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Nora Demers, PhD

Associate Professor
Dept of Biological Sciences
Office: Whitaker Hall WH - 218
Phone: 239-590-7211

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Ph.D. Zoology, Oregon State University M.S. Zoology, Oregon State University

B.S. Life Sciences University of Missouri-Rolla

Research and Teaching Interests

I believe that the most important part of teaching is helping the process of learning occur. I consider my role as a "guide on the side" rather than the "sage on the stage". That said, I am enthusiastic and helpful in class and out of class. Stop by my office anytime I am there!
The research projects I have been working on include:
  • Sampling the canal system in San Carlos Park for seasonal and storm-related water quality parameters including stable nitrogen isotopes and sucralose, which help determine the sources and fates of excess nutrients (from septic tanks, fertilizer or re-use water).
  • Examining fish (a sentinel species) in "ponds" on golf courses of varying age for evidence of environmental endocrine disruptors. We will capture mosquitofish (Gambusia) and examine them for either feminized or masculinized gross morphological features (and possible begin to develop methods for molecular examination of the same. (There is one pond on almost every golf course in our region that receives treated wastewater, a source of many endocrine disruptors).
  • Examining the scat of gopher tortoises in different human impacted habitats of southwest Florida for differences in parasite load that may be related to their diet or other seasonal aspects.
  • Analyzing an extensive sea turtle nesting and hatching database from Collier County to see what the impacts human development may have. Here is the Sea Turtle Protection Plan Annual report-2017. Here is the appendix for 2017.
  • Survey golf course superintendents and homeowner associations board members to determine whether native plants were any more likely to survive the effects of hurricane Irma than non-native plants (and/or which native plants fared the best and worst).
  • Examining the surface water from the canal system in San Carlos Park for the chemicals that may be acting as endocrine disruptors (using a newly purchased LCMS machine).
  • Assess the effectiveness of habitat restoration efforts at Barefoot Beach Preserve where we have been simulating fire since 2013.

Courses Offered

Current/Active Courses

PCB 4233C Immunology
ISC 3120C Scientific Process
BSC 4933 Current topics in Biology: Environmental Endocrine Disruptors
IDS 3920 University Colloquium: A Sustainable Future


Selected Publications/Scholarly work/etc.

  • Gunnels, C.W. IV, Bovard, B.D., Buzasi, D., Cassani, M.K., Douglass, J. Everham, E, Hartley, A. Herman, J. Mujtaba, M. Muller, J. Nelson, K., Nicolas, A. Southard, L. Thomas, S. and Demers, N.E. (2015) Engaging Students in Ethical Considerations of the Scientific Process Using a Simulated Funding Panel. Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly 36:1:12-18
  • Demers, N.E. (2012) Genomes and their Evolution- another Example of Gene Duplication and Divergence In: Laboratory Activities for General Biology I third edition, bluedoor publishing.
  • Demers, N.E. Challenges of competing interests, logistics, and payoffs in two different restoration projects in southwest Florida.(National Council on Ecosystem Restoration, NCER, Coral Springs, FL, April, 2016)
  • Demers, N.E. The Gopher Tortoise, habitat and restoration Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife Lecture series (Sanibel, FL Feb, 2016)