Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research
Florida Coastal Everglades LTER - What We Do

What We Do

The Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research (FCE-LTER) project is a collaboration of over 120 researchers, students, and technical staff. The team studies the ways in which hydrology, climate, and human activities affect ecosystem patterns in the estuarine ecotones, or regions where freshwater and saltwater mix, of the Florida Coastal Everglades. In addition to collecting data, conducting experiments, and building models, the FCE-LTER team also distributes data to other scientists, presents research results at scientific conferences, publishes papers in peer-reviewed journals, trains graduate students to be professional scientists, and provides education and outreach to the south Florida community. We link FCE science with Everglades Restoration to provide reliable, continuous, and growing knowledge transfer from basic ecological theory to the development of more effective environmental management and restoration/rehabilitation programs.



Field and Lab Research
FCE researcher taking a water sample FCE researcher taking a water sample
Ph.D. student Josh working in the lab Ph.D. student Josh working in the lab


Research is the most central activity performed by FCE-LTER scientists. Countless hours are spent selecting appropriate field sites, installing environmental monitoring and experimentation equipment, collecting data, and analyzing data. Sample collection is often performed in the field, while biomass measurements, nutrient analyses, and ecological modeling are conducted in the laboratory.

MS student Bryan Delius with a bull shark in the Shark River
MS student Bryan Delius with a bull shark in the Shark River.

As an example of how this process is carried out consider the work of Dr. Mike Heithaus, whose research in the Everglades focuses on the importance of consumers, such as sharks, in transporting nutrients from the ocean into freshwater habitats.

Slide show of Dr. Mike Heithaus' Everglades research

An Introduction to FCE Research

Labs, centers, and institutes affiliated with the FCE LTER Program
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National Science Foundation logo This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program under Cooperative Agreements #DEB-1237517, #DBI-0620409, and #DEB-9910514. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Please address questions or comments about this website to: fcelter@fiu.edu.
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