Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

Staff Spotlight

Have you ever wanted to interview a scientist without quite knowing where to start? Have you ever wanted to find out about the schooling and experience that a researcher has? Now you can!

Fisheries Dependent Monitoring: Charlie Gardner

Charlie Gardner, a staff member in our Fisheries-Dependent Monitoring (FDM) Program, shares his purpose and passion as a field research biologist for the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. Charlie has served the FWC for almost 20 years, and has worked to create strong bonds with Florida's local fishermen.

Wildlife Research: Brandon Bassett

Brandon Bassett is a marine mammal biologist at FWRI's Marine Mammal Pathobiology Laboratory in St. Petersburg, FL. Our latest staff spotlight video goes into more detail about Brandon's career and his professional achievements.

Wildlife Research: Jonathan Mays

Assistant research scientist, Jonathan Mays, describes his work in reptile and amphibian research with the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

Information Science and Management: Erin Leone

Erin is a biostatistician with the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute where she applies statistics to a wide variety of biological conservation and management projects.

Marine Fisheries Research: Dr. Susan Lowerre-Barbieri

She's led many research projects throughout her career. One study she discussed was a three-year red drum spawning study that took place in the Gulf of Mexico. Great photos and video footage from the study can be seen in our video.

Wildlife Research and Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration: Danny and Gretchen Caudill

Danny and Gretchen Caudill share a passion for wildlife conservation and currently work together on a large scale game bird research project.

Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration: Kate Hubbard

Kate loves going to sea to research harmful algal blooms and their interactions with the environment.

Marine Fisheries Research: Russel Brodie

Russel conducts fisheries-independent research in northeastern Florida waters.

Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration: Paul Carlson

Paul Carlson has a passion for environmental science which has shown through his work at FWRI for 30 years.

Freshwater Fisheries Research: Drew Dutterer

Drew currently works on three major projects. He studies the biology of black crappie; evaluates recreational fishers; and tracks trophy-size bass.

Wildlife Research: Janell Brush

Janell Brush is an avian researcher currently involved with numerous research and monitoring projects involving shorebirds and seabirds.

Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration: Alina Corcoran

The head of the Harmful Algal Blooms subsection relishes the process of scientific inquiry.

Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration: Matt Garrett

Starting as a volunteer at FWRI's Marine Mammal Pathobiology Laboratory, Matt eventually turned his focus from manatees to microorganisms that form harmful algal blooms.

Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration: Jan Landsberg

Landsberg studies diseases and events that affect the health of Florida's fish and wildlife species.

Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration: George Otto

Upland Habitat scientist George Otto is living his dream of working in the environmental field.

Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration: Manuel Merello Penalver

Manuel is currently working on several habitat projects, including research on seagrass restoration that is focusing on developing restoration tools for repairing seagrass beds that have been damaged by vessel groundings and propeller scars.

Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration: Rob Ruzicka

Researcher Rob Ruzicka is passionate about studying coral reef communities and promoting their conservation.

Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration: Karen A. Steidinger

Karen is an internationally respected scientist who has dedicated part of her career to the study of dinoflagellates and harmful algae. The scientific name of Florida's red tide organism, Karenia brevis, is named in her honor.

Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration: Kent Williges

A botanist with over 20 years of experience, Kent currently focuses his research on the response of plant communities to various disturbance mechanisms.

Freshwater Fisheries Research: Kimberly Bonvechio

Kim works at FWRI's Eustis field laboratory, where she is working to establish standardized protocols for sampling freshwater fishes in inland waters of the state.

Freshwater Fisheries Research: Eric Nagid

Freshwater Fisheries Research: Wes Porak

Wes is currently working on a black bass genetics project, as well as studies to determine if stocking hatchery-produced bass can increase the number of fish in a population and improve the angler's catch.

Freshwater Fisheries Research: Brandon Thompson

Brandon Thompson has his dream job in fisheries biology, improving fishing opportunities for fellow anglers.

Freshwater Fisheries Research: Travis Tuten

Biologist Travis Tuten studies Florida's freshwater resources.

Information Science and Management: Jim Burd

Jim works on several projects that look at the spatial distribution and structure of estuarine habitats as they relate to the distribution and abundance of fish species.

Information Science and Management: Luke McEachron

Researcher Luke McEachron takes pride in marine science that benefits Floridians.

Information Science and Management: Shannon Whaley

Shannon is currently working on a project to describe spatial distributions of fish communities and species across estuarine landscapes.

Marine Fisheries Research: Angela Collins

Angela is currently working on the Goliath grouper cooperative research project, which is investigating abundance and distribution of goliath grouper within the offshore waters of the central eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Marine Fisheries Research: Charles Crawford

Crawford's work sheds light on the health of Florida's stone crab populations while satisfying his curiosity.

Marine Fisheries Research: Bob McMichael

Bob developed and runs the Marine Fisheries-Independent Monitoring program, which assesses the status of fish populations from numerous estuarine systems throughout Florida.

Marine Fisheries Research: Gregg Poulakis

Gregg is currently involved with research on the endangered smalltooth sawfish.

Marine Fisheries Research: Beverly Sauls

The Fisheries-Dependent Monitoring scientist directs several projects that collect important information about Florida's recreational marine fisheries.

Marine Fisheries Research: Sarah Stephenson

Learn more about Sarah and her current research on bay scallops.

Marine Fisheries Research: Ron Taylor

Ron is the program coordinator for snook in the state of Florida.

Marine Fisheries Research: Mike Tringali

Mike Tringali is a geneticist by day, championship softball coach by night.

Marine Fisheries Research: Sarah Walters

Learn more about Sarah and her current research on spotted seatrout and redfish.

Marine Fisheries Research: Chris Young

Based out of FWRI's Stock Enhancement Research Facility (SERF) in Port Manatee, Chris is the director of the stock enhancement program and SERF.

Office of the Director: Gil McRae

Gil McRae is the current Director of the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

Wildlife Research: Andy Garrett

Andy manages the Marine Mammal Pathobiology Laboratory (MMPL) and coordinates staff at the MMPL in responding to live and dead marine mammal strandings and necropsy. He also serves as Florida's manatee rescue coordinator.

Wildlife Research: Jeff Gore

Small and vulnerable populations of mice and bats fascinate Jeff Gore, working from his home base in the FWC's Northwest Regional Office in Panama City.

Katie Jackson

Katie Jackson studies the endangered North Atlantic right whale.

Paul Moler

Retired after more than 30 years as a wildlife biologist, Paul is still pursuing his passion as a volunteer in the Gainesville research lab.

Wildlife Research: Jim Rodgers

After more than three decades with the agency, Jim still enjoys studying birds in their natural habitats as much as ever.

Wildlife Research: Travis Thomas

Travis Thomas traps turtles that tip the scale at more than 100 pounds.

FWC Facts:
Manatees feed for 6 to 8 hours daily, consuming about 4 to 9 percent of their body weight in wet vegetation, such as seagrass and other aquatic plants.

Learn More at AskFWC