Doug LeveyDoug Levey is a professor in the Biology Department at the University of Florida, where he has spent most of his professional life. Doug's research interests are broad but all relate to avian ecology and plant-animal interactions. Natural history is his first love and he has pursued it in various ways, but like many, he was channeled into seeing nature through the lens of ecological theory. This started to change when he read Last Child in the Woods and started a partnership between the University of Florida and our local public school system. A key goal of the program is to hook kids' interest in nature by giving them hands-on, inquiry-based experiences.
What got me hooked on nature was fishing as a kid. I loved to fish, and I loved to try and figure out how fish were thinking; what I could do to get them to bite my hook, quite frankly. I did a lot of thinking and observing of tides and I did a lot of observing about different prey species. In turn, that got me plotting how best to capture different prey species. Once I had that figured out, I got very focused on how to capture more and more of them, and try different sorts of prey species. So it really made me focus on life as a fish and life as a prey species.
I spent an enormous amount of time poking along the coast of Rhode Island in the summer exploring. And it wasn't just about fish and prey, it was about beach glass and seaweed and seagulls and everything that you couldn't help but notice if you were outside poking around.