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How WEC Works

This is How WEC Works, where we ask the people of UF/IFAS’s Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation about their lives, passions, and how they do what they do.

This is an ongoing series, and we will add conversations to this page as they happen.

Credit Eric Hellgren

How Eric Hellgren Works

Dr. Hellgren is the chair of the WEC department. He started in research and teaching, and over time shifted to administration, now working to facilitate the work being done by WEC faculty and students.


Credit Katie Sieving

How Katie Sieving Works

Dr. Sieving is a full professor in the WEC Department, and the WEC graduate studies program coordinator. She is focused on determining the vocabulary of chickadees and titmice and the functional context of the signals they use. Her ultimate vision is to use an expanded understanding of their vocal production and complexity for environmental monitoring.

Credit Vanessa Hull

How Vanessa Hull Works

Dr. Hull is the an assistant professor in the WEC department. She studies giant pandas and their ecology in China.


Credit Abby Powell

How Abby Powell Works

Dr. Powell is an avian ecologist, as well as the leader of the Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, a cooperative unit linking scientists at the University of Florida with the US Geological Survey and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.


Credit  Paxson Woelber

How Mathieu Bassille Works

Dr. Basille is an assistant professor in the WEC department. Originally from France, his work studying landscape ecology has taken him from there to Norway, Quebec, and now to the IFAS/Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center in south Florida.

Credit Mel Moreno

How Mel Moreno Works

Mel Moreno (WEC BS ’17) is a very recently-graduated WEC alumna. She plans to continue her education, and is planning on pursuing an MS program under the advisement of Dr. Bill Pine next fall.




Credit Bill Pine

How Bill Pine Works

Dr. Pine is a professor at WEC and has a joint appointment with UF’s Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences program. Most of his work concerns assessing how large river and coastal ecosystems respond to changes in freshwater flow availability and quantitative population modeling to inform management decisions about endangered species.

Dr. Bruna conducting field work at Panga Ecological Station outside Uberlânida, Minas Gerais, Brazil (Photo by Laura V. B. Silva).

How Emilio Bruna Works

Dr. Bruna is a professor of tropical ecology and Latin American studies at the University of Florida. He studies tropical conservation and issues relating to Latin America, teaches, mentors and advises graduate students interested in working in the fields of tropical conservation, development, and ecology, and works to make UF a good place to study and work.





The concept for this series is based on one by the University of Washington called How UW Works, which is in turn based on a series called How I Work by LifeHacker magazine.

Have someone you’d like to see interviewed? Send us an email at!


Banner Photo credits:

Panda- Vanessa Hull, King Eider-Abby Powell, students holding sturgeon-Bill Pine, Collared Peccaries- Eric Hellgren, Chucao- Katie Sieving, Albatross- Samantha Patrick, Mel Moreno with alligator- Mel Moreno.