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Wildlife Ecology and Conservation department

Wildlife Ecology and Conservation department

Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

About Us

The Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit was established in 1979 providing active cooperation in the advancement, organization, and conduct of scholarly research and training in the field of fish and wildlife sciences. This is accomplished primarily through graduate education and research at the University of Florida. In following its program directive, the Florida Unit has developed a research program that addresses various management issues from approaches spanning species to ecosystem perspectives. In doing so, the Unit has facilitated cooperation among numerous agencies, most notably the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the University of Florida (UF) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC). This interaction stimulates continuing involvement of funding sources, provides for student contacts with potential employers and agency perspectives, and directs transfer and application of research results.

Since 1979 over 300 projects totaling more than $28 million were funded through the Unit. These projects covered a wide variety of fish, wildlife, and ecosystem subjects and have involved 48 line, affiliate, and adjunct faculty members as principal and co-principal investigators. Unit staff have their own research projects which accounted for about 1/3 of the total effort. Projects associated with the Unit have resulted in 317 publications, 82 technical reports, 64 theses and dissertations, and 25 presentations.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit is to conduct detailed investigation of aquatic and terrestrial resources and their component fish and wildlife populations. Our research emphasizes the interaction of biota with features of their habitat, both natural and those impacted by human activities, and ranges across state, regional, national, and international scopes. 

We have wide-ranging expertise in avian ecology and conservation, endangered species monitoring and assessment, coastal ecosystems, population and ecological modeling, decision analysis, fisheries ecology and management, and coupled human and natural systems. Our research is taxonomically diverse, including but not limited to terrestrial and water birds, terrestrial herpetofauna and marine turtles, and freshwater and marine fishes.  

Critical components of our mission include applied research, graduate education, and technical assistance in collaboration with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, U. S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and many other partners. We are dedicated to training the next generation of natural resource leaders through management-relevant research, working with state, federal, and university cooperators and other stakeholders to address questions pertinent to fish and wildlife conservation in the face of environmental, demographic, and socioeconomic change. 


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice:


Diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice are vital to our mission at the Florida Coop Unit. We are dedicated to building a culture of inclusivity and respect through graduate education, research, and technical assistance. Much like biodiversity imparts ecosystem resilience, we believe that human diversity enhances the resilience of the conservation community, providing pathways to engage with the world and deliver solutions to conservation, and broader societal, challenges. We oppose discrimination, inequality, and racism in all of their forms, seeking to understand and abolish systems of power and privilege in our profession and our world. We believe that diversity is a source of strength, ingenuity, and inspiration. We welcome people from all backgrounds, listen to all voices without judgment, and hold ourselves accountable for building a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just community.