Wetland Biogeochemistry Institute investigates chemical and ecological interactions in marshes, mangroves, swamps, and flood plains of deltaic coastal settings. Research topics include chemical and biological behavior of plant nutrients and toxic substances in wetlands to understand structure and function of coastal ecosystems. The environmental impacts of plant nutrients, pesticides, toxic heavy metals, and hydrocarbons in wetlands are areas of faculty expertise.
Current research includes studies on the processing of primary nutrients in coastal ecosystems (including sources and sinks), response of wetland plants to various environmental stressors such as anaerobic soil conditions and salinity, factors affecting the biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons and toxic synthetic organic compounds in wetlands, and physiochemical reactions of toxic metals in soils and sediment-water systems affecting their mobility and biological activity.
Other important current research activities include comparative ecosystem ecology of wetlands, and chemical, physical, and biological factors affecting coastal marsh instability, including strategies for effective wetland restoration. In
addition to University support, the institute receives grant and contract funding from various federal and state agencies and private industry.
The facilities encompass over 14,000 square feet on the first and the second floor of the LSU Energy, Coast and Environment Building, divided into 25 o)ffices, 12 laboratories, mini-library and two conference rooms.