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We provide a scholarly and social environment for the students of the FCE LTER conducting research in the Florida Everglades and adjacent ecosystems.

We support collaborative student research projects both within the FCE site as well as collaborations with all other LTER network sites. We will continue to pursue new technologies, sampling methods and ecological theories through collaboration with other LTER sites.

Graduate Student Executive Committee

  • FCE LTER Site Representative/President: Chloe' Vorseth
    Chloe Vorseth

    Chloe' Vorseth is a second-year Earth Systems Science PhD student advised by Dr. Mahadev Bhat. She also conducts research at The Everglades Foundation as a ForEverglades Fellow, working with economist Dr. G. Andrew Stainback. Her research focuses on economic valuation of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. She is currently researching the economic value of recreational angling in Lake Okeechobee, the St. Lucie estuary, and the Caloosahatchee estuary. She is also interested in valuing the economic losses associated with harmful algal blooms in all three connected ecosystems. Chloe's goals as president include actively recruiting students from a variety of research subject areas, maintaining member connectivity in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and focusing on professional development through seminars on science communication, student research talks, and career panels. She sees the group as a vibrant source of connection and collaboration for all student scientists conducting research in the Everglades ecosystem.

  • Vice President: Nicole Strickland
    Nicole Strickland

    Nicole Strickland is a fourth-year PhD Student within the Biology Department. She is advised by Dr. Joel Trexler within the Aquatic Ecology Research Lab. Nicole’s research investigates how changes in habitat heterogeneity affect population dynamics and community assembly for different organisms within Everglades wetland habitats. Her research incorporates aspects of Geographic Information Sciences (GIS) such as remote sensing and satellite imagery in order to evaluate the effects of these changes. As vice president, Nicole hopes to take advantage of this unique situation, to bring together different members of the scientific community. She wants to create fun and creative events to increase opportunities in networking and career development. She also wants to create mentorship and outreach programs to educate others about the diverse research projects within the FCE LTER network.

  • Secretary: Natasha Viadero
    Natasha Viadero

    Natasha Viadero is a second year Environmental Studies MS student advised by Dr. Jennifer Rehage. Natasha’s work aims to understand the habitat use and movement response of Florida Largemouth Bass in Shark River as it relates to varying hydrologic conditions, mainly salinity. She seeks to develop a predictive framework for how freshwater species respond to changes in salinity to gain insight on how they may be impacted by climate change and sea level rise. Natasha’s goal as secretary is to help develop and organize new ways to enhance connectivity among the student group and increase participation from a diverse pool of disciplines. She believes that the interdisciplinary nature of the FCE LTER network strengthens our ability to produce meaningful and actionable science.

  • Treasurer: Joshua Linenfelser
    Joshua Linenfelser

    Joshua Linenfelser is a first year Master's student in the department of Earth and Environment obtaining his degree in Environmental Studies. Joshua is advised under Dr. Jennifer Rehage in the Coastal Fisheries Ecology Lab, working towards his research in determining sources of nutrients in the Florida coastal Everglades and how they may alter the surrounding ecosystem. With this research he hopes to inform future management practices within South Florida to maintain ongoing healthy natural ecosystems for future generations. Joshua intends to focus his efforts as treasurer of the FCE student group toward managing funds in a way that will produce increased student and community outreach along with expanded options provided for group activity and engagement aiding to support a more cohesive group. Communication and cohesiveness don't seem to be such strong attributes for communities during this time of increased separation, however Joshua sees it as an opportunity to work with his fellow group members to think of creative ideas and solutions allowing for a successful and impactful year.

  • BBC Representative: Peter Flood
    Peter Flood

    Peter Flood is a fourth year PhD candidate advised by Dr. Joel Trexler and an FIU ForEverglades Scholar with The Everglades Foundation. His research focuses on the impacts of invasive fishes, particularly the African Jewelfish (Hemichromis letourneuxi), on ecosystem function in the form of energy flow through the aquatic food web. He is currently using a suite of diet tracers to compare the food web pre- and post-Jewelfish invasion in Shark River Slough as well as describing the contemporary food web in Taylor Slough. He is quantifying both direct and indirect impacts by invasive fishes on energy flow through the food web. His aim is to scale up these dynamics to the landscape scale to compare differences in energy density among past, present, and future food webs (based on potential restoration scenarios). As the BBC representative, his goal is to use the flexibility inherent in our remote circumstances to facilitate increased attendance by BBC students to FCE LTER virtual events - no sitting in Miami traffic - and to carry that over to increased physical participation in the future as events unfold. 

  • Off-Site Representative: Zhuoran Yu
    Zhuoran Yu

    Zhuoran Yu is a second-year master’s student in the Biological Science Department of the University of Alabama and a fellow of the ForEverglades Foundation. She is co-advised by Dr. Gregory Starr and Dr. Christina Staudhammer. Her research is on methane emissions from freshwater marshes in the Florida Everglades using the Eddy Covariance techniques. Her main goal is to identify drivers of methane release from subtropical natural wetlands and enhance the understanding of the carbon cycle in the Everglades. As the off-campus representative, Zhuoran wishes to reach out to students who are not currently at FIU and provide opportunities for them to stay more connected with the FCE student group. Furthermore, she hopes to hold virtual events to help students who could not visit their site often due to distance or the COVID-19 pandemic to get familiar with the Everglades.

  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Evelyn Gaiser
    Evelyn Gaiser

    Dr. Gaiser has served as the lead principal investigator of the FCE LTER program and the faculty advisor for FCE LTER Graduate Student Group since 2007. She has been mentoring FCE LTER graduate students since the beginning of the FCE LTER program in 2000.