PHOTOS: Knights celebrate World Wildlife Day


UCF Knights conducts research around the world to help understand and conserve wildlife. To celebrate World Wildlife Day, launched on March 3 by the United Nations in 1973 to help raise awareness of the benefits of “wildlife,” we asked our Knights and faculty to share some photos of their work in the field.

The photos shared are a small sample of the type of work done by our graduate and undergraduate students and our professors and researchers. They include everything from tracking invasive species that have crept onto Florida’s shores and sea ​​turtle monitoring through our UCF Sea Turtle Research Group to oyster reef restoration efforts that clean up waterways, and to finding ways to preserve endangered species.

In the past, we’ve had students and professors investigate Key West deer, black bears, grasshopper sparrows and more, the impact of roadkill on the vulnerable wildlife population. and even giraffe poop to better understand their dietary needs to help conserve the species in captivity or in wildlife sanctuaries in Africa.

As Henry David Thoreau wrote, “In the wilderness is the preservation of the world.”

Biology PhD candidate Katie Martin collects data on juvenile sea turtles in the Indian River Lagoon on Florida’s east coast.

biology alum Joe Waddell ’17PhD uses custom software developed by the Crampton Lab to record electric fish at night in a small stream in the Amazon rainforest in Peru. (Photo by Jeffrey Lambert)

Jessy Waynes ’15 helping restore oyster reefs using biodegradable materials in Mosquito Lagoon on the east coast of Florida. Wayles is now director of conservation at the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., and one of UCF’s premier restoration partners.

Professor Pegasus of Biology Linda Walters holds a large sooty sea hare, Brazilian aplasia, found while monitoring the success of oyster reef restoration in Mosquito Lagoon on the east coast of Florida. While this species was once common in these waters, it was the first individual that Walters and researchers from the Coastal and Estuarine Ecology Lab have found in more than 5 years.

Associate President and Professor of Biology Eric Hoffman is harvesting mussels in an estuary in Brazil to understand how this species native to Brazil invaded the Florida coastline.

Biology Masters student Merope Moonstone monitors sea turtles (with permit) along Brevard County beaches.

Biology Masters student Merope Moonstone monitors sea turtles (with permit) along Brevard County beaches.

Associate Professor of Biology William Crampton holds an eel after traveling to South America to conduct research on the ecological, behavioral and evolutionary mechanisms that generate and regulate aquatic species diversity in the tropics.

Biology graduate student Katherine Harris melds under mangroves after setting up an ocean acidification experiment at Mosquito Lagoon on Florida’s east coast.

Biology student Sideny Busch monitors oyster reefs in Mosquito Lagoon on Florida’s east coast.


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