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UF/IFAS Ordway-Swisher Biological Station

UF/IFAS Ordway-Swisher Biological Station

Research at OSBS

A combination of convenience, diversity, and size has made the Station an attractive site for researchers studying all facets of ecology. The Station's research mission focuses on supporting faculty, graduate, and undergraduate studies at the University of Florida as well as serve as a platform and collaborative environment for other universities/colleges and agencies. Approximately 300+ research publications and reports have been generated from university, state, federal, and private research studies that have utilized OSBS and over 70 graduate student projects have been conducted at the Station.

Research History

Much of the research to date has focused on understanding the processes and dynamics of the longleaf pine sandhill ecosystem. This understanding has also been advanced by hydrological and limnological studies that have examined water quality, acidification, ground water and chemical budgets of seepage lakes, nutrient limitations, and recharge affects to the water table aquifer from rainfall. There are over 50 bodies of water on the station including three wet prairies and a large flow through swamp system (Mill Creek Swamp). The isolated, ephemeral ponds in this upland landscape are an important feature in the life histories of many species. Due to the abundance of pyrogenic systems found at OSBS, fire ecology studies have been ongoing since the facilities inception.

Research focus areas: 

  • Agroecology
  • Botany
  • Biodiversity
  • Climate change
  • Disease ecology
  • Ecosystem dynamics
  • Fire Ecology
  • Forest ecology
  • Hydrology
  • Land use change impacts
  • Limnology
  • Wildlife ecology

State and federal agencies, universities, and NGOs that have utilitized OSBS for research: 

  • Baker University
  • Boston University
  • Cornell University
  • Duke University
  • Florida State University
  • Gran Grand Valley State Univ.
  • Harvard University
  • Humboldt State University
  • Kansas State University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Mississippi State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Oregon State University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Florida
  • University of Missouri
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Tampa
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute
  • Washington University
  • Yale University
  • Archbold Biological Station
  • Fl. Department of Environmental Protection
  • Fl. Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Fl. Forest Service
  • Jacksonville Energy Authority (JEA)
  • Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center
  • National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)
  • Smithsonian Institute
  • St. Johns River Water Management District
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • US Department of Agriculture
  • USDA Forest Service
  • USDA Forest Service - Center for Southern Wildland Urban Interface Research
  • USDA Forest Service - Southern Research Station
  • USGS Fl. Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
  • US Geological Survey
  • Wildlife Conservation Society