FIU Paris Agreement experts

President Trump has announced that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The landmark climate accord looks to prevent further damage due to climate change by dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in 2020. The Paris Agreement was signed by 195 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change members.

Florida International University has several experts who can speak to the implications of the United States withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, including from the environmental and political aspects.

For questions or assistance in contacting any of the following experts, please call the Office of Media Relations:

  • Maydel Santana, director: 305-348-1555,
  • Dianne Fernandez, broadcast media specialist: 305-608-4870,
  • JoAnn Adkins, director of marketing & PR, College of Arts, Sciences & Education:  305-348-0398,
  • Evelyn Gonzalez, account manager, marketing & PR, College of Arts, Sciences & Education: 305-348-4493,



Tiffany Troxler
Director, Sea Level Solutions Center, College of Arts, Sciences & Education
Tiffany Troxler is the director of FIU’s Sea Level Solutions Center. She attended COP 21 (Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) meetings leading up to the signing of the agreement, and she served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories as their wetlands expert. Troxler can speak to the approaches the U.S. uses to meet its commitments to the Paris Agreement, including wetlands. Troxler is a wetland ecologist whose research program includes projects in coastal wetland ecosystem and carbon dynamics. She currently leads research on the effects of salinity inundation associated with sea-level rise to assess the impact on the Everglades coastal wetlands.

Todd Crowl
Director, FIU Southeast Environmental Research Center
Founding Director, FIU Institute of Water and Environment
College of Arts, Sciences & Education
Todd Crowl is the director of FIU’s Southeast Environmental Research Center whose researchers have conducted scientific investigations and informed policy and management of South Florida’s threatened environments. He is also the founding director of FIU’s Institute of Water and Environment dedicated to addressing global water and environmental challenges impacting the environment through interdisciplinary research, education and outreach. Crowl can speak to sea level rise, carbon emissions and reductions, and social issues related to and economic impacts of the Paris Agreement. Crowl is an aquatic ecologist who has studied the role of urbanization on freshwater resources. He has bachelor’s degrees philosophy and zoology from the Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Oklahoma. Crowl is available for phone interviews.

Philip Stoddard
Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, College of Arts, Sciences & Education 
Philip Stoddard is a professor of biological sciences at FIU. He can speak to the environmental, social and economic implications of the Paris Agreement. In 2016, he was named to Politico Magazine’s Politico 50  list for his commitment to educating and engaging the public on sea level rise. In 2015, Stoddard was appointed by the White House to recommend policies to the National Ocean Council. In his advisory role to the Cabinet-level council, Stoddard is advancing sea level rise and climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. Stoddard is a zoologist who has dedicated his career to understanding the evolution of animal communication systems. He is currently serving his fourth term in office as the South Miami mayor.

Evelyn Gaiser
Executive Director, School of Environment, Arts and Society, College of Arts, Sciences & Education
Evelyn Gaiser can speak to the environmental consequences of inaction on climate change locally and globally. She is a wetland ecologist who specializes in algal biology and drivers of environmental change in algal communities in lakes and wetlands. Gaiser is the executive director of FIU’s School of Environment, Arts and Society in the College of Arts, Sciences & Education. She is also the Lead Principal Investigator of the Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research Program, conducting some of the longest and largest studies on how climate change, hydrology and people interact and impact the Florida Coastal Everglades. Gaiser is the lead investigator of the Miami-node of a large multi-city program addressing how cities build resilience to extreme events under climate change. Gaiser has a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. She has extensive media experience, including print, broadcast and digital media.

James Fourqurean, Ph.D.
Director, FIU Marine Education and Research Initiative
James Fourqurean is a marine ecologist and is one of the leaders of a global initiative to mitigate greenhouse gases by conservation and restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems. Fourqurean has dedicated his career to seagrass research, completing a landmark study that found restoring seagrass meadows can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by increasing carbon storage. He has testified before the European Union Parliament on the importance of carbon stored in seagrasses for climate change mitigation. Fourqurean is the director of FIU’s Marine Education and Research Initiative, a program focused on marine research, conservation and outreach in the Florida Keys. He is also the principal investigator for FIU’s Aquarius Reef Base, the world’s only undersea lab. Fourqurean has a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. He has extensive media experience.

Juliet Pinto
Interim Executive Director and Associate Professor, College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts
Juliet Pinto is the Interim Executive Director and an associate professor in the Department of Journalism + Media in the School of Communication + Journalism. Dr. Pinto studies environmental communication in Spanish- and English-language media. Her award-winning documentary on sea level rise, “South Florida’s Rising Seas,” aired in January 2014 and was repurposed by PBS NewsHour for their national newscast. Pinto can speak to the importance of finding solutions to global warming for South Florida

She attended the first week of the COP21 (Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) climate negotiations with a delegate badge from the International Environmental Communication Association’s (IECA’s) Climate Negotiations Working Group, and the Research and Independents Non Governmental Organization, a constituency group under the United Nations Framework on Climate Change.

Rita Teutonico
College of Arts, Sciences & Education 
Rita Teutonico is the Associate Dean of Research for FIU’s College of Arts, Sciences & Education. Her areas of research include sustainability science, environmental science, molecular biology and genetics, biotechnology and social science. She can speak to issues of water sustainability and urbanization and impacts on agriculture. Prior to joining FIU, Teutonico served as the Director of Research Development for Utah State University and as the Senior Science Advisor for Integrative Activities at the National Science Foundation. Teutonico has a Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of Pennsylvania.



April Merleaux
Professor, Department of History, Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs
April Merleaux is associate professor of history at FIU, specializing in environmental history. Merleaux is Project Director for the Ecohumanities for Cities in Crisis, a public event series on the area of climate change and sea level rise. She is currently conducting research on the environmental history of the War on Drugs in the United States and Latin America. Her book, Sugar and Civilization: American Empire and the Cultural Politics of Sweetness, tells the story of sugar from the Spanish American War through the New Deal of the 1930s.



Mahadev Bhat
Professor, Environmental Economics, Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs
Co-director, Agroecology Program, College of Arts, Sciences & Education
Mahadev Bhat is professor of environmental economics and co-director of the Agroecology Program at FIU. His research focuses on the economics of coastal resource management, the economics of natural resources and human dimensions of the South Florida environment. His work seeks to integrate ecological and economic principles into environmental problem solving and more holistic policy decisions to promote sustainable resource management.

Gail Hollander, professor of geography
Department of Global & Sociocultural Studies, Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs
Gail Hollander is associate professor of geography in the Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies. She helped direct an exhibit on sea level rise at the Coral Gables Museum of Art, “Miami 2100: Envisioning a Resilient Second Century.” She is the author of Raising Cane in the ‘Glades: The Global Sugar Trade and the Transformation of Florida.

Roderick Neumann
Professor of Geography, Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs
Chair, Department of Global & Sociocultural Studies
Roderick Neumann is professor of geography and chair of the Department of Global & Sociocultural Studies at FIU. His research focuses on the relationships between political, economic and social factors within environmental issues, linking ecology and social theory to explain environmental degradation and social conflict. He has written extensively on the relationships between human beings and the environment.



Nancy Loman Scanlon
Associate professor, Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management
Dr. Nancy Loman Scanlon currently serves as the co-chair of the American Hotel and Lodging Association Sustainability Council; as an advisory panel member of the International Tourism Partnership in the U.K. ; and , simultaneously, as the chairperson of the sustainability council for the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association. Dr. Scanlon is active in researching the sea level rise and other climate change related impacts on South Florida and the tourism industry. She most recently published an article in the Hotel Business Review on the UN 17 SDG’s and their adoption by the lodging industry both in the U.S and globally . In March of 2015, Dr. Scanlon presented ‘Miami: A City Slipping Back into the Sea’ at the United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction Summit in Sendai, Japan and was recognized by the United States Senate for contributions to the State of Florida with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition.