Dr. Casey A. Schmidt

Assistant Research Professor Biochemistry
Wetland Biogeochemistry, Soil Science, Groundwater Bioremediation, Nutrient Chemistry, Environmental Restoration, Water Quality, Urban Stormwater

Professional Interests

Casey Schmidt is an environmental biogeochemist and ecological engineer. His research interests include biogeochemical modeling, urban stormwater quality, stream and wetland restoration, limnology, stream ecology and groundwater bioremediation.

Current and past projects have included investigations of anthropogenic influences on soil and water quality in urban and agricultural areas and utilizing restoration, bioremediation and improved management to limit these impacts. Through past projects, Dr. Schmidt designed, oversaw construction of, and monitored one of the largest permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) in the world to stimulate groundwater denitrification (denitrification wall/bioreactor). Utilizing hydrology assessments, gas emission sampling, soil enzyme and microbial analyses, C and N mass balances, and a paired watershed N-load study, the water quality improvements and sustainability of this treatment approach were demonstrated. To improve our understanding of the factors controlling denitrification he developed an experiment to model the physicochemical drivers of denitrification as a function of multivariate predictors including electron donor concentration, groundwater temperature, hydrology, and media surface area and carbon quality.

In an urban floodplain, Dr. Schmidt utilized spatial modeling of soil and water chemical properties, vegetation and hydroperiod data to document the impact of historic and current stream flood pulses on the fluvial geomorphology, vegetative succession, soil physicochemical properties, and nutrient and metal cycling of the riparian wetland. Through utilizing these detailed monitoring results, Dr. Schmidt developed stream and wetland restoration guidelines. Additional urban water quality research has involved evaluating the future fate and transport of sediments and metals deposited when Hurricane Katrina inundated the city of New Orleans and evaluating the influence of land-use on an urban to forested gradient on phosphorus loading to Lake Washington in Seattle. Lastly, Dr. Schmidt is involved in research evaluating the use of Juniper and Pinyon derived biochar as a soil amendment to improve urban soil quality.        

At DRI, Dr. Schmidt is interested in continuing to use multidisciplinary approaches to develop ecologically-minded interventions towards restoring streams, lakes and wetlands, ameliorating soil and water quality impacts and improving environmental health.


Ph.D University of Florida Doctorate of Philosophy in Soil and Water Science
M.S. University of Florida Soil and Water Science
B.S. University of Washington Biology, Minor in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

Selected Publications

Schmidt, C.A., Clark, M.W. 2013. Deciphering and modeling the physicochemical drivers of denitrification rates in carbon-based bioreactors. Ecological Engineering. 60:276-288. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925857413002929 

Clark, M.W., Schmidt, C.A. 2012. Reducing nonpoint source loss of nitrate within the Santa Fe Basin. Final Report. Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Tallahassee, FL. http://waterinstitute.ufl.edu/news/publications/downloads/ClarkFinalReptNitrateWallSantaFeNursery2013.pdf

Schmidt, C.A., Clark, M.W. 2012.  Evaluation of a denitrification wall to reduce surface water nitrogen loads. Journal of Environmental Quality. 41:724-731 https://www.agronomy.org/publications/jeq/view/41-3/q11-0331.pdf

Schmidt, C.A., Clark, M.W. 2012.  Efficacy of a denitrification wall to treat continuously high nitrate loads. Ecological Engineering. 42:203-211. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925857412000560

Schmidt, C.A. (December 2012). Chapter:  What causes an ice age? In The Where, The Why and The How: 75 Artists Illustrate Wondrous Mysteries of the Universe. Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.

Bhadha, J., Schmidt, C., Rooney, R., Indeglia, P., Kertesz, R., Bevc, B., Sansalone, J. 2009.  Granulometric and Metal Distributions for Post-Katrina Surficial Particulate Matter Recovered FromNew Orleans.  Journal of the American Water Resources Association.  45:1434-1447.

Clark, M., Schmidt, C.  2005.  The Tumblin Creek Assessment and Restoration Report.  City of Gainesville Public Works. 

Schmidt, C.  2004.  Floodplain impacts from channelization and urbanization: A characterization of the Tumblin Creek Delta Floodplain, Gainesville, Fl.  M.S. Thesis, University of Florida.

Publications & Presentations


Carter, Z., Sullivan, B., Qualls, J., Blank, B., Schmidt, C. A., Verburg, P. (2018). Charcoal Increases Microbial Activity in Eastern Sierra Nevadan forest Soils, Forests, 9, (2)


McCrum, M. J., Heyvaert, A. C., Schmidt, C. A. (2017). Evaluation of Pinyon-Juniper Biochar as a Media Amendment for Stormwater Treatment
Schmidt, C. A. (2017). Assessment of Pinyon and Juniper biochar as a soil amendment to increase survival of urban trees in Nevada


Schmidt, C. A., Gallagher, S. M. (2016). The denitrification potential and ecosystem services from ten years of oyster bed restoration in the Indian River Lagoon, 1-39
Schmidt, C. A., Stempel Housley, S. (2016). Final report for Carpenter road pond denitrification bioreactor, 1-28
Schmidt, C. A., Stempel Housley, S. (2016). Final report for Micco I Stormwater Improvement Projecte, 1-29


Schmidt, C. A. (2015). Nutrient and water retention dynamics of biochar produced from Pinyon-Juniper forest thinning in Nevada, Soil Science Society of America: Minneapolis, MN
Schmidt, C. A. (2015). Biochar Research: Advances in Production and Application Posters, American Geophysical Union
Schmidt, C. A., Watts, A. C. (2015). Hydrologic implications of smoldering fires in wetland landscapes, Freshwater Science, 34, (4), 1394-1405


Kaplan, D. A., Schmidt, C. A., McLaughlin, D. L., Watts, A. C. (2014). Implications of organic soil combustion for fire management in wetlands, Presentation, Conference On Ecological and Ecosystem Restoration: New Orleans, LA, July 28, 2014
Watts, A. C., Kaplan, D. A., McLaughlin, D. L., Schmidt, C. A. (2014). Hydrologic implications of ground fires in low-relief landscapes, Presentation, Large Wildland Fires: Social, political, and ecological effects: Missoula, MT, May 19, 2014


Schmidt, C. A. (2013). Assessment Of Pinyon and Juniper Derived Biochar As a Soil Amendment To Improve The Survivability Of Urban Trees and Landscapes., Soil Science Society of America: Tampa, FL
Schmidt, C. A., Clark, M. C. (2013). Deciphering and modeling the physicochemical drivers of denitrification rates in carbon-based bioreactors. Ecological Engineering, Ecological Engineering, 60, 276-288