Meagan Eagle Gonneea, PhD
My research lies at the interface of land and sea and is used to build new tools to address coastal hazards. This dynamic region is experiencing rapid change, with new pressures from rising temperatures and sea level adding to those already wrought by the impacts of coastal development.
I utilize a suite of geochemical tools, including naturally occurring radioisotopes in the Uranium-Thorium decay series, to understand both the magnitude and rate of change within coastal ecosystems. In particular, I am interested in how salt marshes have responded to a century of accelerating sea level rise, with a focus on their ability to store carbon and dynamically build elevation. I combine historical ecosystem information, gleaned from analysis of salt marsh peat, with modern environmental drivers to constrain future ecosystem responses.
I studied geology at Stanford University (BS/MS) and received a PhD in Chemical Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program. There I studied groundwater discharge and associated chemical fluxes. Between going to school, I did a Fulbright Fellowship in Mauritius and worked at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. I came to the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center of the US Geological Survey in 2013 and have worked on coastal wetland and groundwater projects across the US.