HOME PAGE for Dr. Peter Meylan


Professor Peter Meylan
R.R. Hallin Professor of Natural Sciences
Collegium of Natural Sciences
Eckerd College
4200 54th Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
bagseine Ei_necropsy
Peter Meylan - CV - July 2013
copies of most P.A. Meylan papers are available via this link
Ecology and Evolution (BI-111) 
Principles of Zoology (BI-222)
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (BI-200)
Ecology of Amphibians and Reptiles (BI-307)
Bermuda Turtle Project - Field Course 
Ichetucknee State Park Data Set

 Vertebrate Paleontology WT 2013
Trionychid Archives

Dr. Peter A. Meylan is Richard R. Hallin Professor of Natural Science at Eckerd College where he has served on the faculty since 1989.  He holds a B.S., Master’s and Ph.D in Zoology from the University of Florida.  His primary interest is the biology of amphibians and reptiles.  During the years that he spent at UF he was also the curatorial assistant in Herpetology at the Florida Museum of Natural History.  He held post-doctoral fellowships in Vertebrate Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History from 1985-1987 where he studied turtle phylogeny with Dr. Eugene Gaffney.  His research interests include the evolutionary relationships among reptiles, especially turtles, the biology of marine turtles, and the biology and conservation of Florida’s native herpetofauna.

At Eckerd College he teaches courses in Ecology and Evolution, Zoology , Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, and Ecology of Amphibians and Reptiles.  He also offers short terms (Autumn Term or Winter Term) in Herpetology, Vertebrate Paleontology, and on the Biology and Conservation of Sea Turtles.  He is a faculty advisor for two Eckerd student groups: the Earth Society and the Herpetology Club.

Dr. Meylan grew up in Chatham, New Jersey, and spent much of his youth in the woods or at the Morris Museum of Arts and Sciences.  He went to high school in New Providence, NJ and then to UF in 1971.  His years at UF were strongly influenced by Walter Auffenberg, Archie Carr, John Iverson and one of Dr. Carr’s students, Anne Barkau.

His wife, Dr. Anne Meylan, is a senior research administrator with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission that has its Wildlife Research Institute in downtown St. Petersburg.  Together, they work on two sea turtle research projects.  One is an investigation of the ecology and migrations of sea turtles of Bocas del Toro Province, Panama, that they started as graduate students in 1979.  It is funded by the Wildlife Conservation Society (New York) and receives logistical support from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute where the Meylans are Research Associates.  The other is the Bermuda Turtle Project which is a cooperative project with the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo and the Sea Turtle  Conservancy.  He also works on freshwater turtles in Florida (look for the link to the Rainbow Run Project on the home page) and published a book on the Biology and Conservation of Florida turtles in 2006. 
The paleontology and phylogeny of reptiles is Prof. Meylan's other major research interest.  This began with studies of fossil lizards and snakes in Florida and then went on to studies of fossil turtles in Africa and eventually world-wide.  As a graduate student he discovered the brilliant work of Willi  Hennig on phylogenetic systematics or cladistics and has since used this methods when ever possible to explain patterns in biology.  After graduate school his phylogenetic studies continued for two years with Gene Gaffney at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.  Since 1985 he has worked on many turtle phylogeny projects with Gene, Brad Shaffer at UC Davis, and many other biologists and paleontologist.  He has recently finished two major projects with Dr. Gaffney and a colleagues on several extinct families of side-necked turtles.