• About Us

    About Us

Karl Havens


Karl Havens

Professor, Fisheries
and Aquatic Sciences

PO Box 110400
Gainesville, FL 32611-0400
(352) 392-5870
Fax: 352-392-5113


The Director provides leadership for strategic planning, program implementation, formation of strategic partnerships and investment of program resources. He is responsible for the objectivity, scientific rigor, responsiveness and impact of the Florida Sea Grant College Program, and for oversight of a program that expends approximately $7M annually on applied coastal research, education and extension. The Director represents the program and enhances its value to the citizens of Florida and the National Sea Grant College Program through effective communication with and engagement of state and federal agencies, non-for-profit institutes, elected officials and other decision makers, and the people of Florida who have an interest in the economic and environmental sustainability of Florida’s coastal systems.


Dr. Havens has 35 years of professional experience in aquatic research, education and outreach, and has worked with Florida aquatic ecosystems and the use of objective science in their management for the past 23 years. His area of research specialty is the response of aquatic ecosystems to natural and human-caused stressors, including hurricanes, drought, climate change, eutrophication, invasive species and toxic materials.

Dr. Havens has published over 150 peer-reviewed journal articles in his area of expertise, several book chapters, several invited review papers, an edited book with colleagues in the P.R. China and a book on the Global Water Crisis. Most recently he and his international colleagues have written papers about the expected synergistic effects of climate change and eutrophication on lakes and estuaries, long-term changes in water temperatures of lakes around the world, patterns of aquatic animal body size across a large latitudinal gradient, and the future of controlling harmful algal blooms in the face of climate change. He has research collaborations with scientists in Canada, England, Italy, Denmark, Brazil, Japan, China, Turkey and the Netherlands. He is the founding editor of the electronic journal Freshwater Systems, is Associate Editor for the Journal of Plankton Research and the journal Hydrobiologia, and is a member of the Editorial Board of Nature Scientific Reports.

He is a recipient of the Edward Deevey, Jr. Award from the Florida Lake Management Society for his research dealing with Florida lake ecosystems. He is a member of the Florida Oceans and Coastal Resources Council, which provides the Florida Legislature with an annual research plan addressing critical coastal issues. He is a member of the Florida Ocean Alliance, a non-partisan organization dedicated to bringing together government, academic and private sectors in Florida to protect and enhance the coastal and ocean resources, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Florida Institute of Oceanography. At the University of Florida, he has served as Chair of the UF Oil Spill Task Force and currently is Chair of the UF Oyster Recovery Team, which is dealing with the collapse of a historic oyster fishery in Apalachicola Bay, Florida.

Dr. Havens is a Professor in the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Program for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, where he serves on graduate committees, is conducting collaborative research related to effects of toxic algae blooms on river and estuary zooplankton, and teaches a course in plankton ecology.


  • PhD, Biology, West Virginia University, 1984
  • MS, Biology, West Virginia University, 1981
  • BA, Biology, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1979

Selected recent publications

R. Meganck, K. Havens and R. Pinto-Coelho. 2015. The schism between water science and water policy. Nature, in press.

Sharma, S. … Havens, K. … et al. 2015. A global database of lake surface temperatures collected by in situ and satellite methods from 1985-2009. Nature Scientific Data DOI: 10.1038/sdata.2015.8.

Aumen, N.G., K.E. Havens, G. Ronnie Best and Leonard Berry. 2015. Predicting ecological responses of the Florida Everglades to possible future climate scenarios. Environmental Management 55: 741-748.

Havens, K.E., R.M. Pinto-Coelho, M. Beklioflu, K.S. Christoffersen, E. Jeppesen, T.L. Lauridsen, A. Mazumder, G. Methot, B. Pinel-Alloul, U.N. Tavsonoglu, S. Erdogan and J. Vijverberg. 2015. Temperature effects on body size of freshwater crustacean zooplankton from Greenland to the tropics. Hydrobiologia 743: 27-25.

Smith, V.H., W.K. Dodds, K.E. Havens, D.E. Engstrom, H.W. Paerl, B. Moss and G.E. Likens. 2014. Cultural eutrophication of natural lakes in the United States is real and widespread. Limnology and Oceanography 59: 2217-2225.

Havens, K.E. and A.D. Steinman. 2014. Ecological responses of a large shallow lake (Lake Okeechobee, Florida) to climate change and future hydrologic regimes. Environmental Management DOI 10.1007/s00267-013-0189-3.

Moss, B., S. Kosten, M. Meerhoff, R.W. Batterbee, E. Jeppesen, N. Mazzeo, K. Havens, G. Lacerot, Z. Liu, L. De Meester, H. Paerl and M. Scheffer. 2011. Allied attack: climate change and eutrophication. Inland Waters 1: 101-105.

Conley, D.J., H.W. Paerl, R.W. Howarth, D.F. Boesch, S.P. Seitzinger, K.E. Havens, C. Lancelot and G.E. Likens. 2010. Eutrophication: time to adjust expectations. Science 324: 724-725.