Skip to main content

Dr. David L. Strayer

Freshwater Ecologist | PhD, 1984, Cornell University

Hudson River, invasive species, streams

Dave Strayer is a freshwater ecologist whose current work focuses on measuring the long-term effects of zebra mussels on the Hudson River ecosystem, and understanding the roles of suspension-feeding animals in ecosystems. Strayer also works on broader issues in freshwater conservation ecology and invasion biology.

Species introductions are one of the most important ways by which humans affect the Earth’s ecosystems. Strayer has been involved in much research in this area, particularly regarding the zebra mussel. This tiny bivalve arrived in North America from Europe in the 1980s and has caused hundreds of millions of dollars in economic damage and widespread ecological change.

Water clarity, water chemistry, food webs, and populations of native species, including fish, in the Hudson River all changed after zebra mussels arrived. Now, decades after their first appearance, Strayer and Cary scientists see evidence of fundamental long-term changes in the relationship between the river and the invader. The Cary group has been tracking this changing relationship for almost 30 years, providing one of the longest and most detailed case studies in invasion ecology.

Strayer also works on the ecology and conservation of native pearly mussels, a highly diverse and imperiled group of animals. He wrote Freshwater Mussel Ecology: A Multifactor Approach to Distribution and Abundance.

Zebra mussels and pearly mussels are examples of suspension-feeders – animals that feed by removing tiny particles from the water. These animals can have large, pervasive effects on aquatic ecosystems.  Strayer is currently working to synthesize information and understanding of freshwater suspension-feeders across a wide range of species and ecosystems.

Weathers, Kathleen C., David L. Strayer, and Gene E. Likens. 2021. Fundamentals Of Ecosystem Science. 2nd ed.. Elsevier. doi:10.1016/c2015-0-01951-7.
Strayer, David L., Stephen K. Hamilton, and Heather M. Malcom. 2021. “Long‐Term Increases In Shell Thickness In Elliptio Complanata (Bivalvia: Unionidae) In The Freshwater Tidal Hudson River”. Freshwater Biology 66 (7). Wiley: 1375-1381. doi:10.1111/fwb.13723.
Strayer, David L. 2020. “Non‐Native Species Have Multiple Abundance–Impact Curves”. Ecology And Evolution 10 (13). Wiley: 6833-6843. doi:
Robertson, P. A., A. Mill, A. Novoa, J. M. Jeschke, F. Essl, B. Gallardo, J. Geist, et al. 2020. “A Proposed Unified Framework To Describe The Management Of Biological Invasions”. Biological Invasions 22 (9): 2633-2645+.
Pergl, Jan, Petr Pyšek, Franz Essl, Jonathan M. Jeschke, Franck Courchamp, Juergen Geist, Martin Hejda, et al. 2020. “Need For Routine Tracking Of Biological Invasions”. Conservation Biology. Wiley. doi:10.1111/cobi.13445.
Strayer, David L., David T. Fischer, Stephen K. Hamilton, Heather M. Malcom, Michael L. Pace, and Christopher T. Solomon. 2020. “Long‐Term Variability And Density Dependence In Hudson River Dreissena Populations”. Freshwater Biology 65 (3). Wiley: 474-489. doi:10.1111/fwb.13444.
Schultz, ET, Michael G. Smircich, and David L. Strayer. 2019. “Changes Over Three Decades In Feeding Success Of Young American Shad Alosa Sapidissima Are Influenced By Invading Zebra Mussels Dreissena Polymorpha”. Marine Ecology Progress Series 628. Inter-Research Science Center: 141-153. doi:10.3354/meps13114.
Ferreira-Rodriguez, N., Yoshihiro B. Akiyama, Olga V. Aksenova, Rafael Araujo, Christopher Barnhart, Yulia V. Bespalaya, Arthur E. Bogan, et al. 2019. “Research Priorities For Freshwater Mussel Conservation Assessment”. Biological Conservation 231: 77 - 87. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2019.01.002.
Strayer, David L., Rita Adrian, David C. Aldridge, Csilla Balogh, Lyubov E. Burlakova, Hannah B. FriedPetersen, Laszlo G-Toth, et al. 2019. “Long-Term Population Dynamics Of Dreissenid Mussels (Dreissena Polymorpha And D. Rostriformis): A Cross-System Analysis”. Ecosphere 10. doi:10.1002/ecs2.2701.
Craig, L. S., J.D. Olden, A.H. Arthington, S.A. Entrekin, Charles P. Hawkins, John J. Kelly, Theodore A. Kennedy, et al. 2018. “Meeting The Challenge Of Interacting Threats In Freshwater Ecosystems: A Call To Scientists And Managers”. Elem Sci Anth 5: 72. doi:
Strayer, David L., and Heather M. Malcom. 2018. “Long-Term Responses Of Native Bivalves (Unionidae And Sphaeriidae) To A Dreissena Invasion”. Freshwater Science 37 (4): 697 - 711. doi:10.1086/700571.
Strayer, David L., Christopher T. Solomon, Stuart E. G. Findlay, and Emma J. Rosi. 2018. “Long-Term Research Reveals Multiple Relationships Between The Abundance And Impacts Of A Non-Native Species”. Limnology And Oceanography 64 (S1): S105 - S117. doi:10.1002/lno.11029.
Strayer, David L., and Stuart E. G. Findlay. 2017. “Ecological Performance Of Hudson River Shore Zones: What We Know And What We Need To Know”. In Bilkovic, D., Mitchell, M., La Peyre, M., Toft J. Living Shorelines: The Science And Management Of Nature-Based Coastal Protection. CRC Press.
Smircich, Michael G., David L. Strayer, and Eric T. Schultz. 2017. “Zebra Mussel (Dreissena Polymorpha) Affects The Feeding Ecology Of Early Stage Striped Bass (Morone Saxatilis) In The Hudson River Estuary”. Environmental Biology Of Fishes 100 (4): 395 - 406. doi:10.1007/s10641-016-0555-0.
Strayer, David L., C. M. D'Antonio, Franz Essl, Mike S. Fowler, Juergen Geist, Sabine Hilt, Ivan Jaric, et al. 2017. “Boom-Bust Dynamics In Biological Invasions: Towards An Improved Application Of The Concept”. Ecology Letters 20 (10 Suppl. 3): 1337 - 1350. doi:10.1111/ele.12822.
Natesan, Sahana, and David L. Strayer. 2016. “Long-Term Increases In Shell Thickness Of Zebra Mussels (Dreissena Polymorpha) In The Hudson River”. Fundamental And Applied Limnology / Archiv Für Hydrobiologie 188 (3): 245 - 248. doi:10.1127/fal/2016/0888.
O'Neil, Judith M., Dylan Taillie, Brianne Walsh, William C. Dennison, Elisa K. Bone, David J. Reid, Robert Newton, et al. 2016. “New York Harbor: Resilience In The Face Of Four Centuries Of Development”. Regional Studies In Marine Science 8: 274 - 286. doi:10.1016/j.rsma.2016.06.004.
Strayer, David L., E. Kiviat, Stuart E. G. Findlay, and Nancy Slowik. 2016. “Vegetation Of Riprapped Revetments Along The Freshwater Tidal Hudson River, New York”. Aquatic Sciences 78 (3): 605 - 614. doi:10.1007/s00027-015-0445-0.
Teixeira, Mariana, Mary Budd, and David L. Strayer. 2015. “Responses Of Epiphytic Aquatic Macroinvertebrates To Hypoxia”. Inland Waters 5 (1): 75 - 80. doi:10.5268/IW10.5268/IW-
Fuller, Matthew R., M. W. Doyle, and David L. Strayer. 2015. “Causes And Consequences Of Habitat Fragmentation In River Networks”. Annals Of The New York Academy Of Sciences, n/a - n/a. doi:10.1111/nyas.12853.

Articles by David Strayer

Current Projects