested in the role they play in the ecosystem -- in nutrient cycling, as an essential part of the diets of many other animals, as transporters of fungal and bryophyte spores, and as plant pollinators. There is much we don't know about our slimy friends.

My educational background: BS in Biological Sciences, University of Georgia, and MS in Zoology, Southern Illinois University. I'm a level 3 Master Naturalist and have taken numerous courses and workshops on various disciplines in natural history (fauna, flora, bryophyte, fungi, geological, paleontological).

I've worked as a field biologist, as a collections manager of mollusks at the American Museum of Natural History, and currently as a research associate at Paleontological Research Institution and Delaware Museum of Natural History. By day, I develop online courses for the Lab of Ornithology. I spend time educating the public about the importance of native land snails and slugs. Whenever I'm able, I write articles, give talks, and lead snail walks.

I'm also a scientific illustrator, children's book writer, sometimes poet and musician. I write music for snails.

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