Mel Sunquist


I was born and raised in the farm country of western Minnesota, where winter lasts from October to April.  I quickly left Minnesota for more tropical climes and worked as a wildlife biologist in Panama, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Borneo, and Venezuela before being recruited to teach at UF in 1982.  My wife and I settled in Melrose and I continued to teach at UF until I retired in 2011.


I continue to work on wildlife, and regularly travel about the state in pursuit of photographs to put on a website www.wildflorida.com that I developed with my wife Fiona.  We have written several books together including a recently published Amazon e-book on Mammals of Florida.


I have served on the advisory board of the local Santa Fe Audubon Society and on the board of the Putnam Land Conservancy.   On two occasions (1988 and 2016) I spent a lot of time working to keep a proposed Jax-Tampa toll road from impacting our local environment and communities.


After checking out several gyms I finally found the right place to work out, and have become a regular Genesis Monday, Wednesday and Friday user.  I thoroughly enjoy the collegial spirit and repartee among fellow users, and have benefited from the sage advice of other seniors who are also attempting to stave off the effects of age and gravity.  


My principle hobby is trying to beat back the continual explosive growth of greenbriar in my yard and to create open spaces for flowers and butterflies.