Dr. Hayes received a B.S. degree in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University in 1978, an M.S. in Biology from Southern Oregon State University in 1983, and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University in 1990. He arrived at the University of Florida in 2006 to serve as Professor and Chair in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. He served as Acting Director of the University of Florida's Ordway-Swisher Biological Station from 2006 to 2008, and as Director of the Station from 2008 to the present.
Prior to his arrival at the University of Florida, Dr. Hayes was a Science Alliance Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Tennessee from 1990 to 1992. During his time at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Hayes studied the population genetic impacts of hybridization on native populations of brook trout in the Southern Appalachians, and the ecology, distribution, and behavior of bats on the Galapagos.
Dr. Hayes spent 14 years at Oregon State University in the College of Forestry from 1992 to 2006, serving as a professor, Associate Department Head, and Associate Dean for International Programs. As a professor at Oregon State Dr. Hayes taught graduate and undergraduate coursework on forest management and wildlife conservation, research planning, and several special topics. His research spanned basic and applied questions concerning the influences of land management on animal populations, implications of alternative energy to natural systems, and application of quantitative methods to address ecological studies. Dr. Hayes has published roughly 100 refereed and non-refereed publications and generated approximately $6.5 million to support his research and programmatic efforts.
The Ordway-Swisher Biological Station is a 9100 acre field station located about 30 miles from Gainesville. Under Hayes' leadership the Station increased its staffing, has undergone significant improvement of its infrastructure, has increased amount of teaching, extension, and research on site, and was selected to serve as the Southeast Core Site for the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). NEON is a national program established by NSF to track the ecological pulse of the continent over the next three decades in response to changing climates, invasive species, and land use change.
Dr. Hayes is currently the President of the National Association of University Fish and Wildlife Programs.
As Dean for Research and Director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Dr. Hayes looks forward to serving the University of Florida, its faculty, students, and staff, and the stakeholders of IFAS. He plans to provide strong leadership, steeped in shared governance, and to advance the research mission of IFAS through close collaboration and coordination with program stakeholders. Through his efforts, he hopes to help pave a strategic pathway that positions IFAS's research program at the forefront of scientific progress, providing cutting-edge information to advance scientific understanding and practical application in agriculture, natural resources, and related disciplines.