Environmental forensics requires a cross-disciplinary approach that includes understanding the sources of environmental contaminants, their transport through key ecosystems and their subsequent impact on humans and other organisms.
High concentrations of contaminants such as magnesium, calcium, zinc or manganese are now known to play a role in the onset and progression of chronic diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The consequences of pollutants on our bodies and our environment can be critical. Toxic metals, for example, are impacting the Florida Everglades and its resources, leading to changes in marine organisms, influencing mental health and creating environmental inequities.
This initiative - a collaboration of FIU experts in the Institute of Environment, the International Forensic Research Institute and the Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work - aims to improve our scientific understanding of global change and anthropogenic effects caused by multiple environmental drivers, the physical and biological responses measured in water quality, soil and sediment contamination, emerging diseases, invasive species and other global stressors that are a risk to ecosystems and community health.