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Staff Bios

Meet The MEEC Staff

Derek Burkholder


Born and raised in Michigan, Derek spent a lot of his childhood exploring the woods and spending time on the water (though slightly less salty than he deals with now!).  He received his Bachelor’s degree from Albion College in 2004, and during that time was first introduced to the amazing world of marine research. Starting his work with sharks as a research scientist at Mote Marine Lab in the Florida Keys, Derek quickly expanded his research to include everything from sharks to sea turtles and even seagrass communities during his Ph.D. program at Florida International University, where he focused on the top-down control on seagrass communities.

At Nova Southeastern University, Derek is fortunate to work as the principal investigator for the Broward County Sea Turtle Conservation Program, and a Research Scientist with the Guy Harvey Research Institute and Save Our Seas Shark Center. With the addition of the MEEC, Derek looks forward to working even more closely with students and the community to expand our understanding of sea turtles and our coastal marine ecosystems.

Derek's Favorites:

  1. Sandwich: Reuben
  2. Holiday Activity: Spending time with family and friends
  3. Color: Blue

Derek’s Hobbies:

  1. Hiking and camping
  2. Biking
  3. Swimming, diving, and snorkeling

Amy Hupp

Program Coordinator and Caretaker

Amy Hupp, also known as “Huppazoid”, “Huppcakes”, “Huppy” and “Aim” is originally from Clinton Township, Michigan. After graduating from Regina High School, she attended Albion College where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology in 2006. She completed an independent study looking at environmental and climatological factors affecting nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum) mating, under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Carrier, while in attendance at Albion. Immediately after, she became a research assistant with the Shark Bay Ecosystem Research Project and helped a fellow Albion graduate (before he was a "Dr." and now her supervisor), Dr. Derek Burkholder, with his PhD research. Following Australia, Amy moved to South Georgia and landed a role at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. She worked in both departments, education and research, before being hired full time as a Rehabilitation Technician. For nearly 8 years, Amy spent her days caring for sick and injured sea turtles that were mostly from Georgia and north Florida, but also from as far away as the Carolinas and New England.

 Amy’s Favorites:

  1. Sandwich: Peanut Butter and Banana
  2. Holiday Activity: Trimming the Tree
  3. Color: Green

 Amy’s Hobbies:

  1. Baking and finding new meal recipes
  2. Discovering good sales
  3. Being outside (any activity to enjoy the fresh air!)

Meg McGlone

Program Coordinator and Educator

Though originally from the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, Meg has always felt ‘at home’ near the ocean. She attended Juniata College and graduated with a degree in Education. Determined to live near salt water, she headed south and taught in North and South Carolina at Dual Language and International Baccalaureate schools.

She loved to incorporate marine science topics into her lessons in the classroom and found that the students loved to learn about the ocean (especially sea turtles). Meg’s love for marine life led her to the Hilton Head Island Sea Turtle Protection Project and then decided to move to South Florida to attend Nova Southeastern University to further her education. She is currently working on a master’s degree in Marine Biology at Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography.  Meg is excited to combine her passion for marine creatures and education at the MEEC.


Meg's Favorites:

  1. Sandwich: Buffalo Chicken
  2. Holiday Activity: Grilling
  3. Color: Teal


Meg’s Hobbies:

  1. Hiking & Camping
  2. Water sports
  3. Gardening
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