Steve Taylor, an associate research professor at Colorado College, recently received a grant from the Cave Conservancy Foundation to fund research on small, shrimp-like animals called subterranean amphipods.
In Summer 2018, Taylor and one or more students will sample groundwater beneath streams and in springs and caves across numerous river basins in the Colorado Rockies to collect amphipods and record environmental parameters.
“As stewards of this little jewel of a planet floating through time and space, are we not better equipped to make decisions when we know what lives here?” says Taylor. “Shallow groundwater is one of the easiest habitats to contaminate through human activities such as leaking septic or gasoline tanks, or contaminated runoff from roadways,” but it is often overlooked. Human activities have a broad array of impacts on surface and groundwater, meaning that knowledge of “new populations or new species of amphipods could feed into all sorts of decisions in the future.”
The Cave Conservancy Foundation grant will permit Taylor to take on one research student this summer, and possibly a second if additional CC funding allows.