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Galapagos Islands topic of presentation

This month the WKU Libraries’ Far Away Places Series features WKU biology professor Doug McElroy, who will discuss the Galapagos Islands.

galapagosIn June 2007 McElroy led a combined student/alumni study abroad group to the Galapagos for a course titled “Biology in a Social Context: Galapagos and Ecuador.” In addition to examining biodiversity “hotspots” they discussed ecotourism, bioprospecting and the property rights of indigenous peoples.

The presentation is timely since this year is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, who became one of the island’s most celebrated visitors when he reached there on the HMS Beagle on Sept. 15, 1835.

McElroy’s presentation is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Barnes & Noble, 1680 Campbell Lane.

McElroy received his master’s and doctorate from the University of Maine’s Department of Zoology. After stints at Colby College and postdoctoral research at Arizona State University, McElroy came to WKU in 1993. He has taught biology, served as director of the University Honors Program, coordinated the American Democracy Project at WKU, and served as an Assistant to the Provost for QEP (Quality Enhancement Plan) Implementation.

He’s received numerous grants related to both higher education and biology. His diverse research interests have involved studying the “evolution of Lake Malawi Cichlids” in Africa, conserving species of the Gila in the Upper Colorado Basin, using highly sensitive molecular markers to survey population genetic structure, and doing genetic analysis of whitetail deer in Kentucky. He’s also taken students to east Africa to study African Game Species.

His articles have appeared in the Journal of Wildlife Management, the Encyclopedia of Genetics and many others.

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