Ross Lab for South Florida Terrestrial Ecosystems

The Ross Laboratory for South Florida Terrestrial Ecosystems (SOFTEL) is a research group directed by Dr. Mike Ross within the Institute of Environment at Florida International University (FIU).  We take a field-oriented, multi-disciplinary approach to the study of the terrestrial* ecosystems of southern Florida, from the Lower Keys to Biscayne Bay, and from flooded herbaceous wetlands to forested uplands in Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve.

At present, SOFTEL staff work on multiple projects, including studies in the ridge and slough, marl prairie, coastal wetlands, rock ridge and Florida Keys, as well as in the urban Miami-Dade landscape.  Our recent and ongoing work also includes restoration studies, field experimentation, remote sensing, and vegetation classification.

* For us, the "T" (Terrestrial) in SOFTEL entails all ecosystems dominated by emergent plants, from tidal wetlands to upland forests.

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