Assistant Curator, Invertebrate Zoology
James Fetzner is the assistant curator for the Section of Invertebrate Zoology at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Fetzner received his PhD in zoology from Brigham Young University in 2001. He also received his MS in zoology in 1993, his BA in microbiology in 1993, and his BS in zoology in 1989, all from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
He arrived at Carnegie Museum of Natural History initially as a post-doctoral researcher in the Section of Amphibians and Reptiles. In 2003, he joined the staff of the Section of Invertebrate Zoology, with his support funding coming entirely from grants and contracts. Fetzner has been involved with the International Association of Astacology (the international crayfish society) for over two decades, where he has served as the president of the society (2010-2012) and is currently the managing editor for the society’s journal (Freshwater Crayfish) and newsletter (Crayfish News). He is also a member of the Aquatic Arthropod Technical Committee with the Pennsylvania Biological Survey and the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Freshwater Crab and Crayfish Specialists Group.
Fetzner’s research interests are focused on the population genetics, systematics, and conservation of freshwater crayfish at a global scale. Recently funded projects include surveys of genetic variation within and among populations of rare and endangered crayfish from Arkansas, Mississippi, and Missouri. These data will help inform crayfish conservation planning efforts. Fetzner is also interested in creating taxonomic databases and websites to disseminate information on arthropods (especially crayfish) to the broader public and the scientific community. His recent efforts have been to focus on digitizing portions of the vast Invertebrate Zoology arthropod collection as part of a National Science Foundation-funded grant (InvertNet) and contributing the resulting images and data to the Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio) data portal. These images and data are also accessible from the IZ Database Entry & Annotation website.