Dr Nicoletta Leonardi B.Eng.(Hons), M.Eng.(Hons), Ph.D., FHEA

Lecturer Geography and Planning


Personal Statement

Lecturer in Coastal Resilience, Nicoletta is a hydrodynamic modeller and coastal geomorphologist. In 2016, she has been prized by the Italian National Academy of Science for her work on coastal environments. Her area of expertise includes the study, and modelling of sediment transport and morphological changes at a local to regional scale, and the study of nature-based solutions and coastal wetlands as storm defences. Additional areas of expertise include the development of stochastic and probabilistic models for the morphological evolution of coastal areas. She is the UK PI, of a project funded by the United States Geological Survey on the impact of violent storms on coastal areas based on the development of numerical tools to evaluate coastal vulnerability to storms, and on the understanding of energy dissipation by vegetation. Co-I of the NERC-funded BlueCoast project on coastal recovery and coastal management options analysis for different coastlines types in the UK, with focus on the impact of century-scale morphological changes on the hydrodynamic and sediment transport of the UK East Coast. She is collaborating with the National Oceanography Centre for the evaluation of flooding under extreme storm surge scenarios, with focus on tide-surge non-linear interactions. Has collaborated with the National Grid to evaluate the effectiveness of large sand-scaping interventions in Morecombe Bay. She is working on the understanding of the impact of flooding for the resilience of coastal ecosystems near Dungeness, and Minsmere power stations. PI of an N8 AgriFood award, and BBSRC Award about the impact of sea level rise and storm surges on coastal areas and associated consequence for agriculture, and ecosystem shifts. She has also conducted extensive fieldwork campaigns in low-lying coastlines including the Mississippi river Delta, and the Apalachicola River.

personal webpage: http://people.bu.edu/nicleona/
Twitter: @nicleona

Ph.D., Boston University, USA,
Department of Earth and Environment.
Dissertation: “Modeling the effect of coastal processes on deltaic wetlands”

Master in Engineering , University of Pisa, Italy,
110/110 summa cum laude Civil and Water Resource Engineering
Dissertation: “Predicting river mouth bars growth in deltaic environment: the role of tides”

Bachelor in Engineering, University of Pisa, Italy,
110/110 summa cum laude Civil Engineering
Dissertation: “Sediment erosion of stilling basins downstream of rock river training structures: an experimental study”

Personal Distinctions

  • Italian National Academy of Science, International award for study on coastal wetlands (Italian National Academy of Science 2016)
  • Outsanding teaching award (Boston University 2015)

Administrative Roles

  • Employability Officer

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