Matthew V. Bilskie, PhD

Assistant Professor, Principal Investigator

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Matthew Bilskie is an Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental, Civil, Agricultural, and Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia. Matt holds a BS and MS degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Central Florida and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Louisiana State University. Matt’s research interests include hurricane storm surge modeling for present and future conditions, real-time flood inundation forecasting, developing new methods to assess compound floods, communication with decision-makers, and natural- and nature-based feature implementation and assessment.  Matt can be found with his wife, 4-year and newborn sons during his free time, managing his turf grass and garden, grilling and smoking various meats, golfing, swimming, and hiking.

Aditya Gupta

Post-Doc

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Aditya is a Research Associate at the University of Georgia as a part of the group “Network for Engineering with Nature (N-EWN)” initiated by UGA’s Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems (IRIS), and USACE’s Engineering with Nature (EWN). Aditya holds a joint PhD in Civil Engineering from IIT Bombay and Monash University (Australia). He has experience in fluid-structure interactions and extreme engineering. His current professional interests include hydrodynamic and morphodynamic modeling of riverine and coastal systems. He loves exploring different countries, their culture and cuisines. He is also a bibliophile and always on the lookout to shop for the new and old books.

Daniel Coleman

Post-Doc

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Daniel is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in UGA’s Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems (IRIS). As a member of the Network for Engineering with Nature (N-EWN), he co-leads the Holistic Monitoring project team. Daniel received his B.S. from Tulane University with a double Major in Geology and Environmental Biology and his PhD in Marine Science from The College of William & Mary’s Virginia Institute for Marine Science. He is primarily interested in the ways in which physical and ecological processes interact to shape the landscape. He applies this interest to coastal wetlands, where his work focuses on the resilience of these systems and the ecosystem services they provide under the threat of a changing world. In his free time, Daniel enjoys hiking, painting, and renovating his circa-1935 home.

Nashid Mumtaz

PhD Student

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Nashid is a Graduate Research Assistant. She holds a BS and an MS degree in Civil Engineering from two different public Engineering universities in Bangladesh. From a very early age, Nashid started carving her dreams of following in her father’s footsteps. His home-schooling with Nashid inspired her to work in the field of Environmental Engineering. After graduation, she worked in Bangladesh’s high-risk disaster-prone coastal areas. She felt a dire need to uplift her skills to gain a better understanding of building resilience in coastal communities, forecasting floods, and learning context-specific engineering techniques to add value to the betterment of people affected by climate-related disasters. Besides studying, Nashid loves to spend time with her family and friends. She enjoys looking after her houseplants and experimenting with new recipes.

Lina Cardenas

PhD Student

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Lina is a Graduate Research Assistant. She holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia and an MSc in Water Science and Engineering with a specialization in Flood Risk Management from IHE Delft, Netherlands. Her interests include disaster risk reduction, sustainable development, flood modeling under different climate change scenarios, compound floods, flood forecasting, and nature-based solutions. She enjoys studying the socio-economic impacts of floods and their relationship with culture and risk perception worldwide. Lina enjoys sharing quality time with her family and friends in her free time, camping, hiking, and traveling. She has lived in multiple countries and hopes to continue learning from different cultures and their perspectives on life and flood risk.

Rebecca (Becca) Stanley

PhD Student

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Becca is a Graduate Teaching and Research Assistant pursuing a Ph.D. in Engineering with an emphasis in Resilient Infrastructure Systems. Becca graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering in May 2021 and a Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering in December 2022 – both from the University of Georgia. Becca’s primary interests are nature-based infrastructure, hydrology, coastal processes, and numerical modeling. In her free time, she can be found tending to her pet frogs, bioactive vivarium, garden, and 50+ houseplants, playing with her cats and dog, embroidering, reading, or painting.

Ebrahim Hamidian

Phd Student

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Ebrahim is a Graduate Research Assistant. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.S. in Physical Oceanography from the Institute of Geophysics, University of Tehran, Iran. He holds another M.S. (M2) in Computational Coastal Engineering (CCE) with a specialization in wave simulation from the Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour (UPPA), France. Ebrahim’s interests include coastal processes, nature-based solutions to sea level rise, wave, hydrodynamic, and morphologic modeling in coastal and estuarine environments. Ebrahim enjoys watching movies, poetry, and novels in his free time.

Saeid Khaksarinezhad

PhD Student

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Saeid is currently a graduate research assistant at UGA. His academic path started in Iran, where he earned a bachelor’s in civil engineering and a master’s in ocean engineering and marine structures. In 2022, he pursued his passion for coastal engineering as a PhD student in Ocean Engineering in Florida, dedicating two years to exploring science-based solutions for coastal challenges. In 2024, he embarked on a new chapter at UGA, continuing his research journey.
Saeid’s research spans coastal resilience, hydrodynamics, and storm surge inundation, with a particular enthusiasm for incorporating deep learning into storm surge prediction. He is driven by the vision of integrating machine learning with physical oceanographic principles.
Outside the lab, Saeid unwinds through hiking and gym workouts, connecting with nature and maintaining his fitness. He also expresses his creativity through portrait drawing, a hobby that reflects his meticulous nature and love for intricate details.

Ada Chimzulukeme Agbogu

MS Student (Co-Advised with Dr. Brock Woodson and the COBIA Lab).

Ada is from Anambra State in Nigeria and studied at the University of Nigeria, where she acquired her first degree in Civil Engineering. Her undergraduate thesis focused on environmental sustainability and greatly led her to further her education in Environmental Health Engineering (Masters Program). Ada is now at UGA doing her research on Natural Infrastructure Systems and Biodiversity. When not at her desk working, she enjoys watching sitcoms, singing, cleaning, and sleeping.

Oscar Villegas Gutierrez

MS Student (Co-Advised with Dr. Mark Risse)

Oscar Villegas is a graduate research assistant with a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Francisco Jose de Caldas District University in Colombia. Oscar’s background in environmental consulting assessments sparked his interest in coastal engineering and hydrology analysis. His areas of interest are sediment transport analysis, nature-based solutions, and sustainable dredged sediments for natural infrastructure.
Oscar enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, and he is an amateur mountain biker and open water swimmer.

Hunter Kunzelmann

MS Student, Duck's Unlimited Fellow

Hunter is a graduate research assistant born and raised in Macon, Georgia. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering in 2023. Possessing a background in hydrology from his internship with the engineering division of Athens-Clarke County’s Transportation and Public Works department, he is interested in preservation and restoration of hydrologic features with an emphasis on natural infrastructure. His free time is occupied by gaming with friends, tending to his plants and aquarium, and outdoor activities such as biking, skateboarding, and kayaking.

Alex Boland

MS Student

Alex graduated from the University of Virginia with a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering. While at UVA, he became interested in how to adapt to climate change and more extreme weather events. After graduating, Alex spent 1 year pursuing a Master’s in Professional Science at the University of Miami, studying Marine Conservation with an emphasis on coastal resiliency. While there, he focused his studies on living shorelines and other green engineering projects. Alex enjoys biking, hiking, and playing video games in his free time.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Nolan Haddad (Mechanical Engineering Major) | Fall 2023

Bret Jones (Computer Science Major) | Fall 2022 – Present

COAST Alumni

(current affiliation)

Sheppard Medlin, MS Student, 2020-2022 (Coastal Analyst, AECOM, Charleston, SC)

Dr. Felix Santiago-Collazo, Research Scientist, 2021-2022 (Assistant Professor, University of Georgia)

Dr. Viyaktha Hithaishi Hewageegana, Post-Doc, 2021 (Senior Numerical Modeler, APTIM)

Robert (Bobby) Fiegelist, MS Student, 2021 – 2023 (Civil Engineering, Hydrologic Modeling Section, Jacksonville District, US Army Corps of Engineers)

Grant Bilderback, MS Student, 2022 – 2023 (Commerical Leadership, Program Engineer, General Electric)

Caraline Miller, MS Student, 2021 – 2023