Our December speakers will be Dr. Roger Reep and Dr. Philip McGuire from the University of Florida. Their subject should interest all nature lovers – they will lecture about the manatee.
Dr. Roger L. Reep was raised in Jacksonville, Florida but went away to college. He graduated in 1973 from Michigan State University with a B.S. in Physics then earned a PhD in Neuroscience/Zoology from MSU in 1978. He remained at MSU, conducting postdoctoral research work in neurobiology for another two years before joining the University of Florida, Department of Neuroscience in 1981. In 1984 he became a faculty member in the Department of Physiological Sciences, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, and is currently a University of Florida Research Foundation Professor.
Dr. Reep teaches Embryology and Histology to freshmen veterinary students, and courses in Nervous System Development and Brain Evolution to graduate students. He serves as Graduate Coordinator for the Department of Physiological Sciences and the Marine Mammal Program. Dr. Reep’s research has centered on three major areas, one of which is manatee neurobiology.
Dr. Reep is co-author of a recent book on manatees:
The Florida Manatee: Biology and Conservation (2006) By Roger L. Reep and Robert K. Bonde, University Press of Florida. 189pp.
Dr. Peter McGuire grew up in New York City and received his B.S. at King’s College. He earned a Ph.D. in the biophysics lab of the Microbiology & Immunology Department at the University of North Carolina, working on viral population structure and did post-doctoral training at Yale University. In 1975 he joined the faculty in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida. He teaches molecular biology to graduate and undergraduate medical, dental, pharmacy and veterinary students. He is currently supervising three doctoral students and an undergraduate, examining the genetic structure of the Florida, Belize and Puerto Rico manatee populations, as well as developing tools to monitor their health. In addition, he has worked on the genetics of the red tide organism and the development of biomarkers for its detection.
Dr Reep will start the evening by introducing some of the issues and research going on in the Marine Mammal Health Program at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. Then Dr. McGuire will talk about manatee genetics and other uses for DNA extraction, including some specific health diagnostic tests being developed. The talk is designed to help people understand what makes manatees such special animals. Both speakers will answer questions at the end of their presentation.
Dr. Reep says, “This talk is designed to appeal to the general public. It’s not going to be a bunch of egghead jargon.” We look forward to an educational and interesting evening.