CONTACT: Kathleen Haughney, University Communications

(850) 644-1489; [email protected]


May 2019


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 2019 hurricane season, which begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30. 


Mark Bourassa, professor of meteorology

(850) 645-4788; [email protected]

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 has involved remotely sensed estimates of the energy released in storms as water vapor is converted to precipitation.

Dmitry Dukhovskoy, associate research scientist at the FSU Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS)

(850) 644-1168; [email protected]

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. 

James Elsner, Earl & Sofia Shaw Professor and chair of the Department of Geography

(850) 566-3800; [email protected]

Elsner is an expert on hurricanes and statistical models for long-range prediction. He researches the development of the science and technology for modeling the risk of a catastrophic storm along the nation’s coastline. He studies the relationship of hurricanes to climate factors, including El Niño and climate change.  

Allison Wing, assistant professor of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science

(850) 644-2245; [email protected]

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.


Eren Ozguven, assistant professor in the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering

(850) 410-6146; [email protected]

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 (774) 521-8097; [email protected]

Nienhuis investigates how tides, waves and sea level shape coastal environments through coastal hazards such as flooding, sinking and erosion.


Jack Nicholson, director of the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center

(850) 644-8217; [email protected]

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.


Chris Uejio, associate professor of geography

(850) 644-1706; [email protected]

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

(850) 644-8515; [email protected]

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.


Thomas Miller, professor of biological science

(850) 644-9823; [email protected]

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.