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Dr. Floyd Scott, a Center of Excellence for Field Biology founder, remembered for his compassion

Floyd Scott

(Posted Aug. 24, 2021)

Austin Peay’s Center of Excellence for Field Biology lost one of its founding members, Dr. Floyd Scott, earlier this year.

“He was the closest thing to a brother that I ever had,” said Dr. Eugene Wofford, a longtime botanist at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. “He was a very kind, very compassionate person, and I miss him dearly.”

Wofford met Scott in 1961, when the two enrolled as freshmen – along with Floyd’s brother, Lloyd – at Austin Peay.

“He was not only my friend, he was my best friend,” Wofford said. “Everybody is going to miss him.”

Wofford and Scott also taught together for a few years at the University of South Alabama before deciding to pursue different advanced degrees.

“He was in herpetology, interested in snakes and frogs and salamanders, and I didn’t much care about snakes, so I decided I’ll just do plants,” Wofford said. “After that, we just stayed in touch.”

Scott was one of the team members who in 1985 wrote a proposal to the state to establish the Center of Excellence for Field Biology at Austin Peay. In 1986, he became one of the original principal investigators at the center.

Scott’s work at Land Between the Lakes goes back to the 1960s when he helped Dr. David Snyder survey the reptiles and amphibians of LBL.

“When I was an undergraduate, we would go out and spend all day and all night working in the LBL region,” Scott said in a 2016 interview. “Along with Dr. Snyder and several other students, we went up and down the roads of that area, working in the woods and around the streams, just trying to catalog all of the reptiles and amphibians we came across.”

That work culminated in 1972’s “Amphibians and Reptiles of Land Between the Lakes.” Scott worked to update the book, which published with the same name in 2016.

Scott died on April 25.

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