FIU experts available to discuss Everglades Restoration

FIU researchers have spent more than three decades guiding the management, restoration and protection of water resources. On Dec. 11, 2020 it’ll be 20 years since Congress passed the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan to restore, protect and preserve South Florida’s ecosystem while providing for water-related needs of the region.

FIU experts are available to discuss the health of the Everglades and plans for restoration.

Mahadev Bhat, Ph.D.
Professor of Natural Resource Economics
Department of Earth and Environment
FIU Institute of Environment
Bhat’s research focuses on economic and policy issues relating to natural resources management, including water resources, coastal and marine resources, ecosystem services valuation and agriculture.

Robert Burgman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Earth and Environment
FIU Institute of Environment
Burgman studies the mechanists of predictability on sub-seasonal to decadal timescales. Within this framework, he explores two general issues: (1) Mechanisms of natural variability in the climate system on multiple timescales, particularly those related to air-sea interactions and (2) how these modes of variability lead to variations in North American hydroclimate.

Edward Castañeda, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
FIU Institute of Environment
Castañeda is a wetland ecologist who focuses on nutrient biogeochemistry and ecosystem dynamics of coastal wetlands, including mangrove forests and marshes. He studies the effect of hurricanes and human disturbances on carbon and nutrient dynamics and vegetation succession to understand trajectories of ecosystem structure and function.

James Fourqurean, Ph.D.
Director, Coastlines and Oceans Division 
FIU Institute of Environment
Fourqurean is an expert of the ecology and water quality of the coastal bays and estuaries in the Greater Everglades. Over the last 10 years, Fourqurean has been helping translate the science of carbon dynamics in coastal ecosystems into actionable policy and climate change mitigation strategies.

Evelyn Gaiser, Ph.D.
Endowed George M. Barley Jr. Eminent Scholars Chair
Professor of Biological Sciences
FIU Institute of Environment
Gaiser is an aquatic ecologist. Her research focuses on algal communities, particularly the unusual microbial mats of karst wetlands around the world. Her lab uses surveys, experiments and paleocological studies to address the mechanisms of community assembly over long temporal and broad spatial scales. Results are often directly incorporated into ecosystem assessment and restoration.  She is the principle investigator on the Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research Program.

Sparkle Malone, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
FIU Institute of Environment
Malone’s primary research focuses on improving our understanding of how climate and disturbance regimes influence spatial and temporal variability in ecosystem structure and function. Using remote sensing, eddy covariance and spatial and temporal models, she explores questions related to ecosystem condition, sustainability and vulnerability to climate extremes.

Jayantha Obeysekera, Ph.D.
Research professor and director of Sea Level Solutions
FIU Institute of Environment

Obeysekera previously served as chief modeler at the South Florida Water Management District, where he had a leading role in modeling of the Everglades and Kissimmee River and Everglades restoration projects. He was co-author of the sea level rise projections report published by NOAA for the National Climate Assessment. He also co-authored a report on regional sea level projections for Department of Defense facilities across the globe. He has extensive media experience, including print and broadcast.

Rene Price, Ph.D.
Professor of Earth and Environment
Center for Aquatic Chemistry and the Environment
FIU Institute of Environment
Price conducts research in chemical hydrogeology, ecohydrology, stable isotopy hydrology, saltwater intrusion and sea-level rise. Her research involves using chemical tracers, including the isotopes of oxygen, hydrogen and major ions, to identify water sources, groundwater flow paths and groundwater-surface water interactions. She has investigated water-rock interactions associated with seawater intrusion into coastal carbonate aquifers. She has conducted research extensively in south Florida, including the Everglades, as well as in the Yucatan of Mexico and Mallorca, Spain.

Jennifer Rehage, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Earth and Environment
FIU Institute of Environment
Rehage is a coastal and fish ecologist. Rehage studies how hydroclimatic variation affects fish and the recreational fisheries they support in the Everglades and throughout South Florida.

John Kominoski, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
FIU Institute of Environment
Kominoski is an ecosystem ecologist and biochemist. He studies how changes in water chemistry affect the rates of organic matter processes and the net effects on carbon storage in terrestrial, aquatic and coastal wetland ecosystems. He is a co-principal investigator on the Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research Program.

Michael Ross, Ph.D.
Professor of Earth and Environment
FIU Institute of Environment
Ross is an ecologist whose research includes environmental controls on plant community compositions and structure, the involvement of these controls in the successional process and implications of these dynamics for resource management. The majority of his research is directed toward restoration of the mixture of herbaceous coastal wetlands of the greater Everglades ecosystem.

Leonard Scinto, Ph.D.
Chair and Associate Professor of Earth and Environment
FIU Institute of Environment
Scinto is a biogeochemist who studies the effects of land use and water management on nutrient dynamics in aquatic systems. His research focuses on the biogeochemistry of phosphorus, carbon and nitrogen in wetland and lake environments.