Whether octopus, squid, bivalve or gastropod, all mollusks tug on the heartstrings of native Houstonian Tina Petway, who was named associate curator of malacology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in 2005.
The HMNS Malacology collection has grown over the past few years and is now the largest of the Museum’s Collections. HMNS is the home of the extensive and irreplaceable collection known as the Northwest Gulf of Mexico Survey of Marine Mollusks and the world-renowned Guido Poppé Collection of Philippine Shells. This, as well as many other holdings of specimens, are being used by various researchers to further our understand of the importance of these animals and their relevance to the environment.
Tina’s mission is to help others understand the value of preserving and protecting the habitats in which these animals live. “They are not just pretty to look at, but the animals that construct the shells and those which have no shell are important to our existence. Not only are they a source of food for most of the world, but what we are learning from them could hold cures for illnesses, pain relief without addiction and many others.”
Tina Petway is an active member of many international malacology organizations, including the Houston Shell Club. She is passionate about sharing the natural history and ecology of the Gulf Coast with museum visitors and those who participate in HMNS Day Excursions to local beaches.
George W. Strake Hall of Malacology
Hamman Hall of Texas Coastal Ecology