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Gunnels, Charles (PhD)

Dir, Undergad Schol/Assoc Prof
Undergraduate Studies
Office: EH 0214F
Phone: 239-590-7210

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Ph.D. Biology – University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
M.S. Biology – Utah State University, Logan, UT
B.A. Biology – Skidmore College, NY

Research and Teaching Interests

My job is to help these students develop a greater appreciation and understanding of the material that connects learned skills and content with "life-long" learning. It is my responsibility to create a stimulating environment that compels students to embrace this fascinating world, which is a challenge that I welcome with zeal.
My research interests and methodologies have provided me significant insights into different academic approaches. I am trained as a practicing biologist; my inquiries have and will continue to include animal behavior and wildlife ecology. I am particularly interested in issues pertaining to social interactions among individuals of the same species and difference species. However, my curiosities are broader and transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries; I have published and delivered papers in SoTL, History, and Sociology, including a project that uses historical records to understand the biology of animals that lived in the recent past. Each of these efforts has required me to cultivate multidisciplinary collaborations with colleagues in different programs.

Courses Offered

Current Courses

BSC 4910C Animal Behavior (Annually Fall)PCB 4454 Biological Statistics in R (Annually Spring)
Study Abroad & Study Away Courses
Peru: Life in Peru (2018)Trinidad & Tobago: Carnival, Calypso, and Conservation (2016 & 2018)Washington DC & Adirondacks NY: 2. Animal Lives, Animal Histories and the State (2015)Dominican Republic Outreach Program Service Program (2013 & 2014)Ecuador: Human & Natural History of Ecuador and the Galapagos (2012)

Previous Courses

BSC 1010C General Biology I
BSC 4910C Senior Project in Biology I, Research (Class-Directed Research Section)
BSC 4911 Senior Project in Biology II, Presentation (Class-Directed Research Section)
BSC 4933 Current Topics
IDH 2051 Honors Research Symposium
IDS 3920 University Colloquium: A Sustainable Future
ISC 2931 Applied Ethology
ISC 3120 Scientific Process
PCB 3043C Ecology
PCB 3413C Behavioral Ecology


Selected Scholarly Works (* denotes undergraduate author)

Gunnels CW, Bovard B, Buzasi D, Cassani MK, Douglass J, Everham EM, Hartley A, Herman J, Mujtaba M, Muller J, Nelson K*, Nicolas A, Southard L, Thomas S, & Demers NE (2015) Engaging Students in Ethical Considerations of the Scientific Process through a Simulated Funding Panel. Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly 36(1) 12-18.
Foote N & Gunnels CW (2015) Exploring Early Human-Animal Encounters in the Galapagos Islands Using a Historical Zoology Approach, in The Historical Animal, editor: Susan Nance, Syracuse University Press, 203-220.
Lahey Z* & Gunnels CW (2013) Effects of Native Landscaping using Sabal palmetto on Urban Arthropod Biodiversity. Florida Scientist 76(3/4) 363-377.
Everham EM, Ceilley DW, Croshaw DA, Firth J*, Gunnels CW, Hanson DD, Mariolan S*, Spear RJ*, Thomas B, Van Norman DE*, Whitmore BM*, & Cassani JR (2013) Ten years of the Southwest Florida Frog Monitoring Network: Natural Cycles and Human-Driven Changes. Florida Scientist 76(2) 138-149.
Gunnels CW, Dubrovsky A*, & Avalos A* (2008) Social Interactions as an Ecological Constraint in a Eusocial Insect. Animal Behaviour 72(2) 681-691, DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.07.022
Gunnels CW (2007) Seasonally Variable Eusocially Selected Traits in Eusocial Paper Wasp, Mischocyttarus mexicanus? Ethology 113(7) 648-660.

Administrative & Service: My leadership style has developed over many years of service to my institution and community. I have matured this philosophy by emulating the best qualities of successful leaders and learning from the mistakes of poor and misguided managers. This strategy has helped be formalize core characteristics that are central to how I operate. Personal Mission: Finish the job successfully by supporting the people that make each effort a reality.

Current Administrative & Service Efforts

  • Director, Office of Undergraduate Scholarship, which support the research and creative activity of students
  • Director, FGCUScholars: Think ~ Discover ~ Write (FGCU’s Quality Enhancement Plan)
  • Councilor, Council on Undergraduate Research, Undergraduate Research Program Division
  • Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW) Land and Water Trust, Board Trustee

Previous Administrative & Service Efforts

  • Biology BA, Program Leader Department of Biological Sciences
  • Interim Director of Undergraduate Research in the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Vice-Chair, Undergraduate Research Program Division
  • Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW) Land and Water Trust, Environmental Education Chair

Faculty CV