Tiffany G. Troxler, Ph.D., PI
Edward Castaneda, Ph.D., Research Associate
I earned a Ph.D. in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences from Louisiana State University (2010) and a M.S. in Ecology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (2003). I’m originally from Colombia where I obtained a B.S. in Marine Biology (1998) from Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano. My research as a wetland ecologist is focused on nutrient biogeochemistry and ecosystem dynamics of coastal wetlands, including mangrove forests and marshes. I study the effect of large-scale natural (hurricanes) and human (freshwater diversions) disturbances on carbon and nutrient dynamics and vegetation succession to understand trajectories of ecosystem structure and function. I have also conducted extensive research on mangrove restoration projects in Latin America to understand ecosystem trajectories based on environmental characterization, performance measures, and monitoring. My research also includes the implementation of self-activating sensors using a wireless telemetry system to evaluate coastal eutrophication, nutrient dynamics, and sediment transport in coastal ecosystems.
Chris Silivan, B. Sc., Research Assistant
I’m originally from North Texas and am happy to be here in South Florida in such a diverse environment. I’ve always been fascinated by science, the environment and sustainability, but I didn’t pursue it as an occupation until recently. Changing careers was a difficult decision, but I haven’t regretted it once. I’m passionate about Baseball (Boston Strong!) and English Football (Liverpool F.C. – You’ll Never Walk Alone!). I enjoy spending time with my family – especially at the beach. I’m always down for a cold beer and an interesting conversation. One of my goals is to get SCUBA certified and hunt lionfish.
Adam Hines, B. Sc., Field Manager
In my free time I enjoy kayaking, biking, cooking, and enjoying discovering the wonder of life unfolding.
Emily Standen, B. Sc., Senior Lab Technician
Science has always been my passion and while I grew up in Michigan, I always imagined myself pursuing a career in science in Florida. I guess dreams do come true! I love living in South Florida and enjoy taking advantage of the numerous days of sunshine by lounging at the beach or going for a hike. I received my B.Sc. in Zoology from Michigan State University and am finishing my M.S in Environmental Science from Florida Gulf Coast University. The Everglades are a unique and beautiful ecosystem and I’m thrilled to be part Dr. Troxler’s research to help better understand the dynamics of this valuable part of Florida’s environment.
Melinda Martinez, M.S., Senior Lab Technician
Originally from Dallas, TX, I received my M.S. in Environmental Science from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and my B.S. in Marine and Freshwater Biology from The University of Texas at Austin. I have a broad background in coastal environmental science and marine biology with research ranging from marine genetics, botany, and coastal geology. My research interests include coastal wetland management and conservation, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, Python programming, and field techniques for inventory and monitoring of the environment. In my free time I enjoy running long distances, sketching images of my friend’s dogs, and drinking wine as I watch sitcoms on Hulu.
Ben Wilson, M. S., Graduate Student Ph. D.
I graduated with a M.S. in Marine Biology from the University of Alabama at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. I’m broadly interested in ecosystem carbon and nutrient cycling, with particular curiosity in blue carbon sources and sinks and how global climate change may effect these. My dissertation work at FIU is focusing on carbon cycling and plant physiological responses to saltwater intrusion in the coastal Everglades. In my free time I like to bike, travel, cook, brew, and swim. http://students.fiu.edu/~bwils034/
Daniel Virden, B. Sc., Graduate Student M.S.
I completed my Bachelor’s in Environmental Science at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA I am broadly interested in wetland preservation and restoration. My research is focused ecosystem services of restored mangrove ecosystems to better understand trade-offs between carbon storage, storm protection, and wildlife habitat provided by mangroves in South Florida. I am also supporting the Troxler lab’s long-term monitoring efforts through water sample collections, file maintenance, and data visualization support in ArcGIS. When away from the lab, biking and birding bring me joy.
Marbelys Garriga, B. Sc., Research Assistant
I received my Bachelors in Biology from FIU in 2015. I plan to further my education in the field of Environmental Sciences. Although I am not originally from South Florida, I’ve been enjoying its outdoors since I moved here by hiking, scuba diving, and camping as much as possible. Now, I can only hope to help this beautiful and unique ecosystem so that future generations can enjoy it as much as I do.
Frank Skiff, Research Assistant
Throughout my life I have always had a passion to help out the world. I was originally born in the Bronx, NY, raised in Melbourne FL, and moved to Miami to further my career as a Biology major at FIU; I am currently in my senior year. I am interested in finding methods to better understand and aid the environment. I also own a science-based clothing line, Absence of Clothing, and donate half its profits to various charities.
Laura Bauman, M. S., Senior Lab Technician
I am a research assistant/senior lab tech in Dr. Troxler’s lab, with most of my time dedicated to the Seagrant Peat Collapse Project. I feel very lucky to live and work in Key Largo, where I help manage the mesocosm facility for the Seagrant Project and assist with other Florida Bay related field projects, as well as spend a good amount of time in the epic Everglades National Park. I have a M.S. in Marine Environmental Science and Coastal Zone Management from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and have always had a deep love and respect for anything wild, in a myriad of ecosystems. I especially am drawn toward wetlands, and the Everglades, because of the amazing dynamics that occur between the meeting of wet and dry conditions. I hope that our work helps us better understand the possible implications of sea level rise in our fragile Florida ecosystems.
Ryan Stolee, B. A., Research Assistant
I am positioned at our SERC office in Key Largo, FL, working on sampling collections and data that incorporate the southern Everglades. My educational experience includes a major/minor in International Relations/Environmental Science, as my interest lies in the interactions of humans and their environment. I spent the past years in the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and the Florida Keys educating youth and adults on the regional ecology and leading community-driven developmental projects.