From prediction to insurance consideration to ecological aftermath, Florida State University experts are among the world leaders in the study of hurricanes and their impact on people, property and the environment. These experts are available to answer media questions and provide perspective for news stories throughout the 2020 hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.
Bourassa’s expertise is in air-sea interaction, tropical meteorology and satellite observation of the atmosphere and ocean. He is also an expert in surface water waves and the identification of tropical disturbances — possible precursors to tropical cyclones. Recent work includes calibration of high wind speed observations and modeling of the processes linking the ocean, surface waves and the atmosphere.
Dmitry Dukhovskoy, associate research scientist at the FSU Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS)
Dukhovskoy’s research interests focus on numerical modeling of ocean physical processes, including ocean dynamics, storm surges, air-sea interaction, waves and tides. He has investigated topographically trapped waves, deep-water processes and ocean responses to hurricanes and storm surges.
Elsner is an expert on hurricanes, tornadoes and statistical models for prediction of these events. He researches the development of the science and technology for modeling the risk of catastrophic storms and their impacts. He studies the relationship of hurricanes and tornadoes to climate factors, such as climate change.
Wing is an expert on climate and hurricanes. Her research includes the organization of tropical convection and how this modulates tropical and global climate and climate sensitivity, the process of tropical cyclone formation, variability of tropical cyclone intensity and extreme weather and climate.
Ozguven is a civil engineer who focuses on how the uncertainty of storms can affect evacuation models. He has also developed a model that can help relief organizations determine which shelters need to be turned into special needs or pet-friendly shelters.
Jaap Nienhuis, assistant professor of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science
Nienhuis investigates coastal hazards such as sea-level rise, subsidence and hurricanes, including the effects of these hazards on the coastal environment.
RISK AND INSURANCE
Jack Nicholson, director of the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center
Nicholson is an expert in catastrophic risk management. He spent 21 years as the chief operating officer of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund and eight years in insurance regulation where he was involved in numerous legislative initiatives related to the industry.
Uejio studies how the physical environment affects human health. He is currently working with county health departments to help them assess potential environmental problems that would affect public health — such as hurricanes — and develop action plans to combat them.
Tim Chapin, dean of the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy
Chapin is an expert on land planning and development issues in Florida. He has done hurricane evacuation clearance work, as well as post-disaster redevelopment planning in the state.
COASTAL WILDLIFE EFFECTS
Thomas Miller, professor of biological science
Miller researches coastal dune vegetation and the forces that structure plant communities on barrier islands, especially in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Miller has been conducting a long-term study of the vegetation on St. George Island to isolate the effects of hurricanes, drought, geomorphology and succession on the patterns of individual species, abundance and community diversity through time.