Ecologist joins state algae task force


Evelyn Gaiser has been named to Florida’s new blue-green algae task force by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The ecologist is among the five experts who have been called on to make recommendations to expedite nutrient reduction projects and to identify opportunities to fund those projects in and around Lake Okeechobee and other key waterways. Addressing nutrient levels could prevent blue-green algal blooms and red tide outbreaks.

“I hope that being on this task force will allow me to drive solutions forward that not only help Lake Okeechobee, but that make a difference for bringing clean water, and more water, to the southern Everglades,” Gaiser said. “For me, it’s exciting to know that our governor cares to have insight provided to him from a team of very serious scientists. This team is comprised of the top people in our state working on water quality and I was honored to be asked to be a part of it.”

Gaiser’s research at FIU focuses on understanding how algae can be used as indicators of the effects of long-term climate change and land use in aquatic ecosystems.

She is the lead principal investigator of the Florida Coastal Everglades-Long Term Ecological Research program based at FIU and is the George M. Barley Jr. endowed chair in Everglades research. She is a faculty member in the department of biological sciences in the College of Arts, Sciences & Education and is an affiliate of the Southeast Environmental Research Center in the Institute of Water and Environment.

Christine Calvo and Candice Allouch contributed to this story.