Samuel Neely

Postdoctoral Associate

Biological Sciences

Office: OE 163

Phone: 305-348-2201


Biology Expertise : Ecology, Biogeoscience

Dr. Samuel Neely is a conservation paleoecologist and environmental scientist interested in peat formation / peat collapse within the coastal critical zone and environmental processes that shape modern and ancient coastal wetlands. His doctoral research at Texas A&M University explored taphonomic controls on peat formation and sequestration in mangrove forests. This research established modern peat analogs that facilitated detailed reconstructions of precursor mangrove depositional environments from historical peats and this research had implications for interpreting ancient permineralized peat deposits in deep time. He is interested in the effect of invasive species on the stability of ecosystems through space and time. During his time at UNCW, he researched predator-prey interactions among Plio-Pleistocene molluscs from the Tjörnes deposits, Iceland, and Red Crag Formation, England, across the trans-Arctic invasion. Other research interests include the evolution of terrestrial pulmonate gastropods and Brachyuran crabs, organism-substrate interactions, and microplastics in coastal sediments.

Currently, his postdoctoral research involves surveying the range of the invasive New Guinea Flatworm and its effect on native tree snail populations in Everglades National Park and Big Cypress National Preserve, which will be used to inform management actions aimed at reducing its potential spread throughout South Florida.


Research Areas

Conservation, Environmental Science, Paleocology


PhD Geology, Texas A&M University

MS Geology, University of North Carolina Wilmington

BS Biology with a minor in Chemistry, Presbyterian College 

BS Psychology, Presbyterian College

Selected Publications

Neely, S. H. and Raymond, A. (2023). The influence of the taphonomically active zone on peat formation: Establishing modern peat analogs to decipher mangrove sub-habitats from historical peats. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.
Neely, S. H. (2023). Effects of bioturbation by the fiddler crab Leptuca speciosa (Ives, 1891) (Brachyura, Ocypodidae) on mangrove peat, Barnes Sound, Florida, United States. Journal of Crustacean Biology.
Neely, S. H., Kelley, P. K., and Friedman, M. M. (2021). Predator-prey interactions among Pliocene molluscs from the Tjörnes Peninsula, Iceland, across the trans-Arctic invasion. Lethia, 54(5), 643-663.