Lucy Keith Diagne

Graduate Student Lucy Keith with ManateeCurriculum Vitae
PhD Student
Department of Physiological Sciences
Aquatic Animal Health Program
Expected year of graduation: 2014
Major advisor: Roger Reep

PO Box 100144
Physiological Sciences
1600 SW Archer Rd
Gainesville, FL 32610

Sea to Shore Alliance
200 Second Avenue South, #315
St. Petersburg, FL 33701 USA
(727) 954-3390 office


  • BS, Biology, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY, 1987
  • MS, Boston University Marine Program, Woods Hole, MA, 1999

Honors and Awards

  • Manatee Conservation Award, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2003
  • Crisis Response Team Award (red tide response), Florida and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 2003
  • Effective Team Award, Florida and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 2002
  • Supervisor Award, Florida and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 2001
  • Cooperative Science Award, Florida and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 2001
  • First recipient of the Richard Ablon Fellowship, Boston University, 1996

Research Interests

My research focuses on the ecology and genetics of the West African manatee. I began studying West African manatees in Gabon in 2006, after six years of field research with Florida and Antillean manatees. I have long-term study sites in Gabon and Senegal, and also do shorter term studies in many of the other 19 African countries in which the species occurs. I use genetics and stable isotope analyses, as well as satellite telemetry to study the population ecology and behavior of this elusive species throughout its range. Additionally, a large part of my work also includes capacity building and training for African colleagues in 18 countries in order to create a regional network for African manatee researchers to collaborate and increase data collection.

Laboratory Experience

  • 25 years of marine mammal field research experience, including 12 years with manatees (Florida, Antillean and West African)
  • Necropsy (~300 marine mammals)
  • Construction, deployment and recovery of manatee telemetry equipment (VHF/PTT/GPS/sonic tags, belts and tethers), and analysis of satellite data.
  • Field research techniques including marine mammal capture and restraint, health assessment techniques for wild manatees, boat and aerial surveys.

Selected Publications

  • Keith, L.W. 2008. West African Manatee Genetics. Sirenian Population Genetics Conference, Orlando, Florida. April 2008.
  • Keith, L.W. and T. Collins. 2007. First Countrywide West African Manatee Surveys in Gabon. 17th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Cape Town, South Africa, November 2007.
  • Haubold, E.M., K. Arrison, M. Barlas, A. Costidis, L. Flewelling, M.M. Foley, A. Garrett, L. Keith, J. Landsberg, T. Pitchford, T. Pulfer, S. Rommel, L. Ward. 2003. An Unusual Mortality Event of Florida Manatees Is Related To Brevetoxin Exposure Through Ingestion of Seagrass. International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine, Hawaii, May 2003.
  • Keith, L.W., M.E. Barlas and M.M. Peterson. 2003. Manatee Winter Use of a Natural Warm Water Site at Warm Mineral Springs, Florida. 15th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Greensboro, N.C. December 2003.
  • Bonde, R.L., L.W. Keith, L.I. Ward, J.P. Reid, T.D. Pitchford, C.J. Deutsch, M. Ross, J.A. Valade, and N.M. Adimey. 2003. Evaluating the Post-Release Success of Rehabilitated Manatees in Florida, 1973-2002. 15th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Greensboro, N.C. December 2003.
  • Garrett, A., T. Pitchford and L. Keith. 2002. Rescue Criteria for Florida Manatees. Florida Marine Mammal Health Conference I, Gainesville, FL. April 2002.
  • Keith, L.W. 1999. Haul-out Behavior of Weaned Pup and Juvenile Hawaiian Monk Seals (Monachus schauinslandi ) at Midway Atoll. 13th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Maui, HI. November 1999.

Updated: March 9, 2012

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