From homes to products and nutrients to clean air and water, ecosystems provide the essentials of life for humans and other species. From Biscayne Bay and the Everglades to rainforests and other sites around the world, our researchers are studying how ecosystems maintain themselves and how components such as species or pollutants affect the entire system.

Our faculty represent decades of experience in the unique ecosystems of South Florida. The CREST Center for Aquatic Chemistry and Environment tests the quality of water as it flows through the Everglades and urban areas and ultimately into the Florida Bay. The Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research Program monitors the health of Florida’s river of grass, a home to many endangered species and a key carbon sink in the path of rising sea levels. And the International Center for Tropical Botany, based at the Miami estate of famed botanist David Fairchild, focuses on identifying plant and fungus species and studying their response to urban development, climate change and other pressures.

Farther afield, our researchers trek through the rainforests of French Guiana, Peru and other tropical locales to probe the mysteries of these incredibly complex natural communities. As in South Florida, these studies help us to understand how species live together and interact with earth and water to maintain balance.

Students, Volunteers and Community Members: Get Involved 

Featured Project: Grove ReLeaf

Grove ReLeaf aims at understanding the canopy composition of Miami, particularly in the neighborhood of Coconut Grove. The program works to valuate tree canopy cover by determining the eco-benefits associated with trees. Join our efforts!

Related Programs & Centers

Our ongoing educational, research and community initiatives are organized within thematic programs and centers which bring together experts from across the Institute of Environment.

  • CREST Center for Aquatic Chemistry and Environment

    Our NSF-funded CREST Center for Aquatic Chemistry and Environment identifies and detects pollutants as they change and travel throughout South Florida, as well as develops tools to analyze and communicate data that will inform decision makers.

  • Florida Coastal Everglades LTER

    Our NSF-funded Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research Program examines how climate change and disturbances interact with shifting management of freshwater resources to determine the dynamics and fate of coastal ecosystem properties, functions and services to people. 

  • International Center for Tropical Botany at The Kampong

    Our International Center for Tropical Botany at The Kampong develops research, education and outreach programs related to tropical botany, integrating the research programs of faculty with a global presence in tropical regions.