A Celebration of Bill Merilees’ Mollusc Collection

The Beaty Biodiversity Museum was pleased to host A Celebration of Bill Merilees’ Mollusc Collection (clams, snails, chitons, etc.) on the evening of October 26, 2022. Invited guests included members of Bill’s family, long-time world-travel friends, members of Nature Vancouver, enthusiastic snail-research students of Dr. Chris Harley, Director and Curator of the Marine Invertebrate Collection, as well as avid experienced divers who have greatly contributed to marine invertebrate education through the publication of BC marine life guidebooks.

Bill, a life-long avid naturalist, collected and documented about 150,000 specimens; but it is the micromolluscs (< 1 cm) that gather the most research interest. More than 300 species were collected from over 600 samples from Haida Gwaii to the outer and inner coastal waters of BC to northwest Washington State. Immense opportunities exist for students to unfurl taxonomic puzzles of at least five new species using DNA sequencing, to identify spatial and temporal variations in species diversities, population abundances, and distributions, to discern potential trends associated with environmental warming conditions and extremes, and ocean acidification.

The social gathering paid a wonderful honour to Bill’s donation and his research efforts were appreciated and applauded by all who attended. The curatorial staff of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum would like to thank Bill for his contributions towards a better understanding of the poorly known micromolluscs of coastal BC.

Visit the Beaty to see the Marine Snail Champions case on display in the Atrium!



Bill and June Merilees, Brian Herrin and David Main


Bill suggested the idea for the Marine Snail Champions display case that was developed by the BBM Exhibits and Design team of Derek Tan, Manager of Museums, and Lesha Koop, Mount Maker.


Merilees’ Event speaker presentations in Beaty Theatre.


Marine Invertebrate Collection Director and Curator, Dr. Chris Harley; Cowan Tetrapod Collections Curator, Ildiko Szabo and Nature Vancouver member, Rick Harbo, underwater photographer and guidebook author.