Guillette advises national governments on the development of reproductive biology programs for endangered wildlife

Published: June 24th, 2008

Category: Spotlights

Louis Guillette Jr.

Louis Guillette Jr.

Distinguished Professor of Zoology
College of Liberial Arts & Sciences

Guillette has been researching environmental estrogens for years, believing they could be responsible for dropping population levels and reproductive abnormalities in wildlife in some Florida waters, especially alligators in Lake Apopka, near Orlando.

In 1996, he found female and male alligators with abnormally high levels of estrogen and discovered the Lake Apopka male alligators had low levels of testosterone, and poorly developed reproductive organs.

“We knew these alligators had problems, we knew that there were chemicals in the eggs and we hypothesized that those chemicals were in fact causing the problems in the alligators,” Guillette said. “But we did not have the underlying molecular basis to explain that.”

Internationally recognized for his work in the field of comparative reproductive biology and developmental endocrinology, Louis Guillette has advised such countries as New Zealand, Australia, Mexico and Botswana on the development of reproductive biology programs for endangered wildlife.

Guillette also is recognized for his research examining environmental contaminants and reproductive/endocrine disruption in various wildlife species, and policy work in human public health. He has served as an expert witness to the U.S. Congress and as a science policy adviser to various governmental agencies regarding environmental contamination and health. His recent work examines the effect of pollutant pharmaceuticals on wildlife.

Photo credit: Ray Carson — University Photography

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