Northeast Regional Administrator

Mike is the director of the GTM National Estuarine Research Reserve, a position he has held since January 2007. He also serves as regional administrator for Florida’s East Coast Aquatic Preserve Program. Mike has been working in the field of coastal resource management for 38 years.

Shirley started his professional career as staff scientist for Save the Bay Inc. (Rhode Island) in 1980. During his graduate studies, he worked at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and EPA’s Gulf Ecology Division Laboratory.

Prior to becoming the director at GTM Research Reserve, Mike held positions as a research biologist, resource management coordinator and research coordinator at the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples, Florida. He has held adjunct faculty appointments with Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida International University, Florida Southwestern State College, and Hodges University.

Mike has a Ph.D. in marine science with a minor in environmental toxicology from North Carolina State University, a Master of Science in biology from the University of West Florida, and a Bachelor of Science in zoology from the University of Rhode Island. His primary career interest is science-based management of coastal resources.

Mike has two adult children, Rachel and Emily. His wife, Kathy, teaches seventh and eighth grade science at Valley Ridge Academy in St. Johns County, Florida.