Ian Zink

ian zink

Ian Zink began working with CIMAS in May 2010 after obtaining an MSc degree studying aquaculture at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (UM RSMAS). Ian had previously earned an undergraduate degree from UM (May  2004) and went to complete his PhD degree (Dec. 2017: UM RSMAS) while employed with CIMAS. He has led and assisted with ecological monitoring; manipulative field; laboratory growth, survival, and behavioral; and ecological modeling research projects. The recurring motif of these investigations is determiniation of salinity regime effects on the presence, distribution, abundance, growth, survival, and productivity of targeted ecological indicator species within south Florida nearshore and estuarine marine ecosystems. Not oniy is salinity regime recognized as one of the main abiotic factors influening the structure and productivity of esturain communities, but its alteration is one of the main intended outcomes of Comprehensive Everglades Restoraton Plan (CERP) implemenation. Recognized as onthe the world's largest attempts at ecological resoration, CERP intends to restore the quality, quantity, timing, and distribution of terrestrial hydrology and freshwater discharge to south Florida coastal areas. Ian is primarily involved with two CERP ecological monitoring projects, the Inegrated Biscayne Bay Ecological Assesment and Monitoring (IBBEAM) program, which focus on Biscayne Bay and Florida Bay, respectively. Other research topics that interest Ian include the effects of disturbance events on seagrass-associated faunal communities, recruitment of seagrass fauna to nearshore nursery areas, exotic species ecology, development of ecologically-minded aquaculture, and the development of green-gray infrastructure can also protect infrastructure from storm surge and wave action, reduce coastal runoff and nutrient loading, and bring pleasing aesthetics to urban environments. 

While the awe and inspiration from the outdoors has always been a motivation for him, Ian's passion for marine science began in the third grade. Being from Wisconsin and Ohio, people have always been intrigued by the enthusiasm for the coast; he beleives it began as a baby on the shores of Lake Superior and with family visits to New England as a young child. He appreciates paying the reverence forward by sharing his passion with younger students. Ian has co-mentored a number of undergraduate NOAA scholars as weel as graduate students from UM RSMAS. He is also involved with scoping and planning of living shorelines development with NGO's, the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, and the Village of Key Biscayne.

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