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Mékell Mikell, Ph.D. was a communications specialist with the National Wildlife Federation. She works on a number of key issue areas, including protecting public lands, America’s great waters, and endangered species. Mékell has a Ph.D. in political science, and works to turn theory into practice by applying research initiatives to advocacy.
USDA: Adult Kudzu Stink Bug, Photo by Joe Eger.

When Good Intentions Grow Bad: Bugs, Vines and Invasions

4/9/2012 // By Mekell Mikell

Kudzu, once hailed as a “miracle vine,” is now a thorn in the side of folks throughout the Southeast. Once used by American farmers as a means to stop soil erosion, this pesky invasive species spread far beyond its intended boundaries. […] Read more >

Protecting the “Incredible Bounty We’ve Been Blessed With”

3/6/2012 // By Mekell Mikell

Recently, tribal leaders, landowners, hunters, anglers, conservationists, business owners and government leaders gathered in Washington, D.C. for the White House Conservation Conference. Tourism and outdoor recreation, coastal conservation, river restoration and hunting and fishing were important topics of discussion, as […] Read more >

Miami Blue Butterfly, Photo credit: Jeffrey Glassberg, Ph.D

Vanishing Beauty: Endangered Miami Blue Butterfly Losing to Invasive Green Iguana

2/16/2012 // By Mekell Mikell

The Sunshine State is a little less bright and colorful now that the tiny and endangered Miami blue butterflyis facing a new challenge to its survival.  Large Central American iguanas are feasting on the nickerbean leaves this vanishing beauty uses […] Read more >

The Baddest Bird On the Branch

2/14/2012 // By Mekell Mikell

When male manakins want to impress a mate they might pull a Michael Jackson. These small and often brightly colored tropical birds moonwalk on branches as part of their elaborate courtship rituals. While these winged dancers usually make their own […] Read more >

Chinese Praying Mantis on the sidewalk at NWF headquarters, Photo Credit: MABlevins

Love Sucks, Bites, Claws and Decapitates

2/14/2012 // By Mekell Mikell

Flowers, sweets, bling and dressing up may woo some sweethearts, but a certain group of animals are preying for love this Valentine’s Day. You Look Good Enough to Eat For males, the red hour glass marking on black widow spiders […] Read more >

Because of Pythons, Nine Lives May Not Be Enough for Florida Panther

2/1/2012 // By Mekell Mikell

If cats have nine lives, an endangered cougar subspecies may be down to its last one. The Florida panther has been a whisker away from extinction for decades, struggling to survive amidst habitat loss, pollution, disease and uncontrolled hunting.  Unfortunately, […] Read more >

Mild Winter Puts the Freeze on Ice Wine

1/26/2012 // By Mekell Mikell

Climate change poses all of kinds of consequences for your dinner table. As temperatures shift, so do the conditions favorable for growing and cultivating many of the sips and bites we take for granted. Grapes face a number of challenges […] Read more >

Asian carp "Invasion" by the MacArthur Foundation

Are You Game for the Asian Carp Invasion?

12/23/2011 // By Mekell Mikell

Flying fish are flooding the Great Lakes, terrorizing boaters, anglers and native species. Asian carp are infiltrating the region, becoming a silvery, bigheaded  menace underwater and in the air.  Now, these invasive fish are infiltrating the world of video games. […] Read more >

Diamond Weevil, Photo: Flickr/Ian Sutton

Diamond Weevil: A Bug with Real Bling

12/21/2011 // By Mekell Mikell

  Some people may dream of being covered in diamonds, but one bug is close to making it a reality. The wings of the diamond weevil are full of gem-like scales that wink and shine in the light just like […] Read more >

Santa Claws is Checking His List for Naughty Anti-Environmental Riders

12/12/2011 // By Mekell Mikell

Santa Claws’ naughty list is getting longer thanks to over 50 anti-environmental riderswaiting to latch onto FY2012 spending bills in Congress. Clean air, clean water and wildlife are all getting scrooged by stingy legislation not in keeping with public health, […] Read more >