Students research Flint River species at RiverQuarium

Video from WALB
Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 6:35 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Albany State University, Flint RiverQuarium and the University of Georgia are doing research on the Flint River.

They’re studying the types of species that help with recovering and conserving the river.

Students went along different parts of the river to get fish from different sections. Then, they take fish back to the RiverQuarium to start the research.

The focus of the research project is to study different muscles in the Flint River.

Ben Scott is the Flint RiverQuarium director.
Ben Scott is the Flint RiverQuarium director.(WALB)

Flint RiverQuarium Director Ben Scott said they hope to get a better understanding of what types of fish muscles prefer to live on. This is because muscles are an endangered species.

“We’re studying which species of fish muscles like to use as a host for their larvas,” said Scott.

Albany State University Professor Shayla Williams said muscles are important because they help maintain a healthy ecosystem for different animals. She said they’re essential for fish habitat.

Shayla Williams is a biology professor at Albany State University.
Shayla Williams is a biology professor at Albany State University. (WALB)

“When we put them in some dirty aquarium water, you leave them in there for maybe a day or two. Come back, it will be nice, crystal clear. So that’s what muscles do. They pretty much filter out all of the debris, so it helps the ecosystem,” said Williams.

Albany State Senior Joseph Stoklosa said he loves the research project because it’s hands-on.

“This has been an amazing experience so far. I’ve always wanted to work at an aquarium. I love being around the water, so this is an amazing opportunity,” Stoklosa said. “Having a background in research is amazing for certain jobs and something to look back on.”

Joseph Stoklosa is a student at Albany State University.
Joseph Stoklosa is a student at Albany State University.(WALB)

Scott said they’re happy to get the research project going after the pandemic held them up.

“I hope that this collaboration actually leads to bigger more thorough projects of research. That can actually be done here in the Albany area, specifically at the RiverQuraium with our university partners,” said Scott.

If you’d like to take a look at the research going on, the project lasts until July.

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