Northeast Regional Administrator

Since 2007, Dr. Mike Shirley has held the position of director at the GTM National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve). He also serves as regional program administrator for Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (FDEP) East Coast Aquatic Preserve Program. GTM Research Reserve is within FDEP’s Office of Resilience and Coastal Protection. 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.

Mike has also 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 PhD 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.

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.