Meet The Eai Team

EAI staff includes specialists in the areas of ecology, marine biology, coastal ecosystems, sea turtles, submerged aquatic vegetation, fish, ichthyoplankton, meroplankton, benthic macroinvertebrates, marine mammals, terrestrial flora and fauna, environmental impact assessments, environmental permitting, and protected species management.

Other Staff And Associates

EAI employs a number of full and part-time technicians to assist senior staff with a variety of field and laboratory activities. Additionally, EAI has established a broad and diverse network of associate scientists whose expertise can be drawn upon as project demands dictate. EAI also has excellent working relationships with a number of state-certified laboratories that can perform a broad spectrum of chemical analyses on ground water, surface water, and sediment samples.



M.B.A., Business Management. Cornell University - S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management
M.B.A., General Management. Queen's University
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Automotive Specialty, Kettering University, Flint, Michigan, 1995.

Specialties and strengths include: Organizational strategy and effectiveness, contract negotiation, new ventures, angel investing, business valuation, collaborative relationship building, opportunity assessment, bioacoustics, process optimization, entrepreneurship, green technologies, polymeric materials engineering, and industrial quality.

Otter trawls are used to characterize fish and shellfish populations inhabiting shallow benthic habitats in the Indian River Lagoon, Florida.

ROBERT G. ERNEST, Founder/ Senior Scientific Advisor

B.A., Zoology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, 1968.
M.S., Marine Science, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida, 1979.

Over 30 years of professional environmental consulting experience, including both technical and management responsibilities. Formal training in marine science with emphasis on population biology and community ecology. Technical experience in biological inventories, invertebrate taxonomy, environmental impact assessments, protected species conservation, resource management, and technical writing. Responsible for personnel management, budgeting, scheduling, project planning, and business development.

A cone penetrometer is used to measure sand compaction on a recently nourished sea turtle nesting beach in southeast Florida.

ERIK MARTIN, Founder/Senior Scientific Advisor

B.S., Biological Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 1972.

Over 30 years of professional experience in the field of marine biology. Formal training in biological science with emphasis on marine ecology. Technical experience in sea turtle ecology and conservation, benthic ecology, environmental impact assessments, marine mammal protection, invertebrate taxonomy, and sedimentology. Provides technical guidance to all aspects of EAI’s lab and field operations. Responsible for personnel training, scheduling, and project management.
A cone penetrometer is used to measure sand compaction on a recently nourished sea turtle nesting beach in southeast Florida.

MARK MOHLMANN, Project Manager

B.S., Biological Sciences, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, 1994.
Ph.D. Candidate, Zoology, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii 1995-2004.
Professional biologist with a focus on ichthyology and marine biology. Manages firm’s 316(b) programs: oversees field and laboratory operations; designs/modifies sampling gear and implements sampling protocols for impingement and entrainment sampling programs; develops Quality Assurance Plans, Standard Operating Procedures and Health and Safety Plans; trains personnel in sampling protocols; supervises data collection, data management and client reporting. Serves as the firm’s Health and Safety Officer and Technology Officer.
Visual transect surveys are conducted aboard EAI’s 25-ft. Parker research vessel to document sea turtle utilization of nearshore hardbottom in the Atlantic Ocean offshore of Ft. Pierce, Florida.

NIKI DESJARDIN, Project Manager

B.S., Biology, University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia, 2000.
M.S., Biology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, 2005.

Fifteen years experience conducting sea turtle research in South Florida. Formal training in marine science with a focus on behavioral ecology and GIS analysis. Niki’s work focuses on evaluating impacts to sea turtles and shorebirds from coastal construction projects in Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin Counties. She is responsible for hiring, training and coordinating all field staff; database management and QA/QC; reporting data to agencies; data analysis and report writing; and coordination with clients. Niki is also involved in habitat conservation planning, management of depredation of threatened and endangered coastal species, and coastal lighting management.

ATV's are used to aid in surveying large stretches of beach for sea turtle monitoring and reproductive success excavations.

GRACE BOTSON, Senior Scientist I

B.A., Marine Biology, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, 2000.
M.S., Biology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, 2006.

Professional biologist with over 10 years of practical experience in sea turtle research and conservation, shorebird monitoring, protected species surveying, coastal lighting management, 316(a) and 316(b) power plant field sampling, and meroplankton taxonomy.  Responsibilities include data management and analysis, report writing, and marketing.  Serves as the firm’s Quality Assurance Officer.

A green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) is released back into the Atlantic Ocean after successfully being rescued and rehabilitated in Volusia County, Florida.


B.S., Wildlife Ecology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 2005.

Over 10 years of professional experience in sea turtle research and conservation. Formal training in wildlife ecology with an emphasis on protected species and environmental management. Technical experience in sea turtle research, rehabilitation, and conservation, shorebird surveys and nest monitoring, gopher tortoise surveys, scrub jay surveys, marine mammal stranding response and necropsy, and database management. Serves as lead Field Biologist for EAI’s sea turtle protection program in Volusia County, Florida providing training for nesting surveyors and support to staff responsible for managing the County’s Habitat Conservation Plan and Incidental Take permit for beach driving.

Holding a Bonnethead shark (Sphyrna tiburo). Gill nets are used to help characterize fish populations in nearshore areas off of Florida’s coasts.


B.A., Environmental Studies, Florida Atlantic University, Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, Jupiter, Florida, 2007.

Over 10 years of professional experience with polychaete taxonomy, water quality monitoring, turbidity monitoring, 316(a) and 316(b) plankton and benthic macroinvertebrate sampling and processing, sediment grain-size analysis, gopher tortoise surveying, sea turtle monitoring, manatee observing, and environmental assessments. Responsibilities also include assisting with data management, report writing, development of EAI taxonomic guides, biological characterization studies, water temperature monitoring, submerged aquatic resource surveys, and wetland delineation. Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent. Serves as the firm’s Laboratory Manager, Health and Safety Officer, and Hazardous Waste Officer.

Sub-meter GPS Receivers are used during beach nourishment projects to collect position and changes in elevation.


B.S., Biology, University of California, Los Angeles, California, 2008.

Professional biologist with experience conducting sea turtle research in Cape Verde, Barbados, Western Australia, Georgia, Texas, and South Florida. Specializes in sea turtle conservation, shorebird surveys, beachfront lighting management, data collection using decimeter accurate GPS Systems, and statistical analyses. Member of the International Sea Turtle Society and International Dark-Sky Association, and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) approved Endangered Species Observer for Dredge and Disposal Projects.

Temperature data loggers are used to measure water conditions in freshwater and marine environments throughout Florida.

Keith Dawson, Biologist I

B.S., Geography, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, 2013.

Five years of experience conducting sea turtle research and conservation in south Florida. Formal training in geographic information systems (GIS) with a focus on biological science. Diverse environmental background including water quality sampling, seagrass surveys, benthic sampling, and oyster spat recruitment. Serves as Field Team Leader for firm’s 316(b) programs and horseshoe crab relocation and tagging projects. Serves as the firm’s GIS specialist, providing data analysis and geospatial modeling.