Bass Connections Faculty Team Leader. Developing Rapid, Cost-effective Methods for Evaluating Coastal Biodiversity and Resilience. 2018 - 2019

Projects & Field Work

Primary Theme: Energy & Environment

Coastal habitats such as oyster reefs, salt marshes, seagrass and mangroves are essential for resilient communities, but under threat from sea-level rise and acute anthropogenic disturbance. Our understanding of coastal ecosystem response to these impacts is limited. As a society, our traditional reaction to encroaching seas is to modify the shoreline through the use of hardened structures like bulkheads and revetments. Only recently have we begun considering adopting the more natural living shoreline, which involves intertidal vegetation plantings sometimes coupled with oyster reefs as breakwaters. However, one of the largest hurdles is the dearth of knowledge of living shorelines’ resilience and the services restored shorelines provide. Current methods for obtaining population and community metrics to assess habitat health in both natural and restored areas are generally restricted in scope, often destructive to the habitat and costly in time and effort. Novel methods using drone-based remote sensing would benefit international, national and regional organizations, both governmental and nongovernmental, that are actively engaged in coastal management.

Service Performed By


  • Bass Connections Faculty Team Leader


  • 2018 - 2019

Service or Event Name

  • Developing Rapid, Cost-effective Methods for Evaluating Coastal Biodiversity and Resilience