Congratulations to Dr. John Kominoski, Assistant Professor in the FIU Department of Biology and Southeast Environmental Research Center within the Institute of Water and Environment, who was awarded NSF Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding, with colleagues Steven Pennings from University of Houston and Anna Armitage from Texas A&M Galveston, for research related to Hurricane Harvey.

Dr. Kominoski has been working with other scientists over the past several years to conduct a large mangrove removal experiment to study the ecological consequences of mangrove expansion near Port Aransas, Texas. Hurricane Harvey made landfall very close to this experiment, providing researchers with an unexpected and unprecedented opportunity to study the immediate impacts of mangrove expansion on shoreline protection and other vital ecosystem services. This RAPID award will allow scientists to gain knowledge on the role of coastal wetlands that will be extremely valuable to coastal managers responsible for restoration and management projects along shorelines vulnerable to future hurricanes.

This research will provide a critical understanding of the impact of mangrove expansion on the role of coastal wetlands in the provision of critical ecosystem services in response to intense storms. Hurricane Harvey provides a unique opportunity to answer a critical question – do mangroves provide fundamentally different shoreline protection than the low stature grasses and forbs they replace?

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Rapid Response Research grant program is used for funding proposals that have a severe urgency regarding availability of, or access to data, facilities or specialized equipment, including quick-response research on natural or man-made disasters and similar unanticipated events.

For more information about Dr. Kominoski and his research, click here.