Women's History Month - Women Who Helped Power and Support the Lab

Women's History Month - Women Who Helped Power and Support the Lab

Published: Friday, March 22, 2024

Whitney Laboratory celebrates Women's History Month - Join us throughout March as we celebrate women who have helped shape the Whitney Laboratory to what it is today!

Women Who Helped Power and Support the Lab

Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience

It takes a village to run a research facility. UF’s Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience is no exception.

For every science story you read, there’s a whole network of teams working behind the scenes and often without much public recognition. And yet these team members — many of whom are women — are absolutely mission critical.

Here are some examples from our history:

  • Lynn Milstead worked as a scientific illustrator and writer for over 30 years and designed graphics for research papers spanning topics in pH regulation in mosquitos, taste buds in largemouth bass, clam gills, lobster olfaction, sea cucumber neuroscience, and more.
  • Louise MacDonald served the Whitney Lab as a “Senior Word Processing Operator” and was one of the first in administration who knew how to use computers. She assisted Director Greenberg by typing up grants and applications, including the one to help establish the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve.
  • Maureen Welch was a public information officer who maintained the lab’s historical archive and produced annual reports for staff and external stakeholders.
  • Stacey Marsh was the Director of Development who helped connect community donors with the Whitney Lab’s Center for Marine Studies (CMS), a building that has since been used to house the lab’s education programs, conference meetings, and invited speakers giving public and internal seminars.
  • Leslie VanEkeris was a long-time laboratory technician and friend to many. She created several Gyotaku fish prints that, to this day, decorate the CMS and administration building.
  • Ayanna Bryan (PhD) organized our first social media presence, allowing us to share our research and events with a wider audience. She continues to contribute to science to this day.

The short bios and stories we have posted during 2024’s International Women’s History month are just a small sampling of the women in science who have contributed to 50 years of the Whitney Lab. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the women — from teams in administration, education, outreach, research, and beyond — who have helped shape the Whitney Lab into what it is today.