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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IRLEX 2012

conference_logo_mashupIt’s been a busy couple of months around here. Our research group hit the conference trail in late October and didn’t stop until a couple of weeks ago. The tour started in late October with a trip to Tampa, Florida for the 2012 Restore America’s Estuaries conference. The RAE 2012 proceedings can be found here. We gave two poster presentations on our Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (MASGC) living shorelines research project: one on our living shorelines database effort with ASCE-COPRI [2], and another on the development of our decision support toolkit for the optimization of breakwaters [5].


Less than 24 hours later, my wheels touched down in Miami, Florida for the ATC-SEI Advances in Hurricane Engineering conference. This event brought together engineers from many fields for a two-day meeting on issues ranging from flood damage to wind failure. Here, we presented the results from our deployment of storm surge and wave gages on Dauphin Island, Alabama, during Hurricane Isaac [7]. The deployment is part of a long-term monitoring program funded by MASGC.


The late fall months of even-numbered years on the Gulf Coast brings with it not only empty, beautiful beaches but also the Bays & Bayous Symposium. This bi-state conference is a collaboration between the MASGC and Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, with each program taking turns hosting the event in their home state every four years. Our research group provided three presentations at this event: one poster presentation on laboratory experiments conducted to measure the wave attenuating capability of various living shoreline breakwater technologies [1]; an oral presentation on our MASGC-funded living shorelines project [4]; and another oral presentation on our MASGC-funded surge and wave monitoring program for Dauphin Island, Alabama [6].


Our (mostly) annual pilgrimage to the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco, California concluded the fall conference tour in early December. I gave a poster presentation, and co-authored another, in the Nearshore Processes section of Ocean Sciences on some work that I did with my colleague and good friend Dr. Rob Weaver of the Florida Institute of Technology. You may recall a series of blog posts from the field in late July describing a three-day field experiment conducted in the Indian River Lagoon estuary of Florida using the South Alabama Jag Ski. Our complementary poster presentations [3,8] provided an overview of the experiment, as well as preliminary results. We hope that these posters rapidly evolved into manuscripts in the coming months, and we thank all of the constructive criticism we received during the meeting.


Normally I might try to link up all of our posters and presentations… but there are just too many to do that in one post. So, if you have a specific interest in something mentioned here, please just shoot me a message or leave a comment and I will send you the stuff. In order to make this process a bit easier please just refer to one of the specific citations listed below… these cover everything mentioned in this post. I will eventually link up everything in some revamped research pages coming in early 2013. Also of note… we will be moving to a new domain in the coming days. The new site address will be Hopefully you will receive an automatic redirect when accessing the site using the current domain name. More details to follow in a subsequent post.


  1. Allen, R. J., Webb, B. M. 2012. Engineered reefs: a comprehensive evaluation of wave transmission through physical modeling. Mississippi-Alabama Bays and Bayous Symposium, Poster No. 21. Biloxi, MS, Nov 14-15.
  2. Buhring, T., Webb, B. M., Douglass, S. L., Powers, S., Scyphers, S., Allen, R. J. 2012. A database on living shorelines with breakwaters: did we miss your project? Restore America’s Estuaries Conference, Poster No. PP-1. Tampa, FL, Oct 21-23.
  3. Weaver, R. J., Webb, B. M. 2012. Surface water quality survey of northern Indian River Lagoon from Sebastian Inlet to Mosquito Lagoon. Eos. Trans. AGU XX (XX), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract OS21B-1750.
  4. Webb, B. M., Douglass, S. L., Allen, R. J., Buhring, T. 2012. Maximizing the ecological and engineering benefits of living shorelines through the effective design of breakwaters. Mississippi-Alabama Bays and Bayous Symposium. Biloxi, MS, Nov 14-15.
  5. Webb, B. M., Douglass, S. L., Powers, S., Scyphers, S., Allen, R. J., Buhring, T. 2012. Decision support tools for the design of structures in living shorelines. Restore America’s Estuaries Conference, Poster No. STP-14. Tampa, FL, Oct 21-23.
  6. Webb, B. M., Rogers, S., Kennedy, A., Gravois, U., Omar, H. 2012. Measurements of storm surge and waves on Dauphin Island during Hurricane Isaac. Mississippi-Alabama Bays and Bayous Symposium. Biloxi, MS, Nov 14-15.
  7. Webb, B. M., Kennedy, A., Rogers, S., Gravois, U., Omar, H. 2012. A wave, water level, and structural monitoring plan for Dauphin Island, Alabama. In: Proceedings of the ATC-SEI Advances in Hurricane Engineering Conference, ASCE, Reston, VA.
  8. Webb, B. M., Weaver, R. J. 2012. A tale of two inlets: tidal currents at two adjacent inlets in the Indian River Lagoon estuary, Florida. Eos. Trans. AGU XX (XX), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract OS21B-1751.





Dr. Weaver performs a CTD cast at Sebastian Inlet

Although there is still much data to be processed from our deployments in Florida last week, here is a brief summary of the volume of data collected during three days on the water in the Indian River Lagoon estuary:

  • 225 km of survey (WQ and/or ADCP) track line
  • 6573 water quality samples (data points) analyzed
  • 10+ hours of ADCP data at Sebastian Inlet
  • 7+ hours of ADCP data at Canaveral Inlet


Check back often for more updates using the tag IRLEX 2012. We will be posting some preliminary data summaries as they become available. Of course, we’ll have to save the good stuff for publications 😉