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 and/or doctoral level. 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. Contact me for more details.

Current Research Assistants

SE Students
Garland Pennison


MSCE Students
Kelsey Carpenter
Sean McQuagge
Elizabeth Winter
Jackie Wittmann


Undergraduate Students
Evan Mazur
Ian Cox
Morgan Lassitter

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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Mobile Bay



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.


Click here for a PDF of the abstract


A manuscript that I co-authored with my former post-doctoral student, Dr. Jungwoo Lee, has received final acceptance for publication in the journal Continental Shelf Research. Click on the cover art at right for a PDF of the manuscript abstract. A temporary citation is provided below. The publisher has made this article immediately available through its web site located {here}. Note that the rapid access version has not received final copy-editing or formatting.


  • Lee, J., Webb, B. M., Dzwonkowski, B., Park, K., Valle-Levinson, A. 2013. Bathymetric influences on tidal currents at the entrance to a highly stratified, shallow estuary. Continental Shelf Research 58, 1 – 11. doi:10.1016/j.csr.2013.03.002.

Check out this month’s edition of the Journal of Ocean Technology for an article about the Jag Ski. This is the first comprehensive peer-reviewed publication detailing the components and capabilities of the South Alabama Jag Ski research platform. The article provides an overview of the equipment and instrumentation, a justification for its use, and representative results from field deployments, which showcase the capabilities and utility of specific instrument packages. You can download the article free of charge from the JOT web site… just follow the link above or click on the image at right for a jump to the current issue. A recommended citation is provided below.


  • Webb, B. M. A personal watercraft-based system for coastal ocean mapping. Journal of Ocean Technology7(2), 47 – 68.



The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is funding Dr. Webb to study Mobile Bay’s wave characteristics to facilitate preparation, planning, site selection, and design of their coastal projects in Alabama. Products of the study will include high-resolution estimates of seasonal and probabilistic wave characteristics along Alabama’s coastline; and tools for evaluating the performance of wave attenuating structures during storm events. The expected outcomes of the study include improved site selection, appropriate project design based on wave climate, and the ability to quantify wave height reduction as a function of the local wave climate, project design, and storm-induced water levels.

A number of CE graduate students and faculty are presenting their research at the annual USA Spring Research Forum the week of March 26 – 30, 2012. Research posters are displayed in the lower and upper lobby of the Mitchell College of Business (MCOB). A formal research symposium will be held on Friday, 3/30. The CE posters are on the lower lobby level on boards 17 – 20. Students are encouraged to view the posters to gain an appreciation for the research that USA students, both undergraduate and graduate, and faculty are performing. Some reduced-scale versions of the posters can be found below the corresponding citations that follow. Please contact me if you’d like more information about these or other projects.


  • Allen, R.J., B.M. Webb 2012. Wave Attenuation Devices: a Comprehensive Evaluation of Wave Transmission through Physical Modeling. University of South Alabama Spring Research Forum, Poster 20. March 26 – 30, 2012. Mobile, AL.


  • Marr, C.D., B.M. Webb 2012. Spatial Variability of Residence Time in Mobile Bay, Alabama. University of South Alabama Spring Research Forum, Poster 19. March 26 – 30, 2012. Mobile, AL.


  • Miyuki, M.T., B.M. Webb 2012. Characterizing Wave-Induced Scour Processes in a Transition Zone: a Continuum Model for Equilibrium Scour Depth at Cylindrical Piles. University of South Alabama Spring Research Forum, Poster 18. March 26 – 30, 2012. Mobile, AL.


  • Webb, B.M., S.H. Russ, D.B. Martin. 2012. Development of an Enhanced Ocean Drifter. University of South Alabama Spring Research Forum, Poster 17. March 26 – 30, 2012. Mobile, AL.