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Zoologist Karen Bjorndal Selected as 14th Distinguished Alumni Professor

Karen Bjorndal
Karen Bjorndal

Zoology Professor Karen Bjorndal has been selected as the 14th Distinguished Alumni Professor from July 2005 to June 2007. She receives an award of $10,000 from the UF Alumni Association and monetary support from the Office of Academic Affairs.

Nominations are made by alumni, administrators and faculty members. Bjorndal was chosen from a group of professors who have taught at UF for at least 10 years and also have worked to benefit the university and made contributions on local, statewide and national levels. The Distinguished Alumni Professor works with the Alumni Association in its recruitment of National Merit Scholars, Outreach and Back to College programs.

Bjorndal, who received a PhD from UF in 1979, joined the faculty in 1987. As director of the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research, she conducts a wide range of studies on the ecology, physiology and behavior of sea turtles. She has written more than 100 scientific publications and edited several books on a variety of topics, from sea turtle biology and conservation to digestive processing in herbivorous reptiles. Bjorndal teaches an undergraduate course for non-science majors called Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. She also teaches graduate-level courses and seminars on nutritional ecology and sea turtle biology.

In 2003, Bjorndal was named the UF Teacher/Scholar of the Year, the highest honor bestowed upon a faculty member by the University of Florida. The award is given annually to a faculty member who demonstrates excellence in both teaching and scholarly activity.

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