Bret M. Webb, Ph.D., P.E., D.CE
University of South Alabama
150 Jaguar Drive, SH3142
Mobile, AL 36688 USA
Phone: (251) 460-6174
Fax: (251) 461-1400

Research Positions

Currently seeking multiple graduate students to fill positions at the MS, PhD, and Postdoc levels. Research topics include: living shorelines, beach and tidal inlet dynamics, barrier island response to extreme events, groundwater impacts to coastal lagoons, and infrastructure resilience. Research assistantships are available. Click here for more information.

Current Research Assistants

PhD Students
Garland Pennison


MS Students
Kelsey Carpenter
Sean McQuagge
Elizabeth Winter
Jackie Wittmann


Undergraduate Students
Ian Cox

Former Students

MSCE Students
Patrick Hautau (2018)
Marshall Hayden (2018)
Kate Haynes (2018)
Justin Lowlavar (2017)
Bryan Groza (2016)
Kari Servold (2015)
Chris Marr (2013)
Richard Allen (2013)
Miyuki Matthews (2012)


Post Docs
Jon Risinger
Jungwoo Lee

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Fig07 for web site

Our manuscript entitled “Spatial Variability of Hydrodynamic Timescales in a Broad and Shallow Estuary: Mobile Bay, Alabama” has been published by the Journal of Coastal Research. The manuscript is currently available online as a pre-print. The final version with color will be available in the coming months. Please {click on this link} for access to the manuscript.

The results presented in this new manuscript by Webb and Marr (2016) were initially developed as part of Chris Marr’s thesis research back in 2013. This new manuscript presents a much more narrow focus of his work and some new analyses as well. For more information about this work please review the {thesis} by Marr and/or this previous {blog post}.





The Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation held their 22nd biennial conference in sunny San Diego, CA back in November 2013. The theme of the conference, “Toward Resilient Coasts and Estuaries, Science for Sustainable Solutions,” was evident throughout the event. There were a number of excellent sessions and presentations during the conference, as well as some good side conversations!


I gave two presentations at last year’s CERF meeting: one on living shorelines and another on work that Chris Marr completed for his MSCE thesis in 2013. The citations and abstracts are linked below. Please contact me if you are interested in either (or both) presentations.






  • Marr, C. D., Webb, B. M. 2013. Hydrodynamic modeling of turnover times in Mobile Bay, Alabama and their sensitivity to tides, fluvial discharge, and meteorological forcing. Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation, November 3 – 7, San Diego, CA.



McCoy UCUR 2013 Poster post image


Congratulations to Clay McCoy on his successful presentation of research results at the University of South Alabama Undergraduate Research Symposium. Clay participated in the UCUR research program during Summer 2013. For his research topic Clay chose to develop a conceptual sediment budget for Little Lagoon Pass in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Using annual monitoring data provided by the City of Gulf Shores, Clay was able to estimate volume changes in the beach profiles east and west of the pass.


Clay’s work will be extended in the future to develop a more comprehensive sediment budget for the pass. The final sediment budget will account for not only volume changes in the beach profiles, but also changes in shoreline position, engineering activities (e.g., dredge and fill), wave-driven longshore and cross-shore sand transport, as well as sea level rise. Click on the image at right for a reduced-scale version of Clay’s research poster.





One of my graduate students, Chris Marr, recently completed his thesis research on the spatial variability of residence, exposure, and flushing times of Mobile Bay, Alabama. A copy of Chris’ final thesis can be found {here}.


I was given the opportunity to present Chris’ research results at today’s 2013 Alabama Water Resources Conference in Orange Beach, Alabama. Click on the image at right for a PDF of the presentation. For those of you that didn’t make it to see the presentation, I narrated a version and have embedded the video below.




*Note: we have modified the results slightly based on recent input from colleagues. The changes generally only affect results in Bon Secour Bay. The narration and presentation show the update results.


There have been lots of recent posts on the Coastal List asking for a LaTeX template to prepare proceedings papers for the 2012 International Conference on Coastal Engineering. I asked a similar question in a similar forum in 2006, and Dr. MacMahan generously volunteered my services! So, I developed a LaTeX template capable of reproducing the provided MS Word template for camera-ready manuscripts.


I used this template with great success for the 2006 and 2008 ICCE proceedings. I was unable to attend the 2010 meeting in China, and unfortunately I was not invited (eh hem) to the 2012 gathering in Spain. I have not bothered to look at the guidelines and requirements for the 2012 meeting papers, so I cannot say if this will actually work. However, you are more than willing to give it a shot. Click here to download a ZIP file containing all of the goodies. Please be sure to read the README file first! Don’t pretend to be like your kids who can figure out how to use something without reading the directions first… we’re just not that young anymore. Hope to see you at the NEXT meeting! Cheers.