Scott H. Markwith, Ph.D.


Curriculum Vitae Link


Ph.D. University of Georgia

M.S. University of Georgia

B.A. University of Mary Washington


Research Interests


  • Ecological Biogeography

  • Terrestrial, Wetland, and Nearshore Environments

  • Population and Community Level Processes

  • Environmental Restoration

  • Population and Conservation Genetics

  • Vegetation Dynamics and Disturbance


As a biogeographer I study the processes, natural and anthropogenic, that shape the spatial patterns we see in wild populations, communities, and ecosystems. My interests span gradients from terrestrial to aquatic systems, with research experience in freshwater and estuarine wetland ecosystems, such as the Everglades, Kissimmee River, Indian River Lagoon, and Lake Worth Lagoon, the Pantanal of Brazil, in rivers of the southeastern Piedmont, upland forest and wetland systems of the Appalachian and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges, and alpine zones in the Himalaya of Nepal.

Current Graduate Students

Rabindra Parajuli


Ph.D. student, Fall 2019 - Present
M.S. Tribhuvan University

B.S. Tribhuvan University


Rabindra is originally from the Nepal Himalayas. As a part of his MS dissertation, he assessed the nurse effect of shrubs in maintaining community plant species diversity and floristic composition in High-altitude Himalayas. Since his master’s, he is engaged in many researches, both nationally and internationally, in the areas of the plant (landscape, community and vegetation) ecology, soil microbial ecology, forest resource assessment, and sustainable resource management and conservation. For his doctoral dissertation, Rabindra aims to assess plant interactions’ response in high-elevation alpine mountains using temperature manipulations, and various gradients – both natural (elevation, precipitation) and anthropological (wildfire or grazing). He aims to produce a predictive model of how climate change and fire regime or grazing may alter species interaction patterns, modify species distribution and affect belowground microorganisms and above-ground plant species. One of the goals would be to disentangle how interactions shape community assembly and affect the plant diversity-productivity-stability relationships.


Brittny Aguiar


M.S. Student, Fall 2019 - Present
B.S. York College of Pennsylvania


Brittny has a degree in Biology from York College of Pennsylvania, with a focus in Sustainability and Environmental Science. She is a TA for the Department of Geosciences, and for her thesis research she plans to model habitat distributions for manatees in relation to future sea level rise.

Adam Kobylski


M.S. Student, Fall 2019 - Present
B.S. York College of Pennsylvania


Adam has a degree in Natural Resources Management where he focused on wildlife ecology. His research interests include studying the spatial and temporal effects of environmental and biogeographical factors after disturbance or anthropogenic influences. He is am a native to South Florida, where he has interned with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as the South Florida Water Management District. He is currently a teaching assistant in the Geosciences Department, and conducting research on the effects of estuarine restoration on fish community composition and diversity.


Asha Paudel


Ph.D. student, Summer 2017 - Present

M.S. Tribhuvan University
B.S. Tribhuvan University


Asha is a native of Nepal, where she studied botany at the undergraduate and master's levels.  Her work has focused on plants of the Himalayas, ethnobotany, and human-environment interactions.  Asha's master's thesis focused on human induced changes to fire regimes and vegetation communities in the sub-alpine shrub zone.  Her dissertation research is funded by the Joint Fire Science Program and is being conducted in frequently reburned mixed conifer forests in the Sierra Nevada range in collaboration with the USFS Sierra/Cascade Province Ecology Program, Pacific Southwest Research Center, and Plumas and Lassen National Forests.

Amber Graham-Moore

M.S. student, Spring 2020 - Present
B.S. Florida Atlantic University


Amber is currently involved with the ecological monitoring of the Kissimmee River Restoration Project as an environmental scientist for FAU Center for Environmental Studies in contract with the South Florida Water Management District. She is the lead scientist on the River Channel Littoral Vegetation survey. For her thesis research she plans to focus on hydrological impacts on the vegetation communities of the Kissimmee River Valley.


Mason Smith

Ph.D. student, Spring 2017 - Present
M.S. University of North Florida

B.S. University of Central Florida


Mason works full-time for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as a biological scientist with the Division of Marine Fisheries Management.  His dissertation is inspired by his fisheries policy and management work with FWC and will focus on developing a food web ecosystem model for the fishery in Florida Bay in Everglades National park.

Mason was awarded a ForEverglades Scholarship of $8,000 in 2017 by the Everglades Foundation in support of his dissertation.

Olena Leskova

Ph.D. student, Fall 2021 - Present

M.S. Florida Atlantic University

Specialist Degree Khmelnytskyi National University
B.S. Khmelnytskyi National University

Olena is interested in the application of GIS to solve problems related to human-environment interactions.  Her Master's thesis research examined the impact of utility scale solar energy facilities in peninsular Florida on habitat suitability and connectivity of the Florida panther.  It was the first research examining the impacts of USSE facilities on large carnivore dispersal corridors, and will soon be published in the Journal of Ecology.


Heather Smith

Ph.D. student, Fall 2021 - Present

M.S. Florida Atlantic University

B.S. Millsaps College

Heather is developing an ecosystem model of Lake Okeechobee to measure the impacts of habitat restoration and climate change. She is interested in restoration ecology and human-environment interactions, and has conducted research on pesticide impacts on loggerhead sea turtles, wading bird prey availability, and mapped restoration projects and examined predator-prey interactions in the lower Mississippi River.

Lab Alumni

Rachael Greller


M.S. student, Spring 2017 - Spring 2019
B.S. University of West Florida

Alana Edwards


M.S. Geosciences, FAU, Spring 2018
M.S. Florida Atlantic University
B.A. Florida Atlantic University

Dean Monette


Ph.D. student, Fall 2009 - Fall 2014
M.S. Florida Atlantic University
B.S. Florida Atlantic University

Stevee Norman


M.S. Environmental Sciences, FAU, Spring 2013
B.S. Florida Atlantic University



Garren Mezza


M.S. Environmental Sciences, FAU, Fall 2012

B.S. Florida State University