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Environmental Science and Hydrology

FLorida Spring

Limnology and Paleolimnology

Mark Brenner is a limnologist and paleolimnologist with special interests in tropical and subtropical lakes and watersheds. He uses sediment cores from the bottoms of lakes to reconstruct the history of aquatic ecosystems and their drainage basins. Sediment profiles are excellent archives of past environmental conditions and preserve historical records of both long-term climate changes and anthropogenic impacts. His research is collaborative and multidisciplinary, often involving palynology, sediment geochemistry, mineralogy, animal microfossil analysis, radiometric dating, and archaeology. (email:

Hydrogeology and Hydrogeochemistry

Jon Martin studies the hydrogeology and hydrochemistry of karst aquifers, particularly the physical and chemical interaction between surface and groundwater and the exchange of water between pore spaces of matrix rocks and large conduit/cave systems. He uses natural chemical tracers such as major element concentrations, activity of radon, and strontium and oxygen isotopic compositions of the water to determine the timing and extent of mixing. Another aspect of his research program focuses on submarine discharge of groundwater to estuarine and near-shore marine waters. The research program is field-based and uses temporal and spatial variations in pore water chemistry to measure flow rates of the discharging groundwater, as well as mechanisms driving flow of the water. In conjunction with the pore water solutes, he uses concentrations of naturally occurring chemical tracers in the surface water to determine the fluxes of water and nutrients to the surface waters. (email:

Liz Screaton studies the interaction between conduit and matrix flow in the Floridan Aquifer. She uses monitoring of water levels and temperatures in karst windows and wells to determine hydraulic gradients, and subsurface flow velocities. (email:

Organic Geochemistry and Biogeochemistry

Andy Zimmerman is an organic geochemist who studies organic matter-mineral-microbe relationships and human influences on organic matter preservation. (email:

Dr. Thomas S. Bianchi – Biogeochemistry and processing of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in coastal, oceanic, estuarine, and riverine environments. (email:

Dr. Amy J. Williams –Geobiology, organic geochemistry, astrobiology, planetary science. (

In addition to the research described above, faculty in the Department of Geological Sciences are part of a NSF-IGERT program in Adaptive Management: Wise Use of Water, Wetlands, and Watersheds. This interdisciplinary program offers fellowships for PhD students (must be US citizens/residents). Please contact faculty members for information.

Sampling in Greenland
Sampling in Greenland