Showing posts from 2014

The Wonderful World of Diatoms

I admit that I ended that last post a bit unclear. But diatoms, it should be said, aren’t (or, rather, shouldn't be said since I shouldn't use double negatives. Ah, well.).

Okeechobee or Okoboji? An Everglades Student’s Corny Tale

This post was written by Nick Schulte, a Master's student in Evelyn Gaiser's lab at Florida International University. 
So where would you go to study how Everglades algae respond to increased nutrients from sea level rise? The Florida Everglades, right? That’s what I thought. But I went to Iowa.

Mangroves, Mud, and More by David Lagomasino

Flying over the Colombian Andes from Medellin to Nuqui in a small, 20 passenger propeller plane, five scientists peer out the window to look at the bosque (Spanish word for forest) covering the mountains below for as far as they could see. I was one of those scientists. Dotted throughout the forest, I can see indigenous communities thriving in small clearings with smoke billowing from small fire pits. Then, out of nowhere, the mountains drop off, the Pacific Ocean appears, and the plane banks hard to starboard. Finally! My first glimpse and the reason why I was making a trip out to Pacific coast of Colombia: mangroves. My first trip to Colombia and I get to see some of the most pristine mangroves in the world. Why am I so excited about mangroves? There is something about the smell of the swamp, the harsh conditions, the incredible resilience of the trees, and the complex hydrology that draws me in. Mangrove is the general term used for a group of salt-tolerant tropical hardwood trees. …

Action to Activism

This post was written by first-time blogger, grad student Edward Linden, of Dr. Rene Price's of hydrology at FIU (

Less than a year ago, all that I knew about Everglades was its general location in Florida and the presence of alligators. Through numerous scientific talks given at FIU, my classes, and my research, I have gained a great deal of knowledge about the history of the Everglades as it relates to my field of study. The Saturday that I spent in Gainesville at UF opened my eyes to an entirely new aspect of the Everglades that I had not previously considered; the political side.

Toni the Pollen-dependent Bee

This blog has been brought to you by Ian Jones, FIU grad student in the Koptur lab (

My Recapture Story for the Everglades

The following link is to an article written by Jessica Lee, FIU graduate student in Dr. Jennifer Rehage's aquatic biology lab (
     In February I had an opportunity to fish with my favorite group of anglers from the Keys. For the past 30 years this group of fishermen has faithfully made it every month to the backcountry to fish. They were the inspiration for the Coastal Angler Science Team (CAST), the “original-members” before CAST officially came to be.  For the past two years they have been regularly scanning their catches for “recaptures” (previous fish we tagged with internal microchips, “PIT-tags”).  This group alone has caught over 30 recaptures, about half of the current CAST totals.
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Tree Islands with Brown Anoles

This post was written by guest blogger James Stroud, graduate student in the Feely lab (
A recent trip to the Everglades with Palm botanist Sara Edelman was meant to provide a welcome break from studying for qualifying exams, and give her the opportunity to further educate me on all things palm (which was previously limited to determining which lizards in Miami appear to live on them).

Reflections from the Everglades


More Out-of-Town Visitors

This post was written by guest blogger Mike Bush, a grad student in FIU's aquatic ecology lab (
       This will be another post on some wide-ranging animals that only occasionally visit the Everglades. Last time I talked about small songbirds, but I’ll scale up a bit for this round.

Urban visitors

This post was written by Mike Bush, a grad student in the aquatic ecology lab ( at FIU and an avid natural historian.  ___________________________________________________________________________                In this post we’re going to move away from the Everglades proper and move to its borders, which in this case means the highly urbanized Miami/Ft Lauderdale megalopolis that lies immediately to the east of all that wild space.

Exploring the Outer Reaches of the Everglades

This post was written by guest blogger Emily Nodine, a PhD candidate in FIU's Periphyton Lab (

When people think about today’s Everglades or the “River of Grass,” they generally think of Lake Okeechobee, Everglades National Park, and the canals and water control structures in between.  But the watershed is actually much larger than that.  Lake Okeechobee does serve as the headwaters of the Everglades; prior to human alteration, Lake Okeechobee would slowly overflow southward during very wet periods, forming the shallow, slow-flowing sheet of water that earned it the title “River of Grass.”  Today, the Hoover Dike prevents this and the water flow is strictly controlled, mostly released to the east and west coasts via the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers, but also southward to the Everglades through an extensive system of canals and water control structures.  But the water in Lake Okeechobee came from somewhere else, too.

Lake Okeechobee sits at the…