2020 COA Convention / Melbourne, Florida

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, but with ample consideration of several tiers of logistics and the preferences of our constituencies, the COA Board has made the following decision:

  • There will be no COA Convention this year (2020); IT IS CANCELLED.
  • Our next convention will be 2021 in Hilton Melbourne, FL (venue the same as 2020), same week as planned for 2020 but a day earlier in the calendar month: field trips Mon.-Tues., June 14-15; meeting Wed.-Fri., June 16-18; bourse Sat.-Sun., June 19-20, 2021.
  • The COA 2022 Convention is planned for Moody Gardens, Galveston, TX roughly the same parameters as planned for the original event (2021). Dave Green will be reporting specifics in a month or so.
  • The 2023 Convention is scheduled for Wilmington, NC roughly the same parameters as planned for the original event (2022).

Anne Joffe, COA Convention Planning Director, deserves our plaudits for her abiding & tireless efforts to actualize these arrangements. Convention Chairs Alan Gettleman (2020-2021) and Dave Green (2021-2022) have also been of great assistance in the process.

This is the first breach in our annual streak, which began in 1972, but the welfare of our folks, most notably their health, has been given primacy. I personally believe the down-time, mandatory for many of us, will allow all of us to improve our understanding of conchology and better the curatorial state of our precious resources relevant to that study. This we'll all be better-prepared to prosper from next year's event in Melbourne.

Harry G. Lee
President, COA



In recent years COA has had increasing difficulty finding Clubs to host the Convention and individual volunteers to do the myriad jobs necessary for a successful Convention.  Jeannette Tysor and Ed Shuller have stepped up and become one of COA’s major pillars of Convention support.

During this time they have served as Co-chairs of one event, de facto Co-chairs of another and are to be Co-chairs of the 2023 event.  In this capacity they have done preliminary work on hotel selection, negotiated food menus and pricing, selected and made arrangements for field trips, suggested and arranged for special contests or activities, suggested and arranged for door prize and raffle items.  They have also assisted with choosing logos and ordering all materials for distribution to attendees.  They also were instrumental in recruiting staff for all these activities.

Jeannette has served as Treasurer for three Conventions and will again in 2023 .She has been an advocate of using newer technology in accepting payment.  She made it possible for COA's Captiva Convention to accept credit cards at all venues requiring a financial transaction.  She is particularly insistent on prompt final accounting after the Convention and delivers her final report within a month.

In addition to serving as convention Co-Chair, Ed has also worked as the Registration person for the Sanibel-Captiva Convention and will perform that duty again in 2023.  Ed also was in the vanguard in the indexers of the back issues of American Conchologist, a project that certainly positions COA in posterity with American Conchologist.

Ed has worked diligently to create and maintain a new listing of Record Size Shells for the State of North Carolina, maintained by the North Carolina Shell Club.  He participates in shell-measuring events during shell club meetings and regularly updates this important listing of record-size shells for the club.

COA is fortunate to have members with Ed’s and Jeannette’s skills and drive and would have had a difficult time in the last several years without them and their willingness to spend the countless hours in planning and producing a COA Convention.  Ed and Jeannette are well deserving of recognition for their Service to the Conchologists of America.


Paul Callomon is the Collection Manager in the Malacology and General Invertebrates Section of the Academy of Natural Sciences (ANSP) of Drexel University in Philadelphia.  He has helped COA in many ways, most often helping us raise money for the scholarship funding through his wit, quick mind, and amusing banter to obtain a large audience's interest for convention auctions. He has given many hours to nurture amateur shell collectors through his association with the Philadelphia Shell Club and other shell clubs as well.
Paul's knowledge of shells has him working shell shows all over the country as a Judge. He has spent hours at shell shows with the exhibitors helping them to improve their exhibit with his kind words and guidance. For years he was the driving force behind the Philadelphia Shell Show, a manifoldly daunting assignment.

Year after year you hear of Paul Callomon working with scientists and students, updating old collections and passing his knowledge along to others to help everyone to better understand the world of conchology through Conch-L and other Social Media.

He is an acknowledged authority on the history of science and the gastropod family Fasciolariidae, authoring or co-authoring many pivotal papers on these topics. Having spent some years in Japan and learning the language, he has made sentinel contributions to the history of malacology in that country. His illumination of the rich heritage of the ANSP has reached many COA members through our 2017 Convention and the pages of American Conchologist.

Paul was awarded the Neptunea Award for his service to the scientific interest of Conchologists of America.

COA Conventions

1972 – Rhode Island
1973 – Bahamas
1974 – Seattle, Washington
1975 – Virginia Beach, Virginia
1976 – Portland, Oregon
1977 – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
1978 – Long Island, New York
1979 – Santa Monica, California
1980 – Key West, Florida
1981 – San Francisco, California
1982 – Sanibel Island, Florida
1983 – Sarasota, Florida
1984 – St. Petersburg, Florida
1985 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1986 – Fort Lauderdale, Florida
1987 – St. Louis, Missouri

1988 – Fort Myers, Florida
1989 – San Diego, California
1990 – Melbourne, Florida
1991 – Long Island, New York
1992 – Jacksonville, Florida
1993 – Panama City, Florida
1994 – Corpus Christi, Texas
1995 – San Diego, California
1996 – St. Petersburg, Florida
1997 – Captiva Island, Florida
1998 – Orlando, Florida
1999 – Louisville, Kentucky
2000 – Houston, Texas
2001 – Port Canaveral, Florida
2002 – Sarasota, Florida
2003 – Tacoma, Washington

2004 – Tampa, Florida
2005 – Punta Rassa, Florida
2006 – Mobile, Alabama
2007 – Portland, Oregon
2008 – San Antonio, Texas
2009 - Clearwater, Florida
2010 - Boston, Massachusetts
2011 - Cape Canaveral, Florida
2012 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2013 - Sarasota, Florida
2014 - Wilmington, North Carolina
2015 - Weston, Florida
2016 - Chicago, Illinois
2017 - Key West, Florida
2018 - San Diego, California
2019 - Captiva, Florida
2020 - No Convention