NC State

Madi Polera


I'm a third year Ph.D. student studying conservation, management, and fitness of imperiled species. We're currently working to define baseline health and fitness condition of endangered mussels, develop biomarkers of health, and recommend conservation efforts.

Seventy percent of North American's freshwater mussels are threatened, endangered, or extinct. Four imperiled species inhabit North Carolina streams: the Tar River Spinymussel, Yellow Lance, Atlantic Pigtoe, and Dwarf Wedgemussel. Development of biomarkers of health and fitness will inform propagation, monitoring, and management of these ecologically valuable species. (Right: Tar River Spinymussel, one of only three freshwater mussels with spines)


Madi Polera
Graduate Research Assistant