Alejandra Ortiz, 2014 Joint Program Student


I am coastal geomorphologist studying the effect of accelerated sea-level rise on coastlines around the world.  I work with the Coastal Systems lab at WHOI with Andrew Ashton and Jeff Donnelly.  In particular, I have modeled the shoreface response of sandy-wave dominated coasts on 100 and 1,000 year timescales. For my masters, I investigated the effect of vegetation on sediment deposition with Heidi Nepf at MIT. 

My current research is focused on atolls and the small reef-islands that make up atolls.  Little is known about these systems and how they will respond to global climate change.  I am modeling the evolution of the morphodynamics of the reef-islets on atolls to storms.  Also, I am doing extensive fieldwork in the Pacific to collect data for the model parameters.  Finally, I am using GIS to look at atoll morphometrics around the world and comparing those morphometrics to forcings such as mean wave climate and extreme events. The ultimate goal is to improve our understanding of these carbonate reef-platforms and how they evolve.