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Dr. Emily Eidam (PI)

I’m a coastal sedimentologist studying fluxes of river-derived material to estuaries, deltas, and continental shelves. I grew up in Alaska near Cook Inlet, a large, muddy, glacially influenced embayment with extensive mudflats and winter ice. After completing a civil engineering degree at the University of Alaska Anchorage, I stayed for a geology degree to learn about glacial and permafrost processes. In graduate school I connected the dots between geologic processes and coastal oceanography through studies of deltaic and continental shelf sediments at the University of Washington. Past research includes studies of the Elwha Delta (Washington) during a major dam removal, the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, and fjord sedimentation in the West Antarctic Peninsula and LeConte Bay (AK – part of a post-doc at UO). Present studies include sediment transfer on the Alaskan Beaufort Shelf (Arctic Ocean), and estuarine sediment dynamics in Coos Bay, Oregon. I’m delighted to be running a well-equipped sedimentology lab at UNC with an energetic team of graduate and undergraduate students who are involved in all aspects of our field, lab, and analytical work. If you’re interested in opportunities to be involved in future research, please contact me at efe @

(UNC MASC page)


Tyler Souza, MS student

Tyler SouzaI grew up on the Potomac River in Alexandria, Virginia where I developed a love for being on the water and coastal environments.  I first fell in love with the outdoors on a Boy Scout camping trip and have been looking for ways to get outside ever since.  I followed this path to North Carolina where I attended UNC for undergrad, majoring in Environmental Science and Economics with a marine science minor.  While at UNC I was a part of a Capstone research team under Dr. Kaylyn Gootman studying water quality and bathymetry on Jordan Lake outside of Chapel Hill.  After graduation I headed to Boston to become a park ranger with Boston Harbor Islands National Park where I assisted with the park’s ongoing research and monitoring projects involving everything from rocky intertidal species surveys to invasive species reduction to geomorphological modelling.  I also served as the park’s head cartographer and created maps for National Park sites throughout the greater Boston region.  In my Master’s research I will be examining sediment dynamics in the Coos Bay Estuary, a system impacted by many decades of development.  I cannot wait to get started on research with UNC!


Caroline Cooper, MS student

Growing up in coastal South Carolina I always enjoyed spending time outside, which ultimately led me to pursue a career in environmental sciences. I graduated from the College of Charleston (CofC) in 2016 with a B.S. in Marine Biology. During my time at CofC, I joined the Benthic Acoustic Mapping and Survey (BEAMS) Program, founded by Dr. Leslie Sautter, where I learned how to collect, produce, and characterize bathymetric maps using hydrographic softwares. After graduating, these skills led me to work for NOAA in different contracted and internship positions. In 2018, I moved to the west coast to enroll in a research apprenticeship at University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Laboratories studying the Elwha River and Delta after two major dam removals. It was through this unique research experience that I was introduced to the fascinating study of coastal sedimentary processes. I stayed out west after completing this research to work for a USGS lab in Oregon looking at how contaminants move in streams and reservoirs. Now as a graduate student at UNC, I hope to use my experiences from these various research settings to help in examining long-term morphodynamic feedback in the Alaskan Beaufort Shelf by creating a model in Delft3D to evaluate future sediment dynamics in the area.


Matthew Paris, MS student

I grew up in Durham, NC where there are not a lot of exposed rock outcrops to study, but nonetheless through museums and classes I gained an intense interest in rocks, minerals, and earth processes. The UNC Geology program became a natural fit, where I obtained my B.S. in Geology in 2016. There I developed an interest in remote sensing, particularly from a geological perspective. This led me to continue my GIS/remote sensing education through a post-baccalaureate program at Penn State University and most recently back to UNC with the new EMES department where I am beginning my graduate studies in Marine Sciences. As a part of the Coastal & Fluvial Sediment Dynamics lab, I am working on a project that seeks to validate ATLAS data from NASA’s ICESat-2 satellite in coastal NC in order to remotely estimate suspended sediment inventory in shallow waters.




David Go, undergraduate researcher

I am a sophomore majoring in geology at UNC EMES. After graduation I hope to get a PG license and work in environmental geology.







Daniela Zarate, undergraduate researcher

Daniela is majoring in environmental sciences and is engaged in the Coos Bay Estuary coring project.




Lillian Cooper, undergraduate researcher

Lillian in majoring in biology and is engaged in Coos Bay Estuary and Alaskan Beaufort Shelf sediment analyses.

Lab Alum

John Malito, MS 2021

Thesis: Evolution of Arctic continental shelves: modelling morphodynamic feedbacks to climate-driven increases in sea states

As a native of Austin, Texas my life has been heavily influenced by music, football, and the outdoors. I received a Bachelors degree in Environmental Science from the University of Texas at Austin where I developed a keen interest in coastal and fluvial geomorphology. At UNC my research centers on observing and modelling sediment dynamics the northern coast of Alaska, an environment that is rapidly changing due to receding sea ice and increasing sediment delivery.



Gregor Lützenburg, visiting scholar (2021)

Gregor is a visiting PhD student from University of Copenhagen (advisor: Dr. Aart Kroon) who is working on soft cliff erosion on Disko Island in Greenland, as well as coastal landslides in Denmark. At UNC Gregor collaborated on the use of novel OBS and drone-based sensors for coastal observations.



Undergraduate Researchers


Not pictured: Bayaar Syed, UNC pre-med student. Project: Alaskan shelf and Coos Bay sediment cores (2021).