Scott Ensign, Ph.D.

500 500 Stroud Water Research Center
Scott Ensign, Ph.D.

Assistant Director, Vice President

Administration and Finance Department

Research Scientist

tel. 610-910-0041
970 Spencer Road, Avondale, PA 19311

ORCID | Google Scholar | ResearchGate | CV

Interests and Expertise

Scott Ensign is an ecosystem ecologist working to discover how plants, animals, and microbes interact within rivers and how the results of those processes influence how people and society interact with rivers. In collaboration with his colleagues, he makes biogeochemical measurements, performs experiments, and interprets results using statistical models and analysis. Ensign is particularly interested in developing new measurement technologies for aquatic environments, exploring how sea level rise affects rivers, and implementing conservation techniques that improve ecological conditions and the utility people derive from freshwater ecosystems.


  • Ph.D., ecology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • M.S., ecology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • B.A., environmental science, University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Professional Experience

  • Assistant director, Stroud Water Research Center, 2018–present.
  • Adjunct assistant professor, Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Science Department, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, 2013–2018.
  • Founder/CEO, Planktos Instruments, LLC, Morehead City, North Carolina, 2013–2018.
  • Founder/managing partner, Aquatic Analysis and Consulting, LLC, Wilmington, North Carolina, 2004–2017.
  • Research ecologist, National Research Program, United States Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, 2010–2011.
  • Research technician III, Institute of Marine Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Morehead City, North Carolina, 2004–2005.
  • Research technician II, Institute of Marine Science, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina, 1997–2002.


New strategies for measuring rates of environmental processes in rivers, lakes, and estuaries

Ensign, S.H., J. Gardner, and M.W. Doyle. 2017. Freshwater Science 36(3):453–465.

Geomorphic implications of particle movement by water surface tension in a salt marsh

Ensign, S.H., and C. Currin. 2017. Wetlands 37(2):245–256.

A method for using shoreline morphology to predict suspended sediment concentration in tidal creeks

Ensign, S.H., C. Currin, M. Piehler, and C. Tobias. 2016. Geomorphology 276:280–288.

Shaping the physical template: biological, hydrological, and geomorphic connections in stream channels

Julian, J.P., C.J.P. Podolak, K.M. Meitzen, M.W. Doyle, R.B. Manners, E.T. Hester, S.H. Ensign, and N.A. Wilgruber. Pages 85–134 in J.B. Jones and E.H. Stanley (editors). Stream Ecosystems in a Changing Environment. Academic Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.