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Speaker: Kelly Kibler, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering
How multi-scale hydrodynamics are influenced by biota to shape coastal environments
The best offense against flooding and erosion spawned by climate change may be living coastal defenses that can grow and adapt to changing conditions. While inclusion of living “ecosystem engineers” to create green infrastructure is promising, robust design with living materials requires understanding how these organisms interact with water and sediments. This talk highlights how complex canopies such as mangrove forest, seagrass beds, or oyster reefs influence the way that water moves and carries sediment.
Kelly Kibler is an Assistant Professor of Water Resources Engineering in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering at University of Central Florida. She is also affiliate faculty of UCF’s National Center for Integrated Coastal Research, and a Faculty Fellow of UCF’s Center for Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity. Dr. Kibler is the Principal Investigator of the Kibler Ecohydraulics Laboratory (http://ecohydraulics.weebly.com), with research focused at the crossroads of engineering and aquatic ecology. She is particularly interested in flow-biota interaction and its influence on hydrodynamics and sediment transport across multiple scales.
Dr. Kibler’s group studies natural hydrologic phenomena, as well as waterways that are modified for human benefit, for instance by, dams, dredging, levies and hardened structures. Applications for Dr. Kibler’s research include development pathways and infrastructure that minimize ecosystem disruption and promote preservation or restoration of aquatic ecosystem services. Current lab projects include hydrodynamic characterization of oyster reef and mangrove forest ecosystem services, restoration site suitability, planning and impact studies, design of ‘self-filtering’ roadways, modeling of karst system hydraulics in freshwater springs, and development of streamflow prediction tools for ungauged basins located in regions of poor hydrologic observation.