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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As part of our 2011 GoMRI Rapid Response research on flow structures and transport across the Alabama shelf, we (University of South Alabama, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, University of Florida) teamed up with Dr. Joe Calantoni of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) – Stennis Space Center for a collaborative field experiment in October 2011. The NRL loaned us their Quadraped, a large pyramid-shaped stainless steel frame (seen in photo at right) outfitted with 1) an upward-looking Nortek Acoustic Wave And Current (AWAC) sensor, 2) four downward-looking Nortek Aquadopp Pulse Coherent Acoustic Doppler Profilers (PCADP), 3) two sector scan sonars, and 4) two pencil beam sonars… in exchange for a ride to the deployment site and some babysitting.


The Quadraped was deployed in about 17 meters of water south of Dauphin Island, Alabama from October 25 – 28, 2011. The instrumentation worked flawlessly, yielding near-complete vertical profiles of shelf currents, as well as surface wave statistics and bed morphology, for almost three full days. The final data inventory will provide an opportunity to extract the subtidal shelf currents from two complete diurnal tidal cycles. Additional data collection during the field deployment included obtaining hourly profiles of hydrography (e.g., temperature, salinity, density, etc.), in situ sampling of total suspended solids (TSS) using a rather novel technique, and continuous vertical profiling of hydrography every three hours (over a ten-minute period) to detect the presence of internal waves.


With this unique inventory of data we hope to develop a more complete description of subtidal forcing on the Alabama shelf, as well as estimates of bed stress, bed friction, and TSS behavior. A detailed description of the deployment, instrumentation, and data is forthcoming in a manuscript. Check back often for updates on QUADEX 2011. Thanks to the following partners and collaborators for their expertise and assistance:

  • The Naval Research Laboratory – Stennis Space Center: Dr. Joe Calantoni, Ed Braithwaite, Conrad Kennedy
  • University of South Alabama: Chris Marr, Richard Alan, Dr. Jungwoo Lee
  • Dauphin Island Sea Lab: Dr. Kyeong Park, Dr. Brian Dzwonkowski, Howard, Mimi, Kyle Weis, and Mike Dardeau
  • University of Florida: Dr. Arnoldo Valle Levinson