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

Paul MolerDegrees
A.B. Biology, Emory University
M.S. Zoology, University of Florida

Florida Division of Health, 5½ years
FWC (formerly Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission), 33 years

What are you working on now?
Survey of alligator snapping turtles in the Big Bend drainages.

How is this information beneficial?
Alligator snapping turtles are currently known to occur in the Suwannee drainage and drainages from Tallahassee to Texas. It is not known whether alligator snappers occur in the short Big Bend drainages (Steinhatchee to Wakulla rivers). This survey will determine whether they occur in these drainages, which lie between the Suwannee and Ochlockonee rivers. If so, then examination of these turtles will clarify the relationship of the Suwannee population to alligator snappers elsewhere and provide additional information needed for the development of the management plan currently being prepared for alligator snapping turtles.

Was this your original career interest? Why or why not?
Yes. Why not? My career interest began developing when I was 5 years old, and at that age, philosophical questions such as why and why not were not of particular interest.

What is your biggest accomplishment?
Getting paid to work with and learn from Florida's diverse fauna.

What do you like most about your career?
The opportunity to work with and learn from Florida's diverse fauna.

What do you like least about your career?
Bureaucracy and paper work.

What are some of your biggest challenges?
Archery, wheelbarrows, and guitars.

What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing a career in your field?
Seriously work on improving writing and other communication skills. Otherwise, be persistent and get lucky.

FWC Facts:
American eels are considered to be catadromous, which means they live in fresh water and go to the sea to spawn.

Learn More at AskFWC