Charles (billY) Gunnels grew up in a military family, where he spent much of his early life moving from one base to the next. This experience exposed him to different environments and the animals and plants that lived in each location. At an early age, he became interested in those cases where wildlife seemed to co-exist with people. In college, he developed an interest in animal behavior. He discovered the benefits of student research when he had the opportunity to study the parental care behavior of the Jamaican Brown Tree in the Cockpit Country, Jamaica. For his Ph.D., he studied the effects of ecological constraints on the social behavior of the Cuban paper wasp. He came to Florida Gulf Coast University in 2007. He was attracted to the school because of its focus on student learning, the integration of conservation areas into the campus, and the ability to engage students in research.
Professional Memberships: Animal Behavior Society, Council of Undergraduate Research, Raptor Research Foundation