Karen Hudson homepage

Karen Hudson

Shellfish Aquacuture Specialist

Email: [[v|khudson]]
Phone: (804) 684-7742
Office: Davis Hall 249
Unit: Marine Advisory Program


I am the shellfish aquaculture specialist in the Marine Advisory Program.  I’ve been at VIMS for over 20 years, with the first half of my career working on a variety of oyster-related research including molecular genetics of oyster species and marine pathogens and growing oysters in the hatchery and field with the Aquaculture Genetics and Breeding Technology Center (ABC).  My recent work is focused on outreach and advisory service in molluscan shellfish aquaculture, mainly facilitating communication between the research community and shellfish aquaculture stakeholders.  I work closely with the shellfish culture industry, regulatory agencies and external groups whose actions directly or indirectly impact the conduct and expansion of shellfish culture in Virginia.  I work with faculty and students to foster the development of applied research projects to address complex shellfish culture problems and provide advice and resources for people that want to start growing molluscan shellfish.  I am the science advisor and VIMS liaison to the Tidewater Oyster Gardeners Association (TOGA), facilitator of VIMS’ Shellfish Aquaculture Industry Advisory Committee, and involved in providing guidance and outreach on a variety of research projects involving shellfish culture.


Current Focus Areas/ Projects

Current focus areas include supporting collaborative research on shellfish health in the hatchery; shellfish seed biosecurity; and assessing vulnerability of the shellfish industry to ocean acidification and other co-stressors. 

  • Steering Committee Chair, Bivalve Shellfish Program Committee Chair for the Virginia Aquaculture Conference. A biennial, two-day industry conference and trade show with applied research programming for bivalve shellfish and finfish sectors.
  • Coordinator of the Virginia Fishery Resource Grant Program

A competitive grant program enabling members of Virginia’s commercial seafood industry to test ideas that protect and enhance the Commonwealth’s coastal and marine resources.

  • Facilitator of the Shellfish Aquaculture Program Exchange (SHAPE)

A quarterly meeting for VIMS researchers to discuss current project directions and to foster collaboration across disciplines.



 Lori L Gustafson; Isabelle Arzul; Colleen A. Burge; Ryan B. Carnegie; Jorge Caceres-Martinez; Lynn H. Creekmore; Bill Dewey; Ralph Elston; Caroline S. Friedman; Paul Hick; Karen Hudson; Coralie Lupo; Bob Rheault; Kevin A. Spiegel; Rebeca Vásquez-Yeomans. Optimizing surveillance for early disease detection: Expert guidance for Ostreid herpesvirus surveillance design and system sensitivity calculation (2021). Preventive Veterinary Medicine, In Press

Guevelou, Eric; Carnegie, Ryan; Moss, JA; Hudson, Karen; Reece, Kimberly S.; Rybovich, Molly M.; and Allen, Standish K. Jr., Tracking Triploid Mortalities Of Eastern Oysters Crassostrea virginica In The Virginia Portion Of The Chesapeake Bay (2019). Journal of Shellfish Research, 38(1), 101-113.

Hudson, Karen.  2017 - 2019.  Annual publication:  Virginia Shellfish Aquaculture Situation and Outlook Report.  VIMS Marine Resource Reports.

Hudson, Karen and Thomas J. Murray.  2011 - 2016.  Annual publication: Virginia Shellfish Aquaculture Situation and Outlook Report.  VIMS Marine Resource Reports.

Karen Hudson, Tom Murray, Virginia Seafood Council, Virginia Department of Health/Division of Shellfish Sanitation, HM Terry Company, New Inlet, Kellum Seafood, Wanchese Fish Company.  2013. Dealer directives: Do’s and Don’ts for Certified Shellfish Distributors - a Training video for the Virginia Shellfish industry.

Karen Hudson and Kimberly Reece.  2012.  Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Primer for the Virginia Shellfish Industry, VIMS Marine Resource Report No. 2012-14.

Karen Hudson, Dan Kauffman, Alexander Solomon and Thomas J. Murray.  2012 Cultchless (Single seed) Oyster Crop Budgets for Virginia.  VIMS Marine Resource Report No. 2012-10.

Kimberly S. Reece, Jan F. Cordes, Julie B. Stubbs, Karen L. Hudson, Elizabeth A. Francis (2008).  Molecular phylogenies help resolve taxonomic confusion with Asian Crassostrea oyster species. Marine Biology. 153: 709-721.

Hamish J. Small, Jeffrey D. Shields, Karen L. Hudson, and Kimberly S. Reece (2007). Molecular detection of Hematodinium sp. infecting the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus. Journal of Shellfish Research. Vol 26, No. 1; 131-139.

Brown GD, Hudson KL, Reece KS (2004). Multiple polymorphic sites at the ITS and ATAN loci in cultured isolates of Perkinsus marinus. J Eukaryot Microbiol.  May-June; 51(3); 312-20.