Field of Focus
  • Climate Dynamics
  • Ecology
  • Geosciences and Geochemistry
  • Coastal Development
  • Ecological Indicators
  • Endangered Species
  • Habitat Loss
  • Hypoxia
  • Geographic Information Science (GIS)
  • Biological Oceanography
  • Chemical Oceanography
  • Geography
Area of Expertise
Landscape, Coastal and Marine Informatics
  • B.S. Geography, Simferopol State University, Ukraine, 1990
  • M.S. Renewable Natural Resources, University of Arizona, 2000
  • Ph. D. Physical Geography, Simferopol State University, Ukraine, 1996
  • Ph.D. Natural Resource Ecology & Management, Oklahoma State University, USA, exp. 2000

Alex Rybak is a Research Scientist/GIS and Database Manager at the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) since 2008, an affiliate member of the Coastal Watershed Institute since 2010, and holds a courtesy faculty appointment at the Florida Gulf Coast University since 2008.

Alex received his doctorate in Landscape Ecology from the Simferopol State University in Ukraine. His dissertation focused on landscape-ecological analysis of coastal ecosystem dynamics. His research pioneered the application of multiple environmental gradients to classify landscapes. While working for the Ukrainian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, he designed and implemented long-term studies of land cover/land use within the Southern Coast of Crimea addressing conservation, ecological restoration, and ecosystem management issues. Alex continued to work on coupling landscape structure with landscape processes in north Texas, where he applied Geographic Information System (GIS), remote sensing, and field monitoring techniques to study local thermal characteristics and their effect on grassland bird distribution. He examined long-term landscape changes and landscape ecology of northern bobwhite in eastern Oklahoma. He utilized a 30-year quail occurrence data collected along permanent routes of Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife Conservation and USGS Breeding Bird Survey.

Alex’s research in Texas and Oklahoma will result in another doctoral degree in Natural Resource Ecology & Management from Oklahoma State University. In Florida, Alex played a key role in several task orders for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) Center for Spatial Analysis. He managed the Florida Aquatic GAP project, leading the development of a statewide species-habitat database and contributing to the National Hydrography Dataset. He served as a Principal Investigator on multiple large-scale GIS projects, including statewide stream habitat classification, river network editing and field GPS ground-truthing, mapping threats to freshwater systems, and also producing a statewide 5-meter Digital Elevation Model for the USGS.

At SCCF, Alex works closely with the Marine Lab personnel and its collaborators to develop diverse GIS-related applications addressing multiple problems of coastal and marine ecosystems. He analyzes data collected from the Foundation’s River, Estuary and Coastal Observation Network (RECON; and designs cartographic products, geodatabases and spatio-temporal models for interpretation of the RECON data.