University of Vermont

University Communications


Associate Professor
Field Naturalist Graduate Program
Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources
Public Relations:Josh Brown (802)656-3039
Specialty:forest ecology; communities & ecosystems
Biography:Hughes is associate professor in botany, associate professor in natural resources and director of the UVM Field Naturalist Graduate Program. His research is in forest ecology, and communities and ecosystems. He focuses on ecosystem responses to events that upset the ecological status quo, and dynamics of ecotones, especially stream corridors and roads. Current research initiatives examine: how wide riparian zones need to be to conserve plant and animal populations; ways by which riparian zones might be managed to protect streams from upslope pollutants; and how roads (abandoned and active) impact the surrounding and future forest. He is completing a detailed demographic analysis of sugar maple growing at the limits of its ecological range as a possible way of predicting effects of climatic/atmospheric change on forest ecosystems. Among Hughes' publication are: "Bird communities in riparian buffer strips of industrial forests" (American Midland Naturalist, 1998, co-author); and "Effect of distance form forest edge on regeneration of red spruce and balsam fir in clearcuts" (Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 1997, co-author).