Mysterious Creatures: Exploring The Depths Of Our Karst Aquifers | Texas Public Radio

Mysterious Creatures: Exploring The Depths Of Our Karst Aquifers

Nov 18, 2019

“These ecosystems harbor some really amazing species,” said Dr. Ben Hutchins at the most recent Texas Water Symposium forum on Wednesday, November 13 at Schreiner University in Kerrville.

Referencing the plethora of creatures that reside within Texas’ karst aquifers, Hutchins continued, “A lot of these are crustaceans; you may be familiar with shrimp, but relatively few people have seen a Texas Blind Cave Shrimp. These species occur sometimes at great depths. We have records from close to 2,000 feet under the surface. And because they live in such an unusual environment, they have a host of unusual adaptations. They’re really ideal models to study adaptation and evolution.”

The biggest threats to these species’ survival? “Water quality and water quantity,” answered Liza Colucci, Project Manager with ZARA Environmental.  

This edition of the Texas Water Symposium examines the role aquifers play in providing our drinking water and allowing for the irrigation of area pastures, farms, and vineyards.

Listen in as the panel explores the mysterious biological world of deep aquifer life and the aquatic conditions required to maintain safe habitat for them — and for us.

Moderator:

L to R: Dr. Robert Gulley J.D., Andrew G. Gluesenkamp, Chad Norris, Liza Colucci, Dr. Ben Hutchins.
Credit Nathan Cone / TPR

Dr. Robert Gulley J.D. — Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Retired

Panelists:

  • Chad Norris: Aquatic Biologist, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • Andrew G. Gluesenkamp: Director of Conservation, Center for Conservation and Research, San Antonio Zoo
  • Liza Colucci: Project Manager/Biologist, ZARA Environmental
  • Ben Hutchins Ph.D.: Assistant Director, Edwards Aquifer Research and Data Center

The Texas Water Symposium is a joint project of the Hill Country Alliance, Texas Tech University, Schreiner University, and Texas Public Radio.