Liliana Velasquez Montoya

Global Change Fellow Alumna | Department of Civil Engineering | North Carolina State University

2014 – 2015 Global Change Fellow

Where are they now?

Beginning in summer of 2018, Liliana will be a Postdoctoral Research Associate with Dr. Beth Sciaudone  working on habitat classifications and generation of maps from yearly CIR imagery (2010-present) of Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. Once the mapping is completed, she will explore modeling of habitat changes. In August of 2019, she will be starting a tenure track position at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.

Statement of purpose:

I am a second year PhD student working with Dr. Margery Overton in the Department of Civil Engineering at NC State University. My research interests include the application of mathematical models and multidimensional geospatial techniques to enhance the understanding of morphological evolution of barrier islands. Through this line of research I will explore the effects of extreme weather events and sea level rise in highly dynamic coastal regions under increasing pressure from climate change and human activities.

Description of research:

My research combines the use of computational tools such as numerical models and geographic information systems to better understand the morphological evolution of coastal inlets. The incessant action of the ocean on barrier islands shapes their landforms in different ways and at variable rates. Accelerated changes on these dynamic regions are generally consequence of extreme weather events that combined with a narrow and low elevation beach may result in inundation and island breaching. The opening and evolution of these inlets threaten civil infrastructure and coastal ecosystems. Understanding the evolution of coastal inlets contributes to the development of management strategies in highly vulnerable environments. My research falls under Science Theme 5: Coastal and Nearshore Marine Environments, Task 2: Develop scenarios of coastal landform and habitat change and Task 4: Provide support in assessing potential impacts on highly vulnerable coastal and marine habitats.

Take another peek at Liliana’s research and life interests in, This is What Science Looks Like.