Research

Hudsonia’s research is broad, ranging from basic research on topics such as wetlands ecology, to applied conservation biology on topics such as habitat restoration for rare species. Along with pure biological research, our studies in human ecology and other social science areas promote a better understanding of the region’s cultural heritage and human-environment interactions. Our research is mainly focused in the Hudson Valley between the Capitol District and New York City.

Biodiversity Hudsonia conducts surveys and research on the many significant ecological habitats of the Hudson Valley and the species they contain. We have also been involved in the design, management, and monitoring of nature reserves and public parks in collaboration with public and private conservation agencies.
Biological Surveys in Guyana Biologists from Hudsonia and Simon’s Rock College travelled to the interior of Guyana (South America) repeatedly over the course of a decade to study the poorly-known fish fauna.
Hydraulic Fracturing Impacts High volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for natural gas is widespread in the Marcellus and Utica shale region of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio, and prospectively in New York. Hudsonia is analyzing the impacts of fracking on biodiversity and has recently published articles on potential impacts of fracking on species with limited ranges in News From Hudsonia and Environmental Practice.
Turtle Conservation Hudsonia collaborates with students, researchers, and non-profit institutions on the the nesting needs and habitat use patterns of the threatened Blanding’s turtle, and has designed and monitored a habitat restoration project. Hudsonia also studies the landscapes and habitats of the endangered bog turtle in eastern New York.
Freshwater Tidal Wetlands Hudsonia works to understand the natural history and ecology of fresh-tidal wetlands, and produce information and ideas that can be used by researchers, restorationists, and managers. We document structure and processes in the Tivoli Bays and other wetlands, including rare plants, invasive pests, zooplankton, terrestrial insects, macrobenthos, fish communities, amphibians, turtle ecology, birds, muskrat ecology, and estuary-wildlife interactions. We also study insect associations with invasive purple loosestrife and other wetland plants.
Habitat Ecology and Biogeochemistry Hudsonia is working to fill the need of research on ecosystem-level properties of endangered species habitats. We study the interactions between biogeochemistry, amphibians, flora, and fauna in wetland habitats, including our Blanding’s turtle habitat restoration site.
Invasive Species Our research on invasive planst and animals emphasizes the ecological relationships of invading species with native plants and animals, as well as the influences of the dominant plants on ecosystem processes. Our research emphasizes four species of concern: purple loosestrife, water-chestnut, tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus) and common reed (Phragmites) (partly native but also invasive). We also study non-native animals (i.e. the mitten crab) and native animals that may be considered pest species (muskrats).
Mosquitoes We study the human cultural and behavioral responses to mosquitoes, ticks, and other arthropod vectors in less-developed and rural regions historically, and in the U.S. now. Among the goals of this program are to facilitate alternatives to dependence on synthetic pesticides, and to devise environmentally sensitive options in monitoring and managing vector-borne diseases as well as more effective public education programs.
Stream Ecology During several years of study of Hudson River tributaries and other northeastern streams, we have tested indices of biological integrity for assessment and monitoring of stream quality and human impacts on streams, including fishes, benthic macroinvertebrates, and diatoms.
Wetland Construction and Restoration Hudsonia is participating in several projects that include baseline biological surveys for wetland mitigation and the design and monitoring of mitigation wetlands to serve as habitat for rare biota. We are particularly interested in learning how constructed or restored wetlands function as ecosystems in comparison with natural wetlands. We are also interested in designing mitigation wetlands that help replace historically-diminished, unusual or scarce habitats (see Blanding’s turtle) and in using derelict or degraded lands (such as abandoned mines) for this purpose.
Wetland Human Ecology In this research, we apply ecological principles to understand interactions of human cultures and wetlands worldwide. We emphasize the tradeoffs of living in or near wetlands: the abundance of resources vs. the costs in flood damage, disease, and other hazards, and the resulting positive and negative influences on cultural evolution and the sustainability of economic development. We have used original and secondary archaeological data, secondary ethnographic data, and original observations.

Hudsonia, a tax-exempt not-for-profit corporation of the State of New York, classified 501(c)(3) by the Internal Revenue Service, relies on the generous, tax-deductible contributions from members of our community to sustain our research and education. We appreciate your support of our work.

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