Research in my lab focuses on crayfish natural history, taxonomy, and conservation biology, with an emphasis on crayfishes that occur in West Virginia. To do this, myself and West Liberty University Biology students travel throughout West Virginia and the southeastern United States surveying crayfishes. The ultimate goal of this research is elucidating the natural history of these enigmatic animals. By understanding distribution and potential environmental threats to crayfishes, conservation recommendations and actions ultimately will be more useful and efficient. In addition to this work, we study the ecology of high elevation burrowing crayfishes, investigate the systematics of the Cambarus robustus complex, and maintain the West Liberty University Astacology Collection which currently houses 1,500 lots of catalogued crayfishes from across West Virginia and the southeastern United States.
Loughman, Z. J., S. A. Welsh, and T. P Simon. 2012. Occupancy rates of primary burrowing crayfish in natural and disturbed large river bottomlands. Journal of Crustacean Biology. 32(4): 557-564.
Loughman Z.J. and T. P. Simon. 2011. Zoogeography, taxonomy, and conservation of West Virginia’s Ohio River floodplain crayfishes (Decapoda, Cambaridae). ZooKeys 73: 1–78.
Loughman, Z. J., T. P. Simon and S. A. Welsh. 2011. Cambarus (Puncticambarus) smilax, a new species of crayfish (Crustacea; Decapoda: Cambaridae) from the Greenbrier River basin of West Virginia. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 124:2, 84-99.
Loughman, Z. J., N. Garrison, S. A. Welsh, and T. P. Simon. Zoogeography, conservation, and ecology of crayfishes within the Cheat River basin of the upper Monongahela River drainage, West Virginia. West Virginia Academy of Sciences. 2010.
Loughman, Z. J. 2010. Forward to Conservation, ecology, and biology of North American Crayfishes. Southeastern Naturalist 9 (Special Publication 3): 1-11.
Loughman, Z. J. 2010. Ecology of Cambarus (J.) dubius in north Central West Virginia in Southeastern Naturalist 9 (Special Publication 3): 200-217.
Loughman, Z. J., 2009. Crayfishes of Western Maryland: conservation and natural history. Southeastern Naturalist 9 (Special Publication 3): 33-62.
Loughman, Z. J. and S. Welsh. 2009. Distribution and conservation standing of West Virginia crayfishes. Southeastern Naturalist 9 (Special Publication 3): 63-78.
Welsh, S. A., Z. J. Loughman, T. P. Simon. 2010. Concluding remarks: A symposium on the conservation, biology, and natural history of the crayfishes of the southeastern United States. Southeastern Naturalist 9 (Special Publication 3): 267-269.
Loughman, Z. J., T. P. Simon, S. Welsh. West Virginia crayfishes: observations on distribution, natural history, and conservation. North Eastern Naturalist. 16 (2): 225-238.
Loughman, Z. J. and J. W. Reid. 2009. Crayfishes (Crustacea:Decapoda) and copepods (Crustacea:Copepoda) of Potomac Gorge National Park, Virginia. Banisteria 31: 30-37.
Loughman, Z. J., 2007. Cambarus (T.) thomai in Maryland: conservation implications of an introduced burrowing crayfish population. Freshwater Crayfish News. 29 (3) (Cover Article)
Loughman, Z. J., 2007. First record of Procambarus (O.) acutus (White River Crayfish) in West Virginia with notes on its natural history. Northeastern Naturalist. 14 (3) p. 495-500
Loughman, Z. J., S. A. Welsh, and T. P. Simon. 2010. Conservation, Biology, and Natural History of Crayfishes from the Southern United States: Proceedings of a 2008 Symposium of the Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society. Southeastern Naturalist. Special Publication #3.