Brian Hudgens, Research Ecologist

Brian trying to stay warm

IWS - Arcata Office

P. O. Box 1104 Arcata CA 95518 (707) 822-4258
Fax: (707) 822-6300



Ph.D. - Duke University, 2000

B.A. - Pomona College, 1992

Research Interests:

I am generally interested in what ecological mechanisms determine the fate of populations. My research has covered a wide range of organisms and habitats, from aphids in sub-alpine meadows to weaver birds and dwarf crocodiles in sub-Saharan Africa. My current research combines extensive field studies with population modeling to effect the conservation of several rare, threatened and endangered species including wolverines (Gulo gulo), island foxes (Urocyon littoralis), the San Clemente loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus mearnsi), the San Clemente sage sparrow (Amphispiza belli clementeae), the Saint Francis Satyr (Neonympha mitchellii franciscii), eastern tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) and Carolina gopher frogs (Rana capito capito). 

My research for IWS on wolverines included winter surveys in the Sierra Nevadas to determine if this species persists in what was once the southern-most extension of its range, and population modeling to determine the best strategies to recover a viable population of wolverines in California.

I work on a number of projects related to island foxes, including analysis of 17 years of fox monitoring data on San Clemente Island, a study to establish background mortality rates and demonstrate the use of remote receiving stations to monitor foxes on San Nicolas Islands, and data analysis and population modeling of foxes on Santa Cruz Island to guide recovery efforts as predation risk from golden eagles is reduced.  

My current research on the San Clemente sage sparrow uses habitat based population modeling to determine the population viability, identify threats, and ask why the birds appear to choose to nest in habitat that does not maximize their reproductive potential. As with the research on the island foxes on San Clemente and San Nicolas Islands, this work is done in collaboration with the U.S. Navy.  

The work with Saint Francis Satyrs, salamanders and gopher frogs is in collaboration with researchers from North Carolina State University as part of a larger research project aimed at predicting priority lands for preservation and restoration to effect the conservation of these species and the red cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis).



Silverspot Butterfly

Pacific Fisher caught on camera

Sparrow on rock

Carolina Gopher Frog