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Environmental contamination can be difficult to detect, but its effects are dramatic, from toxic algae blooms to fish kills to poisoned water supplies. Our faculty are doing the detective work needed to prevent disaster.

Our research spans from the molecular scale to entire ecosystems to explore the life cycles and effects of contaminants. In labs on FIU’s campuses, we replicate environmental processes with mercury, arsenic, uranium and other toxins. In the field, we are monitoring the chemistry of Biscayne Bay and the canals that flow into it; monitoring the flow of water through the sawgrass of the Everglades and the limestone aquifer below; and sampling plastic pollution around the world’s oceans with the help of volunteer yacht crews. Our work provides valuable records of environmental health and the knowledge needed to prevent and clean up contamination.

Students, Volunteers and Community Members: Get Involved 

Featured Projects

  • Biscayne Bay Health

    In mid-August 2020, the bay experienced unprecedented levels of low oxygen, resulting in massive fish kills along the coast. Our researchers mobilized quickly, setting out on the water to collect water quality data that could give us a hint into what may be causing this devastating phenomenon. This is an on-going effort to fight for Biscayne Bay's health.

  • S.A.R.A.H. Initiative

    It is expected that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish. Our researchers have partnered with a private yachting NGO, International SeaKeepers Society, on the S.A.R.A.H. Initiative, where we are collecting valuable data about plastic pollution in our oceans.

  • PFAS Toxicity Study

    There is a growing public concern on Poly- and Perfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) worldwide due to their ubiquitous presence in the environment (like in our drinking water, soil, and food) and their associated toxicity and endocrine disruptor properties. Our researchers are studying these contaminants in an effort to better understand their impact on both people and planet.

CREST Center for Aquatic Chemistry and Environment

In our mission to address the complex issues of environmental contamination in South Florida, our NSF-funded CREST Center for Aquatic Chemistry and Environment program features cutting-edge technology in contaminant detection, monitoring and analysis. Central to this are our three research buoys. Most recently, our buoys were on the frontlines of detecting what was threatening the health of Biscayne Bay.