SUNY Oneonta News

February 1, 2008
 

SUNY-ONEONTA SCIENTIST RECEIVES GRANT TO STUDY INVASIVE CRAYFISH

 

ONEONTA, N.Y. -- Dr. Thomas Horvath, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Environmental Sciences Program at the SUNY College at Oneonta, has received a grant of $6,910 from the Mid-Atlantic Panel on Aquatic Invasive Species for a project entitled "Current and projected distribution of the invasive rusty crayfish, Orconectes rusticus, in the Upper Susquehanna River basin." Horvath will use the grant to conduct an intensive survey of Delaware and Susquehanna watersheds to determine the extent and range of the invasive species of crayfish and the threat that it poses to local ecosystems and native biodiversity.

According to Dr. Horvath, crayfish are among the most imperiled animals in fresh waters, with introduced species contributing to declines in biodiversity. Rusty crayfish can be keystone species in aquatic communities, and knowledge of their status is important for the management of this invasive crayfish and other aquatic organisms in the watersheds. A systematic inventory of crayfish has not been completed in New York State since 1952.

Horvath plans to collect crayfish from the rivers, tributaries, public-access lakes, and permanent ponds within the watersheds. He will record biological and population information as well as general habitat and characteristics of each site to produce a database with a crayfish species list, population status, and species-distributions map.

Horvath, who joined the SUNY-Oneonta faculty in 2001, received the College's 2004 Richard Siegfried Junior Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence. He holds a doctorate in aquatic biology from the University of Notre Dame. Before joining the College, he worked as an aquatic ecologist and statistician with the U.S. Geological Survey.
 

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