Richard Baker, Ph. D., is Professor emeritus, University of Florida, Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, Vero Beach, and President of the Pelican Island Audubon Society.
As a mosquito biologist with a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in zoology and a minor in botany, Richard has been involved in wetlands and water bodies for forty years. He spent thirteen years in Lahore, Pakistan, in part as professor and director of a University of Maryland Medical School research unit and sixteen years as director and professor at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory of the University of Florida, Vero Beach, FL. He has authored over 100 scientific papers related to mosquito genetics, biology, and control.
In 1991, he helped Indian River County and the St. Johns River Water Management District purchase 291 acres of pristine upland and wetlands along the Indian River Lagoon, which was threatened by condominium development. In 1998, he authored and co-edited a white paper on Florida’s mosquito control initiated and sponsored by the Florida Coordinating Council on Mosquito Control, a State of Florida Legislative body. It presented a fair, accurate, and important assessment of the varied controversial issues involving mosquito control and developed recommendations for the reduction of chemical use and risk in the future in Florida.
As professor emeritus, he provides environmental education for students and adults and training of nature guides. He leads monthly workshops and canoe excursions on the Indian River Lagoon. Currently he is President of the Pelican Island Audubon Society, a member of the Committee for a Sustainable Treasure Coast Appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush (2004-present), and a member of the Indian River County Land Acquisition Advisory Committee, Coastal Preserves Alliance Board of Directors, Pelican Island Preservation Society Board, Indian River Lagoon Envirothon Board, and Florida Envirothon Board, and a past member of Indian River County Environmental Control Hearing Board.
Dr. Baker resides in Sebastian with his wife, Juanita, who is also a speaker at this year's Healing Our World...Conference.