|Christopher Hein is an associate professor in the VIMS Department of Physical Sciences. He received a B.S. from the Cornell University in 2003 and Ph.D. from Boston University in 2012. For the latter, Chris studied the role of changes in sea level and sediment supply on Holocene coastal evolution. He then worked as a postdoctoral scholar at WHOI, studying the effects of climate change on terrestrial organic-carbon dynamics in the Ganges-Brahmaputra/Bengal Fan system. Chris is now working to apply the tools of sedimentology and organic chemistry to investigate the link between sediment-supply driven coastal evolution and past climatic variability in diverse coastal settings, with a goal of using this link to forecast future responses to regionally-specific climate changes.|
Elizabeth Davis (BA, West Virginia U., 2016; MSc, U. Delaware, 2020; VIMS PhD Student) earned a bachelor's degree in Environmental Geoscience and master's degree in Geological Sciences. Liz's master's research was focused on improving mapping and stratigraphic analysis of the surface sands along the eastern shore of the Delmarva Peninsula. She is now working with collaborators from the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center and Virginia Commonwealth University to quantify the tradeoffs between natural and artificial sand dunes along the North Carolina Outer Banks. Liz is also interested in leveraging coastal research to help guide local government in making more informed policy decisions regarding coastal management.
Justin Shawler (BS, W&M, 2016; VIMS PhD Student) holds bachelor’s degrees in Geology and Government. Justin's interests in coastal geology stem from how it combines science with public policy implications related to federal, state, and local coastal management. Justin was a REU intern at VIMS in Summer 2015 and completed an honors on the human impacts on sediment supply to the Plum Island barrier system over the last several hundred years. As a graduate student at VIMS, and now a Virginia Sea Grant Graduate Research Fellow, he is now studying the evolution of the barrier island systems of the Delmarva Peninsula. Check out Justin's personal webpage.
Kayla Cahoon (BS, W&M, 2019; VIMS MSc Student) is mapping the surficial geology of and studying Pleistocene sea-level change along Virginia's Eastern Shore. A W&M graduate in Geology and Marine Science, she completed an honors thesis studying impacts of land-use change on lacustrine sedimentation in the developed Lake Matoka watershed.
Evan Flynn (BS, Eckerd College, 2018; VIMS MSc Student) earned her B.S. in Marine Science with undergraduate research focused on coastal sedimentology and anthropogenic impacts. Through a REU at Texas A&M University at Galveston and her undergraduate senior thesis, she investigated mercury loading in sediments offshore the Brazos River and NW Cuba, respectively. As a graduate student at VIMS, co-advised by Steve Kuehl, Evan now studies sediment and organic carbon dispersal and accumulation in the Ayeyarwady Delta, Myanmar.
Jennifer "the ripper" Connell (BS, W&M, 2017) is the Coastal Geology Laboratory and Research Specialist (aka "lab genie"). She graduated from William & Mary with a major in Geology and minor in Marine Science after completing a senior thesis focused on human impacts on marsh accretion in the Great Marsh, Plum Island, MA. Jenn has proven herself remarkably adept at all things lab and field, and is particularly efficient with a sawzall. Jenn also runs the Sedimentology & Gamma Lab Cost Center.
|Cameron Clarke is a junior in the William & Mary Geology Department and plans on minoring in marine science. Her senior thesis project is field- and GIS- based, focusing on Pleistocene sea-level change near Wachapreague, Eastern Shore, Virginia.|
|Sarah Grace Lott is a senior in the William & Mary Geology Department, minoring in data science. Her senior thesis work focuses on headland sediment bypassing processes through mapping of downdrift sipt systems in Babitonga Bay, Brazil.|
|Mahinaokalani Robbins is a senior in the William & Mary Geology Department, also minoring in mathematics. She completed her senior thesis studying historical island area and sand-volume changes along the Virginia barrier islands. We're glad she|
|Melanie Strik is a senior in the Geology Department and star field hockey player at William & Mary. Her senior research is developed around our new NOAA project, studying the sedimentology, stratigraphy, and storm resilience of natural and artificial dunes along the North Carolina Outer Banks.|
|Emily Hein (BA, Boston U., 2009; MSc, MIT-WHOI, 2011) is a coastal geologist by training, and keeps her foot in the research door through occasional collaboration with our lab. She is the Assistant Director for Advisory Service in the VIMS Office of Research and Advisory Services, where she responds to inquiries and requests from local, state, regional, and federal policy makers and regulators and provide marine science-based information and advice.|
|Christie Pondell (BS, Texas A&M University at Galveston; PhD, VIMS, 2014) is a postdoc in the Canuel Lab at VIMS where she studies organic carbon cycling across fluvial, deltaic, and estuarine systems, and in the coastal ocean. As a collaborator on multiple research and teaching projects, she is an active member of our lab and mentor to several undergraduate students.|
Lab Alumni - Graduate Students
|Andy Fallon (VIMS MSc, 2016) completed his masters at VIMS in December, 2015. Prior to his time here, Andy received a dual Bachelor’s degree in Geology and Earth Systems with a certificate in Coastal and Marine Science from the Five College system and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Andy's thesis focused on the monthly to decadal-scale cycles of erosion and accretion on Plum Island, Massachusetts and, in partnership with collaborator Porter Hoagland at WHOI, the impacts of coastal erosion on property values.|
|Julie Krask (VIMS MSc, 2018) completed her masters at VIMS in August 2018, after completing a study using organic biomarkers and organic and inorganic proxes to link coastal sediment deposition and sub-millennial scale climate change (focused on Tijucas Strandplain, Brazil). Julie also holds a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in marine science from William & Mary (2015), and has experience in both cancer research and nitrogen cycling from her time as an undergraduate.|
|Claudia Shuman was a graduate student at VIMS from 2014-2016, during which time she investigated barrier island dynamics and sediment fluxes along the northeastern coast of the United States. A graduate from Pennsylvania State and UDel, Claudia previously had completd a masters degree on the denitrification in a shallow aquifer beneath an active agricultural field on the Delmarva Peninsula.|
Lab Alumni - Undergraduate Students
|Sarah Baker (W&M BS, 2017) graduated with a major in geology. Sarah rediscovered her love of the ocean after spending a semester studying marine science onboard a ship in the South Pacific. She completed her senior thesis studying erosion on Plum Island Point / Reservation Terrace, in Plum Island, MA, and is now a graduate student at UNC Wilmington.|
|Bianca Boggs (W&M BS, 2019) graduated with a degree in geology, and as the star senior on the W&M Basketball team. From southern Maryland, with initial interest in physics and engineering, Bianca found an interest in geology and impacts humans have on climate change and earth processes. Her senior research project focused on barrier-island stratigraphy and response to sea-level rise, using field sites from New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia.|
|Kallie Brown (W&M BS, 2016) graduated with a degree in geology. Kallie currently worked at the Center for Coastal Resources Management at VIMS, and part-time in the Coastal Geology Lab mapping marsh area changes on the Delmarva Peninsula. She is now completing her masters thesis at Old Dominion University.|
|Luiza Caminada was a volunteer in the VIMS Coastal Geology lab during the summer of 2015 when she worked on a study of marsh accretion rates in the Great Marsh, MA This followed a year of study at Montclair State University as part of a study abroad / internship program from her native Brazil.|
|Charlie Deaton (W&M BS, 2015) graduated from with majors in Geology and Environmental Science & Policy. Charlie's senior research project focused on the relationship between barrier-island migration and relative backbarrier sedimentation rates as derived from backbarrier marsh and tidal flat areas, and the impact of accelerated sea-level rise on those relationships; this work was published in Geology in December 2016.|
|Kate DeMarco (W&M BS, 2018) graduated from with a major in Geology. Her senior thesis project focused on the development of the Chinocteague - Assateague - Wallops island system in Virginia and the records of environmental change and coastal response preserved within the beach and foredune ridges of these islands.|
|Haley Gannon (W&M BS, 2015) graduated with a major in Environmental Geology and minor in Environmental Science & Policy. For her senior research, Haley mapped changes in shoreline positions of Plum Island over the past 150 years, work for which she earned co-authorship on a Coastal Sediments Proceedings paper. Following stints at Disney and the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, Haley is now in graduate school.|
|Lauren Herbine (W&M BS, 2018) graduated with a major in Geology and is now working for GeoCorps. Her senior thesis work focused on the role of storm overwash and barrier-backbarrier couplings on historical marsh accretion behind several of the Virginia barrier islands.|
|Kendall King (W&M BS, 2019) graduated from William & Mary with a major in Geology and minor in Marine Science. For her senior research, Kendall investigated the role of hurricanes (specifically, Hurricane Irma) in delivering sediment to salt marshes at four sites across the southeast US. She is currently employed with VIMS Center for Coastal Resources Management.|
|Soely Luyando-Flusa is a recent graduate from the Department of Biology at the Universidad del Turabo, Puerto Rico. She was the VIMS Coastal Geology Lab Summer 2018 REU student, from which she was chosen as the VIMS student representative to the ASLO Multicultural Program (ASLOMP), for which she received full support to attend the 2019 Ocean Sciences Meeting. Her REU project focused on human impacts on oyster populations and sedimentation in the upper Chesapeake Bay.|
|Brody Marino (W&M BS, 2016) graduated with majors in Geology and Government, and minoring in Marine Science. Growing up near the Chesapeake Bay and the Outer Banks, beaches have always interested Brody. His senior thesis project investigated the spatial and temporal scales of sediment reworking from the Merrimack River along Plum Island and nearby barriers.|
|Chloe Obara (W&M BS, 2020) graduated with a major in Geology and minor in Marine Science. Her senior thesis work focused on understanding the dynamic morphology, sedimentology, and history of rapid growth of "Fishing Point" at the southern tip of Assateague island and is in prep for publication as part of a dissertation chapter of Justin Shawler.|
|Jessica Raff (W&M BS, 2017) graduated following completion of an honors thesis with the VIMS Coastal Geology group. She studied the evolution of Parramore Island, VA and the role that changes in sea level and sediment supply have played in late Holocene change; this work was published in Marine Geology in May 2018. Jess is now a graduate student in the Goodbred Lab at Vanderbilt University.|
|Colleen Scott (W&M BS, 2020) graduated with a major in Geology and minor in Marine Science. Prior to joining our lab, Colleen was a Summer 2018 REU intern at VIMS researching changes in groundwater analyte concentrations in response to tidal height. Her senior research focused on hurricane-induced marsh sedimentation along the southeast US coast, which developed a preliminary dataset used in a successful NSF proposal. Her work is now in prep for publication.|
|Luis Henrique Polido de Souza was an intern (May - Oct 2014) with the VIMS Coastal Geology lab. His primary undergraduate thesis focuses on marine phosphate deposits in southern Brazil under supervision of Prof Dr. José Gustavo Natorf de Abreu. Luis' primary study with the VIMS Coastal Geology group was on basin infilling at Tijucas Strandplain, Brazil, earning him co-authorship on publications in Sedimentology and Coastal Sediments Proceedings.|
|Rebecca Whitney was a Summer 2016 REU intern with the VIMS Coastal Geology group and an undergraduate student majoring in Chemistry at Elmira College. As an REU intern, Rebecca worked with Chris Hein and Liz Canuel to analyze organic carbon and nitrogen markers in soil samples from Plum Island.|