Dr. Havens is a professor at the University of Florida's IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation and the director of the Florida Sea Grant.
He has 25 years of professional experience in aquatic research, education and outreach, and has worked with Florida aquatic ecosystems and the use of objective science in their management for the past 15 years.
His area of research specialty is plankton ecology and the eutrophication of lakes and estuaries. He is particularly interested in how natural and human-related stressors impact the structure and function of plankton and other components of shallow aquatic ecosystems. He also has written papers dealing with integration of research and resource management and competencies that resource management agencies look for in new hires, as guidance for graduate education programs. He has research collaborations with scientists in Italy, Denmark, Brazil, Japan, China, Korea and the Netherlands. He is the founding editor of the electronic journal Freshwater Systems, and served as Associate Editor for Environmental Pollution for over 14 years. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Korean Journal of Limnology, and he recently became an Associate Editor for the international journal Hydrobiologia. He is a recipient of the Edward Deevey, Jr. Award from the Florida Lake Management Society for his research dealing with Florida lake ecosystems. He is a member of the Florida Oceans and Coastal Resources Council, which provides the Florida Legislature with an annual research plan addressing critical coastal issues. He is a member of the Florida Ocean Alliance, a non-partisan organization dedicated to bringing together government, academic and private sectors in Florida to protect and enhance the coastal and ocean resources, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Florida Institute of Oceanography.