Mike Gil
P.h.D., University of Florida, 2015 • Assistant Professor

Mike is a marine ecologist, who uses a combination of field experiments and modeling to understand how individual decision-making by wild animals can shape ecosystems and how these systems respond to human-driven change. Much of his empirical work has focused on spying on fish in coral reefs, ‘Big Brother’/‘1984’-style to carefully measure (with the help of many cameras) how environmental inputs map onto behavioral outputs. Mike’s favorite study species, the roving herbivores (e.g., parrotfish, surgeonfish, rabbitfish), are especially interesting to probe, because they perform the critical ecological function of controlling (by eating) algae, which can otherwise kill coral and degrade entire coral reef ecosystems. In addition to his ‘traditional Academic activities’ of research, teaching and formal mentoring, Mike directs SciAll.org, a mass-science-communication platform that uses vlogging (video blogging) to humanize scientists, demystify the process of scientific discovery, and make STEM careers accessible to all. To learn more, check out mikegil.com and SciAll.org.