Research is the driving force behind MKEI’s mission to cultivate partnerships to create sustainable environmental change bettering our globe.


At MKEI, we gather and analyze data to develop solutions to environmental challenges; to address balance between humans and the environment; and to enhance management and use of environmental resources.

Current projects focus on Northwest Florida’s coastal dune lakes. These are unique water bodies located near the coastline, which open intermittently to the Gulf of Mexico. MKEI is examining the biology (flora and fauna), chemical, and physical components to construct a comprehensive assessment of these valuable ecosystems.

What We’re Working On Now

Coastal Dune Lakes Phytoplankton Assessment

Obtaining descriptive baseline data about the phytoplankton communities present in the coastal dune lakes to better understand their dynamics in dune lake ecology.

Coastal Dune Lakes Vegetation Survey

Assessing aquatic macrophyte (plant) communities in the coastal dune lakes and how salinity affects those communities.

Coastal Dune Lakes Fish Population Survey

Providing a baseline understanding of the variety of species inhabiting the coastal dune lakes, and their respective locations.

Oyster Reef Faunal Assessment

Analyzing the biodiversity of oyster reef sites, to assess how productive the reefs have become since installation.

Webinar Coming Soon

On Thursday, June 25 at 1 p.m. (CST) join MKEI for a webinar on Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Central America presented by Marina De León, M.S., Ph.D. candidate, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics at University of California, Davis. Marina E. De León is a doctoral researcher in Jonathan A. Eisen’s lab at the University of California, Davis. Her primary…

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Tools of the Trade

You need the right tools for every job. The MKEI team has to use a variety of tools during our work, some of which are as simple as a slightly modified trash can, and others are more complex, using sonar waves to map structure. Some of the tools that we construct ourselves are simple-yet-specialized. For…

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We build capacity to inspire global, environmental agents of change.