Research Scientist for Sanibel Conservation Foundation Marine Laboratory
E-Mail: email@example.com Office: Off Campus
Eric Milbrandt is a Research Scientist at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (since 2003), a member of the FGCU adjunct graduate faculty and holds a courtesy faculty appointment at FGCU (since 2005). His research interests are the biology and ecology of mangrove and tropical seagrass ecosystems. Eric received his doctorate from the University of Oregon, where his dissertation focused on bacterial species distribution patterns in estuarine sediments. His research developed the application of DNA-based tools to study intertidal mudflats, where a majority of the decomposition and nutrient cycling is mediated by bacteria. During his transition to Florida, Eric established several permanent mangrove forest plots to study the effects of human activities on mangrove reproduction, recruitment and forest structure. He has published several peer-reviewed journal articles on the recovery of mangroves after hurricane disturbance and the effect of sea-level rise on black mangrove recruitment. Currently, he is collaborating with FGCU faculty and graduate students to further understand ecological processes in mangrove ecosystems and to predict the effect of sea-level rise and disturbance. Other current research includes the formation of high salinity, high CDOM water and the dynamics of CDOM and other optical properties in Caloosahatchee River and estuary. Optical data from RECON ( http://recon.sccf.org), an inshore observing system, are also being used to develop and refine optical models to be coupled with seagrass growth rates to provide a tool for real-time seagrass and resource management. Other interests include the distribution and abundance of macroalgae and the factors leading to blooms and large biomass stranding events on Gulf beaches. Dr. Milbrandt serves on FGCU master’s thesis committees and is an affiliate member of the Coastal Watershed Institute.