H. Franklin Percival


H. Franklin Percival, Courtesy Associate Professor, UF Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, has a BS from the University of South Carolina and MS and PhD from Clemson University. He began his career with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in 1973 in Washington, DC and was Chief, Migratory Game Bird Section at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center 1976-81. He was Assistant Unit Leader and then Unit Leader, USGS FL Coop Fish and Wildlife Research Unit from 1981 until retirement January 2015. He worked on many FL issues but alligators and use of small unmanned aircraft for conservation were a mainstay for many years. He worked on shorebird, salt marsh voles, and marsh ecology in the Cedar Keys. His career interests were cooperative, collaborative, and team research on applied problems.

Savanna Barry.  Nature Coast Biological Station.

Savanna Barry


Savanna grew up on a small farm in central Virginia and discovered her interest in marine ecology during family vacations to small fishing towns along the Chesapeake Bay. After earning her B.S. in Biology from the University of Virginia, Savanna split her time between Gainesville, FL and Little Cayman Island to earn her M.S. in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences through the University of Florida. While in Little Cayman, Savanna completed her Divemaster certification and co-organized an island-wide effort to remove invasive lionfish from local coral reefs. After completing her M.S., Savanna moved back to Gainesville full-time to continue into a Ph.D. program at UF and plans to graduate May 2016. In February 2016, she relocated to Cedar Key, Florida and began serving the Nature Coast as a Regional Specialized Agent with Sea Grant and UF/IFAS Extension. She is stationed full time at the Nature Coast Biological Station.

David Chagaris


David is a Research Assistant Professor at the Nature Coast Biological Station.  He received his BS and MS from East Carolina University and PhD from the University of Florida.  Dr. Chagaris previously worked for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation as a member of the marine fisheries stock assessment group.  His research involves developing population dynamic and ecosystem models that include environmental drivers, trophic dynamics, and habitat interactions.  These models are applied to understand how marine ecosystems, and the valuable fisheries resources they support, respond to fishing and environmental change.  An important contribution of his work is the development of trophic-dynamic models and spatially explicit approaches to inform fisheries assessment and management in the Gulf of Mexico.  His current research focuses on invasive lionfish in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and also on advancing population dynamic models and evaluating policy options in order to better manage the important recreational fisheries along Florida’s Nature Coast.

Dave Chagris.  Nature Coast Biological Station.

 Kate Hellgren


Kate grew up on the rocky coast of Maine and spent much of her youth exploring tidal pools, looking for sea glass, pulling lobster traps and slaloming lobster buoys in Casco Bay.  She received her B.A. in Biological Sciences from Mount Holyoke College and her M.S. in Wildlife Sciences from Virginia Tech.  After graduate school, Kate began her career in environmental education, working predominantly with K-12 youth.  She has run environmental programs for Texas A & M–Kingsville’s John E. Conner Museum, served as Payne County Audubon’s Director of Education in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and directed the Environmental Education Program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Environmental Center.   After moving to Florida, Kate served as the Program Coordinator for the Florida Master Naturalist Program.  She joins NCBS as our K-12 Natural Resource Educator.

Capt. Kenny McCain


Kenny McCain is Marine Operations Manager for NCBS. As a US Coast Guard Licensed Boat Captain, he leads all boat safety training for UF/IFAS NCBS faculty, staff and students. Prior to joining UF as a boat captain in 2014, Kenny worked as a law enforcement officer for the US Fish and Wildlife Refuge system for nearly 25 years.  He  received the US Refuge System Employee of the Year Award from the National Wildlife Refuge Association in 2014. In his time with the Refuge System, Kenny was responsible for saving lives in two separate boating accidents. As part of the NCBS team, Kenny works closely with the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge on maintenance and operation of Seahorse Key Marine Lab. Kenny coordinates all field activities for NCBS staff and students, to insure that boat operations are efficient and safe for our employees and our guests.   
Capt Kenny McCain

Charlie Martin


Charlie is a Research Assistant Professor stationed full time at the UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station. Dr. Martin received his BS in Biology and PhD from the University of South Alabama. Working through the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Dr. Martin’s dissertation work focused on the effects of estuarine invaders in Mobile Bay, AL. More recently, he served as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Louisiana State University studying the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on coastal flora and fauna. Dr. Martin’s research involves examining how biotic processes and anthropogenic activities influence the structure and function of estuarine ecosystems. His current research experimentally assesses how factors such as climate change, invasive species, oil spills, trophic interactions, loss of biodiversity, and hydrology affect Gulf of Mexico ecosystems. Dr. Martin currently serves as Associate Editor for Aquatic Invasions and BioInvasions Records and has written numerous peer-reviewed publications and funded proposals.

Bhawna Thapa


Bhawna Thapa is the Research Administrator at the Nature Coast Biological Station.  She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University. Dr. Thapa's career interest are in sustainable economic development and her prior work focused on integrated research, field work, and capacity building efforts in agricultural extension systems, natural resource management and community development. Her duties for the Nature Coast Biological Station will include writing proposals to secure grant funds for research, community education and outreach. She will also provide administrative support in grant planning, manage funded projects, and facilitate partnerships with faculty, state and federal agency cooperators, and NGOs.