Dr. Davina Passeri received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 2010 and a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 2015. Upon graduation, she received a Mendenhall post-doctoral fellowship from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is currently a Research Civil Engineer at USGS. Her research is concentrated on numerical modeling of hydrodynamics and coastal morphology, including hurricane storm surge, sea level rise and barrier island evolution.
Low-gradient coastlines like the northern Gulf of Mexico in the U.S. are becoming increasingly vulnerable to coastal change hazards. Over short-time scales (hours and days), hazards such as tropical and extratropical storms can reshape sandy shorelines and barrier islands with increasingly larger effects as oceanic water levels approach and exceed dune elevations. Over long-time scales (decades), global climate change and sea level rise (SLR) in particular have the potential to affect coastal environments with more extensive tidal and storm surge inundation, increased erosion, and wetland loss. These effects can be detrimental for human communities and ecological habitats. Planning for the future of coastal environments depends on scientific evaluations of the impacts of climate change and the evolution of the coastal landscape. Synergetic studies that integrate the dynamic interactions and feedbacks among physical, ecological, and anthropogenic environments provide more holistic evaluations. This talk focuses on integrated modeling studies of hydrodynamics, coastal morphology and ecology in the northern Gulf of Mexico to understand how the coast has changed in the past and how it may be altered in the future under a changing environment.