Educational Outreach

Lou Rundo

Lou Rundo lives in Ohio USA where he calls the rivers his oceans.  Lou fostered his keen interest in shells at a young age.  He ‘collected’ at local markets and shells were at the top of the holiday wish lists.  A trip to the famous Sanibel Island in Florida added to his passion. 

Lou has a degree in Biology and has taught high school biology for 20 years.  He uses his career as a platform to share his love of studying shells.  Shells often make their way into his lectures and are used as catalysts for scientific intrigue and discovery.

Lou has traveled and studied mollusks  in many states in the US, as well as locations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Costa Rica.  His interests lie in the marine Ranellidae, Personidae and Bursidae.  He has a recent interest in Liguus landshells and has taken up photography of this beautiful natural wonder.  Of greatest interest would be the study of the imperiled freshwater Unionidae.  Lou was introduced to freshwater mussels in the 1990’s and has been traveling and studying them in Ohio and surrounding states since then.  Lou has been fortunate to be part of several studies on river mussels that have increased the scientific understanding of the Family.

Lou is actively working for the Molluscan Science Foundation (MSF) on community educational outreach.  Lou oversees the project to reach students of all ages, to discover the variety of organisms that exist in the Phylum Mollusca.  He also prepares and distributes the MSF Discovery Specimen Sets for use at educational institutions. The specimen sets compliment the MSF Discovery Cards and can be used for all ages.  Currently sets have been distributed and used by hundreds of students from grades K-12 in multiple States in the USA.  Young students can read about the variety of shells that have evolved and their interesting facts while actually handling the species being discussed.  More advanced students can study the intricacies of the MSF Discovery Cards and the MSF Discovery Specimen Sets to discuss predator-prey relationships, identify evolutionary relationships and create specimen Cladograms and even develop Taxonomic Dichotomous Keys - all just as a scientist would. Learn more.


Lyons MS, Krebs RA, Holt JP, Rundo LJ, Zawiski W. 2007. Assessing causes of change in the freshwater mussels (bivalvia: Unionidae) in the black river, ohio. Am Midl Nat 158(1):1-15.

Krebs, R. A. and L. J. Rundo. 2005. Diversity of Unionidae in the Rocky River, Ohio. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 20(3): 603-608.

Tevesz, M. J. S., L. Rundo, R. A. Krebs, B. G. Redman and A. S. DuFresne. 2002. Changes in the freshwater mussel (Bivalvia: Unionidae) fauna of the Cuyahoga River, Ohio, since late prehistory. Kirtlandia 53: 13-18.