My work focuses on the nearshore ocean, the so-called “dirty rim around the bathtub,” where water waves are important to just about anything that happens, contributing to the beauty of the nearshore ocean, enabling recreational activities, and fueling dreams of renewable energy extraction. Waves are a major driver of long term change to coastlines and of acute damage to cities and towns during storms. Waves also generate currents that are the leading cause for lifeguard rescues (and, unfortunately, also fatalities). So as much as the nearshore ocean is beautiful and fun, it is also mysterious and dangerous. And I have had a fascination with it, and a healthy respect for it, since I was a child.
My approach to my work involves utilizing theoretical and numerical modeling along with observations from targeted laboratory or field experiments. I feel most satisfied with my work if the theory and modeling can elegantly help bring to light causal relationships and dominant dynamics, which then can help explain complex observations. Recently, I’ve worked on predicting properties of waves as they travel over the complicated bathymetry of the continental shelf, and their potential effect on oxygen cycling, or their interaction with ocean structures. I’ve also been studying surf zone currents generated by waves and the fascinating eddies and rips they form. And I’ve been working on ways to estimate the underlying bathymetry by combining information from remote sensors and skilled numerical models. These methods can potentially help us track beach change during storms when in situ equipment cannot be safely deployed. As part of my job I also teach several courses and devote significant amount of my time to outreach and engagement. I thoroughly enjoy engaging students and the public not only because this work might improve (or even save) lives, but also because I find joy in the fact that such engagement helps improve the work itself and the resulting products.
You can find links to my publications at https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=jkuzj5gAAAAJ&view_op=list_works&sortby=pubdate