Dr. Joel Trexler
Director of the Coastal and Marine Laboratory
and Professor of Biological Science
Coastal & Marine Laboratory | 3618 Coastal Highway 98
St. Teresa, FL 32358
(850) 645 - 3480
Research and Professional Interests
I am very interested in how organisms fit into their biotic and abiotic environments, how they affect their environment and it affects them. Except for work on parasitic wasps for my masters degree, I have focused my study on fish and aquatic invertebrates. For 29 years, I have been engaged in efforts to manage and restore the Everglades (Florida, USA) and worked closely with State and Federal agencies to support monitoring and assessment of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). That work included collaborations with scientists studying periphyton and wading bird ecology to understand how management of water delivery and water quality shapes food-web function. I have participated in efforts to use this understanding to develop modeling tools used in computer simulations that evaluate alternative restoration scenarios and used to assess observed performance measure responses to management relative to model-based management targets.
I study population and community ecology of aquatic ecosystems, especially wetlands. Recent work focuses on the controls of aquatic animal population and community dynamics, as well as food-web function; the impact of spatial and historical context on system dynamics is a central element of my research. Because invasive fish species are a concern in the Everglades and greatly increased in abundance in the southern Everglades after 2010, my work has been increasingly influenced by invasion biology. My dissertation research was in the area of evolutionary ecology and life history evolution, which continues to influences all aspects of my ecological research.
Since moving to Florida State University, I have joined the Apalachicola Bay System Initiative as a co-Principal Investigator.
Ph.D., Florida State University, 1986 (Biology)
MSc, Florida State University, 1983 (Biology)
BSc, University of South Carolina, 1979 (Marine Biology)
Organization for Tropical Studies, Costa Rican Natural History 83-1
2019 - 2024 The Apalachicola Bay System Initiative. Triumph Gulf Coast Inc.
2018-2020 Impacts of Recent Fish Invasions on Native Fish Diets in the Shark River Slough: Repetition of Diet Study from 1977 to 1995. National Park Service
2017-2021 Freshwater Fish Monitoring in Water Conservation Area 3 and Everglades National Park. National Park Service
2017-2021 Analyzing the Impact of Changing Hydrologic Conditions along the Boundary of ENP. (with Evelyn Gaiser). National Park Service.
2017-2020 Aquatic Fauna & Periphyton Production Data Collection. (with Evelyn Gaiser) USACE.
2019-2021 Response of Fish to the DECOMP Physical Model. South Florida Water Management District.
2020-2022 Quantification of the aquatic faunal community and its effect on water quality in the Everglades Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs). South Florida Water Management District.
Research Areas & Interests
Population and community ecology, evolutionary ecology