Dr. Havalend E. Steinmuller

Dr. Havalend E. Steinmuller

Assistant Professor
Marine Sciences


Dr. Havalend E. Steinmuller is a Senior Marine Scientist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and an Assistant Professor at the University of South Alabama. Dr. Steinmuller came to Alabama from Florida, where she was a postdoctoral scholar at Florida State University’s Coastal and Marine Lab. Dr. Steinmuller holds a BS (2013) and MS (2015) from Louisiana State University, and a PhD (2019) from the University of Central Florida. She is a coastal biogeochemist interested in how coastal systems, specifically intertidal oyster reefs, mangroves, and tidal marshes, respond to disturbance (sea-level rise, eutrophication, extreme events, etc.).


  • 2019 Ph.D. in Conservation Biology, Department of Biology, University of Central Florida
  • 2015 M.S. in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University
  • 2013 B.S. in Coastal Environmental Science, College of the Coast and Environment, Louisiana State University


I seek to answer research questions related to how coastal ecosystem function is impacted by disturbance across multiple scales, ranging from microbially-mediated biogeochemical reactions to ecosystem-level responses. Specifically, my interests include:

  • Characterizing wetland vulnerability to sea-level rise and saltwater intrusion,
  • Determining how vegetation change and mangrove encroachment alter biogeochemical processing of energy and nutrients,
  • Understanding hurricane impacts on biogeochemical cycles and surface elevation dynamics in coastal environments,
  • Determining how intertidal oyster reefs contribute to carbon and nutrient sequestration, and mediate eutrophication,
  • Defining the role of carbon quality and geomorphic setting in ‘blue carbon’ storage


  • Steinmuller, H.E., J. Garwood, E. Bourque, S.B. Lucas, K.M. Engelbert, J. L. Breithaupt. “Comparing vertical change in riverine, bayside, and barrier island wetland soils in response to
    acute and chronic disturbance in Apalachicola Bay, FL”. Accepted in a special issue (Wetland Elevation Dynamics) of Estuaries and Coasts.
  • Breithaupt, JL., and HE. Steinmuller. "Refining the global estimate of mangrove carbon burial rates using sedimentary and geomorphic settings." Geophysical Research Letters (2022): e2022GL100177.
  • Steinmuller, H. E., J.L. Breithaupt, K. Engelbert, P. Assavapanuvat, T. S. Bianchi. “Coastal wetland soil organic carbon storage at mangrove range limits in Apalachicola Bay, FL: Observations and
    expectations”. Accepted in a special issue (Mangroves in the Anthropocene) of Frontiers in Forests and Global Change.
  • Hurst, N.R., B. Locher, H.E. Steinmuller, L. J. Walters, and L.G, Chambers. “Carbon Dynamics and Microbial Community Response to Oyster Reef Restoration: Implications for Carbon Storage”.
    Limnology and Oceanography (2022).
  • Steinmuller, H.E., S. L. Stoffella, R. Vidales, M.S. Ross, S. Dattamudi, and L.J. Scinto. “Characterizing hydrologic effects on soil physicochemical variations within coastal tree islands
    and marshes in the Florida Everglades”. Soil Science Society of America Journal (2021).
  • Steinmuller, H.E., T.E. Foster, C.R. Hinkle, L.G. Chambers. “Herbaceous encroachment increases soil nutrient content and supports higher rates of biogeochemical processing in a coastal marsh”. Science of the Total Environment (2020).
  • Steinmuller, H.E., M.P. Hayes, N.R. Hurst, Y. Sapkota, R.L. Cook, J.R. White, X. Zuo, L.G. Chambers. “Does edge erosion alter coastal wetland soil properties? A multi-method biogeochemical study”.
    Catena 187 (2020).
  • Steinmuller, H.E., T. E Foster, P. Boudreau, C.R. Hinkle, L.G. Chambers. “Tipping points in the mangrove march: Characterization of biogeochemical cycling along the mangrove – salt marsh ecotone”. Ecosystems (2020).
See More