Isadora Rivera-Janer ’24


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Project Title

The Social-ecological Dynamics of the Harvest, Consumption and Trade of Aquatic Biodiversity in New York City

Certificate(s): Environmental Studies

I helped conduct a preliminary study of the harvest, trade and consumption of aquatic wildlife in New York City (NYC). Our methods included field visits to fish markets and coastal sites in NYC, interviews with stakeholders from various fields and reviews of relevant academic literature. After synthesizing information from these sources, we then used the Mental Modeler software to create models that attempt to represent the trade systems of NYC and Jamaica Bay. We found relationships between many factors including fish advisories, law enforcement, inflation, targeted wildlife populations and climate change. Overall, we found many research gaps in the knowledge of wildlife trade systems in NYC in terms of ecological, cultural, legal and social aspects. This project gave me a rare glimpse into how to create methods for data collection, even when working with unfamiliar systems.

Internship Year


Project Category

Environment and Society and Urban Sustainability


High Meadows Environmental Institute, Princeton University; American Museum of Natural History; New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) - New York City, New York; Princeton, New Jersey


Christian Rivera, Postdoctoral Research Associate, High Meadows Environmental Institute, Princeton University; Erin Betley, Biodiversity Specialist and Coordinator, American Museum of Natural History; Mary Blair, Director, Biodiversity Informatics Research, American Museum of Natural History; Neha Savant, Wildlife and Fisheries Ecologist, NYC Parks