Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Kenneth G. Furton, has announced the appointment of Dr. Rudolf Jaffé as the first recipient of the George Barley Professorship in Everglades Research. The appointment is financially supported by interest income from the SERC endowment built on a variety of sources, including state matching funds.
Dr. Jaffé has made significant contributions to the University’s research enterprise both through service and research, and has demonstrated a high and sustained academic productivity regarding Everglades research. He served as Director of the Southeast Environmental Research Center (SERC), whose research mission is focused on the greater Everglades ecosystem, from 2002 until 2009. Prior to that Dr. Jaffé was Associate Director of SERC from 1997 to 2002. He received the FIU Research Award in 2006 and is a tenured Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry holding a joint appointment in SERC.
Dr. Jaffé, a Ph.D. graduate in Analytical/Environmental Chemistry from Indiana University with post doctoral experience in Organic Geochemistry from the Universite Louis Pasteur, France, has published over 100 peer reviewed research articles in fields ranging from organic geochemistry, biogeochemistry, marine chemistry and environmental/analytical chemistry. Of these, over 40% are related to the greater Everglades ecosystem. Dr. Jaffé’s research is nationally and internationally recognized in the area of organic geochemistry of wetlands, estuaries and aquatic ecosystems in general.
Since his arrival at FIU in 1992, Dr. Jaffé has mentored 24 graduate students, many undergraduates and several post-docs. His research funding as PI and co-PI exceeds $14 million and includes the NSF-funded Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research program where he has been a Co-PI since its inception. Additionally, as SERC Director Dr. Jaffé was the managing PI on another $7 million of SERC-related programs and initiatives. SERC scientists have, since 1993, delivered nearly $80 million in research funding to FIU. Thus, Dr. Jaffé presided over one of the most productive research centers at FIU, overseeing and coordinating the work of 28 faculty members and research scientists along with numerous graduate students and staff.
The SERC endowment supporting Dr. Jaffé’s appointment is partially named after George Barley who tragically lost his life in a plane crash in the western Everglades. Mr. Barley was a newspaperman and ardent environmentalist. The Barley family was and remains involved in the Everglades Foundation which supports the work of SERC through ongoing gifts and grants. A contribution from the Everglades Foundation provided the initial funding for this endowment.