Biology Instructors

The Biology Summer Institute incorporates six instructors who have all been trained in Biology at UCF. The combined education, experience, and breadth of expertise of these instructors make the Biology Summer Institute a remarkable opportunity for advanced high school students to explore real world applications of the studies of Field Biology, Ecology, and Natural Resource Conservation in a fun and educational atmosphere. Instructors include:

Jennifer Elliott completed both her BS and MS in Biology at UCF with a focus on marine turtle biology, ecology, and conservation under the guidance of internationally respected marine turtle biologist Dr. Lew Ehrhart at the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in Melbourne Beach, FL. Upon graduation she was hired as a field biologist at the UCF Arboretum where she is now Assistant Director. Jennifer is an instructor in the UCF Biology Department where she teaches a class focused on designing and implementing relevant ecosystem based research, and the importance of communicating science. She remains involved in the continued long-term marine turtle research conducted at the Carr Refuge, now under the direction of Dr. Kate Mansfield. She has a strong passion for her work, along with a deep commitment to the importance of education, and community outreach.

Ryan Chabot is an Orlando native, and received both his undergraduate degree in environmental studies and master’s degree in biology from UCF. His graduate research and work experience focused on tracking strategies and movement patterns to inform endangered species management and conservation. After graduate school, Ryan worked in the non-profit sector as a marine research biologist, as well as managing a local government office tasked with endangered species and habitat management. In January 2023, he returned to UCF to serve as the University’s Sustainability Coordinator, and is responsible for monitoring and cultivating sustainability initiatives across campus. He also oversees the University’s STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System) reporting, which provides quantifiable and comparable metrics to identify how well institutions of higher education have incorporated sustainability across broad swaths of campus and university business, including academics, engagement, operations, and planning and administration. Ryan enjoys sharing his experience across academics, non-profits, and governmental affairs with the program’s Learning-by-Leading students, as well as fostering new ideas students devise to provide innovative sustainability programming.

John Guziejka graduated from the Environmental Sciences program at the University of Central Florida in 2013. Since then, he has gone on to complete his Masters of Science degree in Conservation Biology while working at the UCF Arboretum. John worked as a Biologist and Urban Forester for the university between 2016- 2021. He is now a Manager in the Landscape and Natural resources department and oversees urban forestry and conservation initiatives for UCF. John’s favorite topics and areas of expertise include urban ecology/forestry, wildlife conservation, and arboriculture.

Kelsie Johnson graduated from UCF in May of 2016 with an Interdisciplinary Studies degree in Environmental Science. Her main focus was biology related courses. Among her favorites were Intro to Marine Biology, Conservation Biology, Tropical Ecology, and Animal Behavior. Throughout her time as an undergrad, Kelsie worked with the UCF Marine Turtle Research Group (MTRG) in Melbourne Beach, FL on the Archie Carr Wildlife Refuge during the summers from 2014-2016. While with the MTRG, she collected samples from nesting female sea turtles and studied their reproductive success. In addition to biology, Kelsie is also very interested in communal and personal gardens as well as the natural systems in and around the UCF community. She hopes to further engage and educate students on the importance of the sustainable growth of food and natural systems.

Amanda Lindsay earned a BS degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Environmental Science from UCF. Ms. Lindsay is currently a Senior Biologist and Stormwater Specialist in the UCF Natural Resources Programs.

Terry Williamson earned an MS degree in Biology from UCF studying marine turtle biology and ecology. Mr. Williamson is the Brevard County Environmental Communications Specialist. He remains actively involved with the marine turtle research taking place on the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in Brevard County.