Refuge Lead Biologist Promoted to State Position

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Congratulations to “Ding” Darling Refuge lead biologist, Jeremy Conrad who has been promoted to the position of regional coastal ecologist for the inventory and monitoring branch of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service after 11 years’ service at the refuge.

Conrad, who joined the refuge staff in March 2010, became known for his important research on linking mangroves with sea level rise mitigation and also as a popular speaker on everything from sea turtles to marshland ecology.

“It has been a great pleasure working with all of the staff and volunteers at the refuge and the ‘Ding’ Darling Wildlife Society,” said Conrad. “In my tenure at ‘Ding,’ we have weathered a few hurricanes, significant red tide events, HABs [harmful algal blooms], massive fish kills; executed prescribed fires; battled non-native invasive plants; endured a coyote invasion; found a black bear on island; seen record sea turtle nesting efforts; completed several restoration projects; built a marine lab; acquired new conservation property; and served our community by prioritizing and protecting Sanibel’s natural resources through it all.”

While his new position will take him throughout the 12-state/territory USFWS Southeast Region, he will remain based at the refuge and during the transition, as the refuge reviews steps it will be taking to fill his position, Conrad says he will continue supporting the “Ding” Darling’s biological program.

“Jeremy has been a valuable member of our team for many years. He will be missed from our team, but it is also exciting to see Jeremy grow professionally and be recognized as an ecologist who can be of value to the entire region,” said Refuge Manager Kevin Godsea. “Luckily he will continue to work out of the refuge office, so that we can continue to see and interact with him.”