In Memoriam: Dean J. Monette, Ph.D.
April 12, 1968 – April 7, 2022
Dean Monette was a true FAU Owl. He graduated with three degrees from FAU, a B.S. in Biological Sciences (2004), an Environmental MBA (2006), and a Ph.D. in Geosciences (2014). He was passionate about the academic environment at FAU, making the most of the opportunities FAU provided, and encouraging his graduate student peers and the undergraduate students he taught and mentored to follow his lead and achieve to their fullest potentials.
Dean also loved the ecosystems of South Florida and conducting field and lab research to better understand and manage those dynamic systems. Dean’s dissertation advisor was Dr. Scott Markwith, under whom he also completed a two-year Everglades Fellowship, conducting field research on the effects of Everglades degradation on seed pool composition and dispersal. That research was published in the journal Ecological Restoration. His dissertation research, titled “Resource use, competition, grazing behavior, and ecosystem invasion impacts of Pomacea maculata”, was published in the Southeastern Naturalist, Florida Scientist, and Fundamental and Applied Limnology. He also presented his research at multiple regional, national, and international professional conferences, such as the Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration conference, American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, and the 2nd International Conference on Biological Invasions in Qingdao, China.
Dean went out of his way to mentor undergraduates and provide research experiences. At least three of those students went on to present their research collaborations with Dean at the Florida Society of Geographers annual meeting and FAU STEM Undergraduate Research Symposium. He was also generous with his peers and loved by his fellow Ph.D. students in return, evidenced by the multiple acknowledgements he received in their dissertations. After his graduation he went on to continue making contributions to science in South Florida, becoming a Senior Environmental Scientist with Ecology and Environment, Inc.
He was an asset to our department while working on his degree, and a friend to so many of us. He was an excellent scientist and an even better person. He had a kind heart, always positive and excited to work at making a difference in the world. Dr. Markwith said that, “Dean’s success, graduation, and friendship are highlights of my career”. His absence was missed as soon as he moved on to the next phase of his life, and his passing reminds us we miss him still.