Photo of Seattle from the water

Human population growth is rapidly accelerating in coastal areas. More than half of the world’s population already lives in coastal zones. Over the next several years, this will increase to 75%, bringing an extra 2.5 billion people or more to the edges of the world’s continents.  

At the same time, coastlines are becoming increasingly treacherous environments for humanity. The seas are rising as our planet warms, inundating entire communities in some locations, and posing a particularly grave threat in low-income areas (reference).

To deal with these changes, many cities have already begun massive “adaptation planning” efforts – rebuilding old seawalls, reinforcing existing shoreline armoring, and expanding the reach of coastal defense structures.

  • What is the impact of these structures on marine ecosystems?
  • How can we design artificial structures better so that they facilitate ecological communities that provide improved ecosystem services for future human populations?
  • What can urban marine ecosystem teach us about ecological theory and ecosystem dynamics?

These are the central questions that drive my research interests. I have had the privilege of pursuing these questions through research in Seattle, Italy, Sydney, and now Singapore, thanks to guidance from Ken SebensLaura AiroldiEmma Johnston, and many others.

Published works are available here.

If you have questions about my past or current research, please don’t hesitate to be in touch!

Photo by Amy Green
Eliza collecting photoquadrat data on an artificial structure in Puget Sound (Shilshole breakwater). Photo by Amy Green