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Nora Egan Demers, Ph.D. - Florida Gulf Coast University. Fort Myers, FL, US

Nora Egan Demers, Ph.D.

Expert in health and pollution | Florida Gulf Coast University


Nora Demers researches the effects of stressors on biological systems.





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FGCU Founders Minute: Nora Demers



Nora Demers is an associate professor of comparative immunology and interdisciplinary studies at Florida Gulf Coast University. She teaches about environmental endocrine disruptors and their impact on humans and other species.

Areas of Expertise (8)

Human Health

Effects of Stressors on Biological Systems

Community Engagement


Environmental Pollutants

Endrocine Disruptors



Education (3)

Oregon State University: Ph.D., Zoology

Oregon State University: M.S., Zoology

University of Missouri-Rolla: B.S., Life Sciences

Affiliations (4)

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
  • Gopher Tortoise Council (GTC)
  • American Water Resources Association (AWRA)

Selected Media Appearances (8)

National study finds "forever chemicals" in local tap water

FOX 4  tv


Nora Demers explained PFA's and and how the chemicals are implicated in a variety of conditions including cancer and autism.

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Are Forever Chemicals in SWFL tap water?

NBC 2  tv


Nora Demers explains what PFA's are and how to best avoid exposure to the chemicals.

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Illegal tire dumping threatens ecosystem & health in Collier County

NBC 2  tv


Nora Demers explains how dumping tires can cause harmful chemicals to leach into our water and become breeding grounds for mosquitos.

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Fort Myers residents could face increased cancer risk from facility’s chemical emissions

NBC 2  tv


Nora Demers discusses the health risks of ethylene oxide (EtO) and solutions to avoiding contact with the chemical.

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Could we have a clean Estero Bay again? FGCU's Cela Tega conference offered a toolkit of ideas

News-Press  print


Nora Demers helped to highlight a conference she helped organize.

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Medication found in U.S. waterways

Fox 4  tv


Dr. Demers talks about endocrine disruptors and medications that seep into waterways.

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Bear sightings increase as SWFL communities grow

ABC 7  


Nora Demers quoted talking about the impact of growing communities on wildlife in Southwest Florida.

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Professor says plastic waste in Florida contributes to world's wildlife death

ABC 7  


Nora Demers talks about the impact of chemicals in plastics on humans and wildlife.

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Selected Event Appearances (6)

Gulf Coast Water Quality Issues

34th Annual Manasota Beach Club Monday Lecture Series: Gulf Coast Ecology and Storm Resiliency  Manasota Beach Club


Growth Management in Southwest Florida through eyes of a newcomer

Environment and Growth Management, A League of Women Voters Educational Event  (Virtual)


The challenges, logistics and competing interests in attempting habitat restoration at Barefoot Beach Preserve, Collier County, Florida

39th Annual Gopher Tortoise Council  Edgefield, South Carolina


Challenges of Competing Interests, Logistics, and Payoffs in Two Different Restoration Projects in Southwest Florida

National Council on Ecosystem Restoration, NCER  Coral Springs, Florida


Scientific Inadequacies of Evaluating Direct, Indirect and Cumulative Impacts from Phosphate Mining in the Peace River Watershed

USEPA State of the Science Area-wide Environmental Impact Study Process  Punta Gorda, Florida


Stable δ15N Ratios to Examine Sources of Nitrogen within a Residential Community

Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program Watershed Summit  Punta Gorda, Florida


Research Focus (1)

Current Research Projects Include:

Dr. Demers is currently working on a number of research projects, which include detecting endocrine disrupting compounds in surface and drinking water in southwest Florida and in fishes that inhabit local waterways. She is developing monitoring projects to relate common water quality parameters with indicators and compounds of emerging concern (not yet regulated chemicals such as endocrine disrupting compounds). Dr. Demers examines gopher tortoise habitat restoration efforts and ecosystem restoration efforts as well as parasites. She also uses data to evaluate pressing issues such as sea turtle nesting databases for how factors like beach renourishment, storms, development and predators influence hatchling success.

Selected Articles (5)

Phylogeny can Inform Animal Model Development for Both Inherited and Induced Conditions: Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

Ideas in Ecology and Evolution

Meers, M. B., Demers, N., Hewett, A., and Dakota Sorrelle

2021 The use of animal models in research on human and veterinary diseases and disorders is retracting, though it is likely to remain critical for decades. In light of increasing regulation and expectations of judicious use of animal subjects, we examine the idea that the use of animal models can be guided by phylogenetic relationships and modern evolutionary and cladistic analyses.

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Variations of Radon and Airborne Particulate Matter Near Three Large Phosphogypsum Stacks in Florida

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

Adeoye, C., Gupta, Jayanta, Demers, N and Atin Adhikari

2021 Approximately 1 billion tons of phosphogypsum (PG), a by-product of the fertilizer industry, are currently stacked in Florida. PG emits radon gas, which is a risk factor for lung cancer and can also increase particulate matter (PM) associated non-cancer mortality in exposed individuals. We measured concentrations of atmospheric radon and particulate matter near PG stacks and their short-term variations at different distances to estimate exposures in nearby communities.

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Immediate Increase of plasma protein complement C3 in response to an acute stressor

Fish and Shellfish Immunology

Demers, N.E. and Bayne, C.J.

2020 Whereas chronic stress has immunosuppressive effects, the more immediate immunologic consequences of acute stressors are less known. We postulated that, as part of their ‘fight or flight’ response, rainbow trout would rapidly increase the efficacy of their natural immune system by means of increased concentrations of crucial plasma proteins.

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Shoreline Stabilization and Habitat Enhancement in the Mulloch Creek Basin

Final report to the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program

Demers, N.E.

2009 This project involved installing a demonstration plot along the primary canal in the East Mullock Drainage District (EMDD) in San Carlos Park, Lee County, Florida. Invasive exotic Melaleuca, Brazilian pepper, and buckets of air potatoes were removed. Florida native plants were installed in an approximately 15-foot wide buffer between the yards and the stormwater canal. The plants will help stabilize the shoreline, collect excess nutrients and runoff from the residences before entering the canal, and provide improved forage and habitat for fish and wildlife at this urban interface. This demonstration is part of several related projects to improve the entire EMDD stormwater drainage system. It will help educate residents and agency officials who are expending significant funds and resources to improve this system.

Presenting the Scientific Process: Introducing Philosophy, Theory, Methods and Ethics of Science

Journal of College Science Teaching

Meers, M.B., Demers, N.E. and Savarese, M.

2003 / 2004 In a course titled Scientific Process, we introduce undergraduates to the philosophy and practice of science and initiate them into a 2-year undergraduate research track. Engaging exercises and discussions help students understand the scientific process and ultimately produce a research proposal in grant application format. Students defend their written proposal during a 15-minute oral presentation.