Dr. Ducey

Dr. Ducey

Peter K. Ducey,

Office: 1212 Bowers Hall
Lab: 1211 Bowers Hall
Phone: 607-753-2900
E-mail : peter.ducey@cortland.edu


Adelphi University, B.S.

University of Michigan, M.S., Ph.D.

Courses Frequently Taught

  • Biological Sciences II
  • Biology of Vertebrates
  • Biological Evolution
  • Field Herpetology

Scholarly Interests

My current research encompasses three areas: a) environmental biology of reptiles and amphibians; b) ecology of invading organisms; and c) the evolution of behavior. Each area involves student research assistants and collaboration with colleagues from other universities and from state and federal agencies.I am studying the effects of human environmental disturbances and urbanization on the distributions of reptiles and amphibians. At present, this project involves extensive field work in central New York and at Onondaga Lake in particular. The Onondaga Lake ecosystem, which lies at the edge of the city of Syracuse, supports interesting herpetofaunal populations despite extensive pollution and habitat modification. How these species can tolerate this extreme environment requires much further study.From a conservation biology perspective, I am also studying the ecology of the invading terrestrial flatworm, Bipalium adventitium. This turbellarian is believed to have been brought into the US accidentally over the last 60 years. It feeds voraciously on local earthworms and, hence, may damage both agricultural and native forest systems. My students and I, using field and laboratory studies, are examining the distribution, spread, and ecological roles of this exotic flatworm.Using both phylogenetic and ecological approaches, I have been investigating how behavior evolves. Behavioral traits, like morphological and physiological traits, are the products of complex interactions of evolutionary, ontological, and environmental factors. My interest in this area combines experimental and theoretical analyses of both behavioral homology and evolutionary transitions in the behavior of organisms of all kinds (including humans). My experimental work has focused on the defensive behavior of salamanders.I am also co-founder (with Matt Chapman) of the Cortland Herpetology Connection, a program which supports student involvement in herpetofaunal conservation efforts.

Selected Publications

Ducey, P. K., M. McCormick, and E. Davidson.  2007.  Natural history observations on Bipalium cf. vagum Jones and Sterrer, 2005 (Platyhelminthes: Tricladida), a terrestrial broadhead planarian new to North America.  Southeastern Naturalist (in press).Gibbs, J.P., A.R. Breisch, P.K. Ducey, G. Johnson, J. L. Behler, and R.C. Bothner.  2007. Amphibians and Reptiles of New York State: Identification, Natural History, and Conservation. Oxford University Press.Ducey, P. K. and H. K. Golightly. 2006. Reproductive strategies of the invasive planarians Bipalium adventitium and B. kewense in North America. Berichte des Naturwissenschaftlich – Medizinischen Vereins in Innsbruck Suppl. 16:37 (Abstract)Ducey, P. K., J. Cerqua, L-J West, and M. Warner.  2006.  Rare egg capsule production in the invasive terrestrial planarian Bipalium kewenseSouthwest Naturalist 51(2):252-254.Ducey, P. K., L-J West, G. Shaw, and J. Delisle.  2005.  Reproductive ecology and evolution in the invasive terrestrial planarian Bipalium adventitium across North America. Pedobiologia 49:367-377Fiore, C., J. L. Tull, S. Zehner, and P. K. Ducey.  2004.  Tracking and predation on earthworms by the invasive terrestrial planarian Bipalium adventitium (Tricladida, Platyhelminthes). Behavioural Processes 67(3):327-334.Ducey, P. K. and J. A. Wicknick.  2004.  Behavior and kinematics of burrowing in Ambystoma salamanders. J. Morphology 260(3):288 (Abstract)Ducey, P. K., M. Messere, K. LaPoint, and S. Noce.  1999.  Lumbricid prey and potential herpetofaunal predators of the invading terrestrial flatworm Bipalium adventitium (Turbellaria: Tricladida: Terricola). American Midland Naturalist 141:305-314.Ducey, P. K and S. Noce.  1998.  Successful invasion of New York State by the terrestrial flatworm Bipalium adventitium. Northeastern Naturalist 5(3):199-206.Ducey, P. K., W. Newman, K. D. Cameron, and M. Messere.  1998.  Herpetofauna of the highly-polluted Onondaga Lake ecosystem, Onondaga County, New York. Herpetological Review 29(2):118-119.Messere, M. and P. K. Ducey.  1998.  Forest floor distribution of northern redback salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, in relation to canopy gaps: first year following selective logging.  Forest Ecology and Management 107:319-324.Cameron, K. D., S. B. Broyles, and P. K. Ducey.  1998.  Non-lethal technique for obtaining tissue for molecular studies of Ambystoma salamanders.  Herpetological Review  29(1):20-23.Mathis, A., R. G. Jaeger, W. H. Keen, P. K. Ducey, S. Walls, and B. Buchannan.  1995.  Aggression and territoriality in salamanders and a comparison with the territorial behavior of frogs. In: Amphibian Biology, Vol. 2,  H. Heatwole and B. Sullivan (eds.).Ducey, P. K. and J. Dulkiewicz.  1994.  Antipredator behavior of terrestrial red-spotted newts, Notophthalmus viridescens (Caudata: Salamandridae): comparisons of adults and efts in field and laboratory tests.  Journal of Herpetology 28:530-533.Ducey, P. K., K. Schramm, and N. Cambry.  1994.  Interspecific aggression between the sympatric salamanders Ambystoma maculatum and Plethodon cinereusAmerican Midland Naturalist 131:320-329.Ducey, P. K., E. D. Brodie, and E. A. Baness.  1993.  Salamander tail autotomy and snake predation: role of antipredator behavior and toxicity for three neotropical salamanders (Caudata: Plethodontidae).  Biotropica 25(3):344-349.Ducey, P. K., D. R. Formanowicz, L. Boyet, J. Mailloux, and R. A. Nussbaum.  1993.  Experimental examination of burrowing behavior in caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona): effects of soil compaction on burrowing ability.   Herpetologica 49(4):450-457.Ducey, P. K. and E. D. Brodie, Jr.  1991.  Evolution of antipredator behavior: Individual and populational variation in a neotropical salamander.  Herpetologica 47(1):89-95.Formanowicz, D. R., Jr. and P. K. Ducey.  1991.  Burrowing behavior and soil manipulation by a tarantula, Rheocostica hensi (Girard 1853) (Araneida: Theraphosidae).  Can. Journal of Zoology 69:2916-2918. Ducey, P. K. and J. Heuer.  1991.  Effects of food availability on intraspecific aggression in salamanders of the genus AmbystomaCanadian Journal of Zoology 69: 288-290.Kraus, F., P. K. Ducey, M. Miyamoto, and P. Moller.  1991.  Two new triparental unisexual Ambystoma from Ohio and Michigan.  Herpetologica 47(4):429-439.Ducey, P. K.  1989.  Agonistic behavior and biting during intraspecific encounters in Ambystoma salamanders.  Herpetologica 45(2):155-160.Nussbaum, R. A. and P. K. Ducey.  1988.  Cytological evidence for monophyly of the caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) of the Seychelles archipelago.  Herpetologica 44:290-296.