Michael J. Barry
An exotic to Florida, Mike was born and raised in southwestern Michigan, spending most of his time in wetlands in the wildlands adjacent to his home. He began invading the Tampa area and Central Florida as a youth on regular visits to relatives, where he spent much of the time chasing herps.
After receiving a B.S. from the University of Michigan in 1990, he began working as a research assistant for the University of Florida. In 1991, this led to a move to UF's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ research center in Immokalee in southwestern Florida as a part of a citrus-wildlife study. He remained in the area after the project was completed working at environmental consulting firms, Panther Island Mitigation Bank, Picayune Strand State Forest, and Florida Panther & Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuges. He has managed many inventory, monitoring, prescribed fire, exotic control and restoration projects.
In addition to work in Florida, Mike has participated in several research and conservation projects in Central and South America. In 1988, he took a year off studies at the University of Michigan to assist with research in Ecuador and Panama on poison dart frog (Dendrobates spp.) behavior. In 1991, he began work in Costa Rica with conservation-minded residents of the Kekoldi Indigenous Reserve. Mike continues to be inspired by efforts in Kekoldi and drawn to that region of Central America. Mike joined IRC in 2007 to assist with program development in southwestern Florida and Central America.