Faculty in the Spotlight<--Back

2013 Water Institute Faculty Fellow, Dr. Matthew Cohen ,

As an ecosystems hydrologist, Dr. Matt Cohen is one who understands the intricacies of water’s role in ecological systems. His research focuses on growth, nutrient cycling and pattern formation within ecological systems with a recent interest in the development of federal policy on regulations of waterways.

In a national and international context, Cohen’s work with sensor technology has produced in-depth insights into the environmental, chemical and biological complexities of rivers. Cohen’s research focus broadened to include policy issues in 2013, coincidentally the same time of his appointment to the University of Florida Water Institute’s inaugural class of Faculty Fellows.

“It was pretty early in my career, and I look around at some real giants on campus—to be nominated was cool, but to be selected was even cooler,” said Cohen on his selection as a 2013 Water Institute Faculty Fellow.

Cohen credits projects that he has worked on, conversations that have happened and collaborations that he has been a part of directly to the multi-disciplinary approach of the Water Institute.

“I feel like the Water Institute tries to be relevant to policy makers in a way that pure academia doesn’t always have to answer to,” said Cohen. “We look for issues that are academically interesting, but also matter to people.”

Cohen currently serves as the chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee of the Water Institute. In the future, he looks forward to continuing his work with the Water Institute specifically with the biennial symposia and distinguished scholars seminar series. Overall, Cohen has valued the partnerships and relationships that he has developed through his three-year term as a Water Institute Faculty Fellow.

“It’s easy when you are a faculty member to imagine your work is anonymous,” said Cohen about his work prior to his involvement with the UF Water Institute. “You don’t know who’s paying attention or learning anything, but the idea that we have a community of researchers at UF gave me the notion that this is real.”