Robert R. Twilley, Ph.D
LSU Director and Professor
Dr. Twilley’s research has focused on systems ecology and biogeochemistry of coastal wetlands both in the Gulf of Mexico and throughout Latin America. Through this research, He trys to develop fundamentals of ecosystem science by describing biogeochemical processes (denitrification, nutrient burial, benthic nutrient fluxes) that determine the function of coastal ecosystems as either a source or sink of primary nutrients to near shore environments. He uses modeling, field manipulations, and mesocosm techniques to test hypotheses of nutrient cycling in coastal ecosystems.
A large part of his career has been spent determining the role of mangroves in the fate of carbon and nutrients in tropical estuaries, again using conceptual and simulation models along with field experimentation. He has been involved with the restoration and nutrient dynamics of coastal ecosystems of the Florida Coastal Everglades/LTER program funded by NSF as another experimental test of these hypotheses.
Presently, Twilley is a member of the Louisiana Framework Development Team that is developing a comprehensive restoration plan for the Louisiana Coastal Area. His current focus is developing ecosystem models, both conceptual and simulation, to forecast the rehabilitation of coastal and wetland ecosystems.