The leaders who are shaping Archbold’s Buck Island Ranch.


Dr. Hilary Swain has served as the Executive Director of Archbold Biological Station since 1995.  She oversees long-term research, environmental monitoring, science education for K-12, undergraduate and graduate student training, public outreach, and land management and conservation programs. Dr. Swain’s research interests are: reserve design, land management, and planning for natural communities and endangered species. She collaborates extensively to enhance scientific research, education, and conservation with local, state and federal government agencies, global networks, conservation groups, and private landowners throughout the state.


Laurent O’Gene Lollis, “Gene” is the quintessential cowboy and family man. Father of three, Gene has served as Buck Island’s Ranch Manager since 1993.  Gene manages the day-to-day operations of Buck Island’s 10,500-acres with a herd of 3,000 plus head of cattle to balancing those operational aspects with the environmental aspects of the ranch with the research projects that are on-going on the property. He is also highly involved in multiple activities off the ranch  allowing him the ability to share the research findings with the broader community.


Dr. Betsey Boughton is the Program Director of Agroecology and Associate Research Biologist at Archbold, making her lab the Ranch.  Broadly, her research program is focused on environmental and economic sustainability of ranches in the headwaters of the Everglades.  In her current position since December 2010, Dr. Boughton has been a collaborator in developing and monitoring water retention projects as part of a payment-for-environmental services project covering over 20,000 acres of ranchland in this watershed and manages several long-term research projects focused on wetland restoration and management on ranches.  Recently, along with collaborators, she was awarded a grant from USDA National Institute of Food and Agricultural to investigate grazing and fire management on multiple ecosystem services from subtropical grasslands.  Dr. Boughton is involved with several collaborative, national and global scale research networks, including the Nutrient Network and USDA Long-term Agroecosystem Research Network.  Before joining Archbold, she completed her PhD at the University of Central Florida with funding from the EPA Science To Achieve Results (STAR) Fellowship.