Project Overview

The recolonization of glacial North America by native earthworms

Faculty Sponsor

Tim McCay (


Environmental Studies


Of the approximately 160 species of earthworms in North America, only 5 native earthworms are known from previously glaciated portions of the Northeast. Why did only these species recolonize the Northeast? How might the structure of the northeastern landscape have facilitated or inhibited this recolonization? This project aims to better understand the mechanisms that may have allowed native earthworms to move northward following glacial retreat. It will involve a combination of fieldwork to identify current populations of native earthworms and work with geographic information systems to better understand the role of the structure of the landscape in recolonization.

Student Qualifications

Interest in both field and computer work; course work in GIS is highly desired; a van license will be required (can be applied for later); ability to work independently in the field.

Number of Student Researchers

2 students

Project Length

10 weeks

Applications open on 01/03/2021 and close on 03/22/2021

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (