William E. Pine, III
Recent Accomplishments and Current Research Agenda


Recent Accomplishments:

Pine 1Dr. William Pine is an Associate Professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation whose recent research is focused on assessing ecosystem resilience to management actions in rivers and estuaries to advance our knowledge of aquatic ecology while improving our management and restoration capabilities. During the past 5 years (2008-2012) Dr. Pine has received about $1.9 million dollars in funding to support his research efforts from a portfolio of federal and state research entities interested in the conservation and management of aquatic resources including the US Geologic Survey, National Park Service, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Dr. Pine and his students have published 26 peer-reviewed manuscripts in international journals during this period and have presented more than 35 presentations at regional, national, and international symposia including 8 invited presentations. Dr. Pine has led six research focused workshops with agency partners to identify persistent uncertainties in knowledge of how riverine ecosystems respond to exotic species introductions, water flows related to hydroelectric power production, and effects of drought. He has provided expert technical assistance on river ecology and ecosystem response to anthropogenic modifications to riverine flow on some of the most important river systems in North America including water allocation issues in the Sacramento, Colorado, and Apalachicola river basins which provide water to about 20% of the US populations as well as international service in the Madre de Dios River in the Amazon.

Current Research Agenda

Assessing ecosystem responses and informing management strategies to changes in river flows.

Pine 2Understanding how aquatic ecosystems respond to changes in water availability due to climate change and increases in human use related to population growth is a global need and a common theme in Dr. Pine's research program. Much of Dr. Pine's work is done in ecosystems where water resources are increasingly limited leading to water allocation disputes among US states, tribal groups, and water users (i.e., agricultural, urban, and recreational users). In these ecosystems Dr. Pine is working to identify common areas of uncertainty both in the ecology and governance structure of these ecosystems. These uncertainties can then be addressed through research using large-scale experiments and ecosystem modeling to determine the best approaches for managing water resources to minimize impacts to aquatic ecosystems while meeting water needs for human users. These experiments can serve as tests of different policy choices of how water resources will be allocated by management agencies and can lead to improvements in decision making by highlighting tradeoffs in ecosystem responses to the different policy choices. In a world with rapidly increasing competition for water resources the research program detailed here will lead to a great understanding of aquatic ecology and ultimately more effective management of aquatic resources benefiting both aquatic ecosystems as well as their human users.