Fulbright Scholar Joins Coral Reef Project at Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

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Andrew Pomeroy is a coastal oceanographer and engineer from the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre in Perth, where he has a joint appointment with the University of Western Australia and the Australian Institute of Marine Science.

This article is part of the March 2018 issue of the Sound Waves newsletter.

Photograph of Andrew Pomeroy, left arm leaning on fencing with water in background, he is wearing a baseball cap with sunglasses

Andrew Pomeroy in Mauritius in 2017, working with collaborators at the University of Mauritius to establish a reef-to-shoreline project for investigating coastline erosion. Photo credit: Gundula Winter, University of Western Australia.

The Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, recently welcomed Andrew Pomeroy, a Fulbright scholar from Australia who will spend approximately 6 months here conducting research on sediment movement in coral reef systems.

Andrew is a coastal oceanographer and engineer from the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre in Perth, where he has a joint appointment with the University of Western Australia and the Australian Institute of Marine Science. His research interests include the interaction of waves, currents, and sediment with benthic communities, such as sea-grass meadows, aquaculture farms, and reef ecosystems.

“I’m eager to work with the scientists here on ways to better understand the physics of sediment transport in coral reefs,” says Andrew. “The Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center is one of the few places where these processes are being investigated specifically and in detail.”

Andrew received a Bachelor of Engineering degree with honors from the University of Melbourne in 2006. After several years working for a consulting engineering firm, he undertook graduate studies with a consortium of European universities (Delft University of Technology, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and Polytechnic University of Catalonia) and attained the degree of Master of Coastal and Marine Engineering and Management (CoMEM) cum laude in 2011. His position was funded by the European Commission Erasmus Mundus Programme. For his master’s thesis, Andrew worked with the Dutch applied research institute Deltares, many of whose scientists collaborate with coastal researchers at the USGS. In 2016, Andrew received a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Western Australia, awarded for his research into sediment transport processes in fringing coral reefs. In 2017, he was awarded the Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship that brought him to the USGS office in Santa Cruz.

Curt Storlazzi, research oceanographer who leads the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center’s Coral Reef Project, is delighted to have Andrew at the center. Curt first met Andrew in 2012 at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Cairns, Australia, and worked with him a year later on an extensive field campaign by USGS and University of Western Australia scientists at Australia’s Ningaloo Reef (see “Breaking Down Reefs, Building Up Beaches”).

A man, fiddling with equipment, squats atop a platform that sits in shallow water over a coral reef.

Andrew Pomeroy samples suspended sediment concentrations within a coral canopy from a remote platform constructed at Ningaloo Reef in western Australia (2013). Photo credit: Michael Cuttler, University of Western Australia.

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