Personnel Highlights

September 1, 2020

We’ve had some very positive turnover (in the sense of young talent gaining new opportunities) at the LSU Center for Coastal Resiliency (CCR) and it is past time for me to recognize those prior, present and future contributors.  This goes back to August of 2018 when Dr. Karim Alizad, our first LSU CCR Post-Doctoral Associate, left to become a Research Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina.  Dr. Alizad made many important contributions to LSU and the LSU CCR, particularly his advancement of the Hydro-MEM and his efforts to mentor graduate students.  Our sea-level rise assessments would not be as comprehensive without his contribution of science and technology to describe the temporally and spatially dependent evolution of coastal marshes.  And now Karim has taken on a new role with the USGS in St. Petersburg, FL as a USGS contractor.  Congratulations Karim on your continued success and thank you for your efforts with the LSU CCR.

Dr. Madeline Foster-Martinez, left her LSU CCR Post-Doctoral Associate position in early 2019 to become a Research Assistant Professor at the University of New Orleans.  Dr. Foster-Martinez served the LSU graduate community as a wonderful mentor to students and made significant contributions to research that was published out of the LSU CCR.  Within one short year she became a valued co-author on several peer-reviewed journal articles.  Just recently she published a first-author article with our first open source, Python-based code.  At a recent meeting by the CPRA for the Coastal Master Plan, I heard praise for the efforts of Dr. Foster-Martinez.  We know Maddie will continue to do well and we thank her for her contributions.

More recently, Dr. Jin Ikeda joined the LSU CCR as a Post-Doctoral Associate after receiving his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at San Antonio.  Dr. Ikeda brought new expertise to the LSU CCR with a rich research experience that includes particle-driven gravity currents, studying turbulent flows and sediment dynamics (his main dissertation topic), morphodynamics of beach-cliff systems in the Santa Barbara littoral cell, and beach sand size distribution post-Hurricane Harvey.  Jin is already making significant research contributions and we are grateful to have him on the LSU CCR team. 

Matthew Bilskie was my first LSU Ph.D.  Matt’s work pulled together the efforts of many of our research collaborators, including Dr. Alizad and Dr. Davina Passeri, to fully demonstrate our shift away from bathtub models to a paradigm that describes the coastal dynamics of sea level rise.  He also became the first true Research Scientist that the LSU CCR has employed.  His research has resulted in numerous, highly-cited, peer-reviewed journal articles and led to grant proposals (some of which were even funded) with Matt as a co-PI, he has and will continue to mentor graduate students, and Dr. Bilskie has led the way on our LSU CCR contributions to real-time forecasting of tides and hurricane storm surges.  Now he begins a new chapter as a tenure-track assistant professor at the University of Georgia in the School of Environmental, Civil, Agricultural, and Mechanical Engineering.  Dr. Bilskie has our best wishes and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his years of service.

Now I am pleased to announce the newest addition: Dr. Peter Bacopoulos has been hired as a Research Scientist.  Pete has authored/co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles that are in direct alignment with the goal of the LSU CCR towards the advancement and application of computational hydrodynamic and hydrologic models to include overland flow, river discharge, tides, wind-waves, and hurricane storm surge.  In fact, Dr. Bacopoulos was co-author on the very first demonstration of the potential of the coastal dynamics of sea level rise with “Coastal flooding in Florida’s Big Bend Region with application to sea level rise based on synthetic storms analysis” in 2012.  Pete joins the LSU CCR after three years as a Coastal Engineer for the Florida Department for Environmental Protection.  Welcome aboard Dr. Bacopoulos!

– Scott C. Hagen, Director, LSU CCR