Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography & Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience

Spring 2021 Virtual Seminar Series


University of Central Florida

Monday, March 8, 2021
3:30 PM

Zoom link


Sea level rise has been the main oceanographic driver for changes in coastal flood risk in the 20th and 21st centuries, leading to more and higher extreme events, which can have dramatic societal impacts. Such extreme events always represent the superposition of different sea level components, comprising an underlying base water level (i.e., the mean sea level), astronomical tides, as well as storm surges and waves forced by low pressure systems and strong winds. Many of these components exhibit different trends and variability at various time scales in different locations around the world, and they also interact with each other. Understanding how and where the different components change and their non-linear relationships is crucial in order to develop efficient coastal adaptation strategies. In this presentation, the different drivers for changes in extreme sea levels and their spatio-temporal variations and interactions will be discussed.


Thomas Wahl is an Assistant Professor for Coastal Risks and Engineering at the University of Central Florida (UCF), where he is affiliated with the Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering Department and the National Center for Integrated Coastal Research (UCF Coastal). He obtained a Diploma in 2007 and a Ph.D. in 2012 in Civil Engineering from the University of Siegen, Germany. Afterwards, he took a postdoc position in the College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida. Before joining UCF in 2017, he was a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow of the European Union at the University of Southampton, UK. Through his research, he connects engineering and various science disciplines to better understand the vulnerability of coastal societies, built infrastructure, and fragile ecosystems under climate change conditions. He studies changes in coastal sea levels (mean and extreme), ocean waves, and freshwater flows and the associated impacts to support the development of sustainable and resilient adaptation strategies.

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