Invertebrate Zoology

Assistant Curator of Crustacea James FetznerJim Fetzner
412.688.8670 (fax)

Click here for full bio 

Academic Training 

PhD, Brigham Young University, 2001
MS, Southern Illinois University, 1993
BS, Southern Illinois University, 1993
BA, Southern Illinois University, 1989


  • Biosystematics Laboratory, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 2001–2005
  • Coordinate molecular lab projects for Invertebrate Zoology section
  • Design and implement specialized IZ websites, online databases, and applications

Research Interests 

  • Phylogenetics
  • Population genetics
  • Crustacean systematics
  • Lepidopteran systematics
  • Molecular evolution
  • Conservation genetics
  • Biodiversity

Research Emphases  

  • Population genetics of the golden crayfish (Orconectes luteus)
  • Population genetics of the Indiana Crayfish (Orconectes indianensis)
  • Population genetics of Iowa crayfishes, genus Orconectes 
  • Population genetics of the Williams Crayfish (Orconectes williamsi), a threatened species from Missouri & Arkansas
  • Systematics of the Barbatus group of the crayfish genus Procambarus 
  • Phylogeny of the Macrolepidoptera (moths & butterflies)
  • Systematic position of the endemic Saturniid from the Dominican Republic
  • Population genetics and species status of the grizzled skipper (Pyrgus centaureae wyandot)
  • DNA barcoding of Pennsylvania's lightning bugs

Web Sites 


Selected Funding and Honors 

  • 2004–2005 “Taxonomic & Phylogenetic Revision of the Crayfish Genus Procambarus.” Request to Carnegie Museum of Natural History O’Neal Fund : $3,700
  • 2004–2005 “Catalog of Pennsylvania Biodiversity (CPB): Leveraging Expertise and Technology to Build an Authoritative Web-Based Catalog of the Biota of Pennsylvania. Request to Pennsylvania Biodiversity Partnership : $25,000
  • 2003–2005 “Study of Pennsylvania Fireflies to Facilitate Identification and Conservation.” Pennsylvania Wild Resource Conservation Fund : $32,733
  • 2002–2004 “Assessing levels of genetic variability within and among populations of Orconectes williamsi, a critically imperiled crayfish from the Upper White River Drainage of Missouri,” U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service/Missouri Dept. of Conservation : $6,500
  • 2000 “Intraspecific Phylogenetics of a Crayfish: Testing a nested analysis of population structure in a one dimensional habitat.” NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant : $10,000
  • 2002 Most Informative Poster, International Association of Astacology, Bi-Annual Meeting, Quéretaro, Mexico.
  • 1999 BYU, Appalachian Biodiversity Scholarship : $1,000
  • 1998 BYU, Department of Zoology, D. Elden Beck Graduate Scholarship : $1,000
  • 1998 Best Poster, International Association of Astacology, Bi-Annual Meeting, Augsburg, Germany.

Selected Publications 

  • 2005 Wetzel, J. E., W. J. Poly and J. W. Fetzner, Jr. Orconectes pardalotus, a new species of crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae) from the lower Ohio River with notes on its life history. aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 10(2):57-72. Click here to read more about this discovery.
  • 2005 Wiens, J. J, T. W. Reeder, J. W. Fetzner, Jr., C. L. Parkinson and W. E. Duellman. Hylid Frog Phylogeny and Sampling Strategies for Speciose Clades. Systematic Biology 54(5): 719-748.
  • 2005 Barker, M. S., S. W. Shaw, R. J. Hickey, J. E. Rawlins & J. W. Fetzner, Jr. Lepidopteran soral crypsis on Caribbean ferns. Biotropica 37(2):314–316.
  • 2005 Wetzel, J. E., W. J. Poly & J. W. Fetzner, Jr. Morphological and genetic comparison of golden crayfish, Orconectes luteus, and rusty crayfish, Orconectes rusticus, with range corrections in Iowa and Minnesota. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 24(4):603-617.
  • 2004 Sinclair, E. A., J. W. Fetzner Jr., J. Buhay, and K. A. Crandall. Proposal to complete a phylogenetic taxonomy and systematic revision for freshwater crayfish (Astacida). Freshwater Crayfish. 14:1-9.
  • 2003 Fetzner Jr., J.W. and K. A. Crandall. Linear habitats and the Nested Clade Analysis: An empirical evaluation of geographic vs. river distances using an Ozark crayfish (Decapoda: Cambaridae). Evolution. 57(9): 2101-2118.
  • 2001 Cryan, J.R., J.K. Liebherr, J.W. Fetzner Jr., and M.F. Whiting. Evaluation of Relationships within the Endemic Hawaiian Platynini (Coleoptera: Carabidae) Based on Molecular and Morphological Evidence. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 21(1):72-85.
  • 2001 Fetzner Jr., J.W. and K.A. Crandall. Genetic Variation. In: Biology of Freshwater Crayfish. (D. Holdich, ed). Pg. 291-326. Blackwell Science Ltd., Oxford, England.
  • 2000 Crandall, K.A., J.W. Fetzner Jr., C. G. Jara, and L. Buckup. On the Phylogenetic Positioning of the South American Freshwater Crayfish Genera (Decapoda: Parastacidae). Journal of Crustacean Biology. 20(3): 532-542.
  • 2000 Crandall, K. A., D. J. Harris, and J. W. Fetzner Jr. The monophyletic origin of freshwater crayfishes estimated from nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 267:1679-1686.
    1999 Fetzner Jr., J. W. Extracting high quality DNA from shed reptile skins: A simplified method. Biotechniques 26(6):1052-1054.
  • 1999 Crandall, K. A., J. W. Fetzner Jr., S. H. Lawler, M. Kinnersley, and C. M. Austin. Phylogenetic relationships among the Australian and New Zealand genera of freshwater crayfish (Decapoda: Parastacidae). Australian Journal of Zoology 47: 199-214.
  • 1999 Fetzner Jr., J. W. and K. A. Crandall. Genetic variability within and among populations of the golden crayfish (Orconectes luteus) determined using amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs). Freshwater Crayfish 12: 396-412.
  • 1997 Fetzner Jr., J. W., R. J. Sheehan and L. W. Seeb. Genetic implications of brood stock selection for crayfish aquaculture in the Midwestern United States. Aquaculture 154: 39-55.
  • 1996 Fetzner Jr, J. W. Biochemical systematics and evolution of the crayfish genus Orconectes (Decapoda: Cambaridae). Journal of Crustacean Biology 16(1): 111-141.
  • 1994 Krajewski, C. and J. W. Fetzner Jr. Phylogeny of cranes (Gruiformes: Gruidae) based on cytochrome-b DNA sequences. The Auk 111(2): 351-365.
  • 1994 Krajewski, C. and J. W. Fetzner Jr. Ancient DNA from the Cuban Sandhill Crane. The Ancient DNA Newsletter 1(2): 24-25.

Selected Reports 

  • 2005 J. W. Fetzner Jr. and Robert J. DiStefano. Phylogeographic Analysis of Orconectes williamsi, a Critically Imperiled Crayfish from the Upper White River Drainage of Southwestern Missouri: Implications for Conservation. Final Project Report. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
  • 2005 Poly, W. J. and J. W. Fetzner Jr. Population genetics of the fringed darter, Etheostoma crossopterum, in Illinois as determined from analysis of three microsatellite loci in five populations. Final report submitted to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
  • 1995 Seeb, L. W., C. Habicht, W. D. Templin, J. W. Fetzner Jr., R. B. Gates and J. E. Seeb. Genetic diversity of Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) of Cook Inlet, Alaska, and its application to restoration of injured populations of the Kenai River. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Project Final Report. Restoration Projects 93012 and 94255. Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Commercial Fisheries Management and Development, Anchorage, Alaska.