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Jorge Lorenzo Trueba

Associate Professor, Earth and Environmental Studies

Center for Environmental & Life Sciences 302
BE, Technical University of Madrid
MS, University of Minnesota
PhD, University of Minnesota
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One of my research goals is to understand how physical, biological processes, and the coupling between them, influence coastal dynamics. Another research objective of mine is to understand how human activities affect coastal evolution, through both the accumulated effects of purposeful engineering activities and the unintentional consequences of land-use change.
Using novel conceptual and computer models, integrated with field and experimental efforts, I study a variety of environments, including river deltas, marshes, coastal barriers, and mangroves.

If you're interested in joining the research team, do not hesitate to contact me!


Mathematical Modeling of Earth’s Dynamical Systems
Linkages between coastal geomorphology, ecology, and human activities
Linkages between coastal geomorphology and stratigraphy



Research Projects

A Geoeconomics Approach to Long-term Coastal Hazards Management

Characterizing a sustainable strategy to protect our coastlines requires an ability to make predictions about dynamic geomorphology, including localized shoreline change (erosion or accretion), barrier overwashing, and potential barrier drowning. These hazards and their interaction with human development need to be understood both over the long term and as the result of specific storm events. The goal of my research group on this project is to develop a framework for understanding the accumulated costs and benefits of coastal hazard management in the context of different response strategies, including beach nourishment practices and hard structures.

Managing for biodiversity and blue carbon in the face of sea-level rise and barrier-island migration

The marshes, bays, lagoons and tidal flats behind barriers support a high degree of biodiversity and also provide other ecosystem services including blue carbon storage. The proposed research focuses on the geologic and ecologic response of coupled barrier-backbarrier systems to relative sea-level rise and the implications for the backbarrier ecosystem services of biodiversity provision and blue carbon sequestration.
Morphodynamic model outcomes will be iteratively coupled with an economic model to provide insight into the best-practices for designing optimal barrier stabilization and marsh conservation and restoration programs which consider the net benefits from protecting blue carbon stocks, biodiversity, and beach width in a wide range of settings.

Exploring the role of organic sediment dynamics on channel clustering and alluvial architecture

Alluvial basins are archives of past external forcing, including sediment supply, tectonic subsidence, and sea-level variations. In order to reverse engineer the processes that led to the present alluvial architecture, theories for stratigraphic interpretation need to be adapted to deal with internal processes that could play a significant role, but are to date largely unexplored, such as plant matter accumulation. This project aims to fill this knowledge gap by first developing a cellular model of river avulsion that dynamically accounts for the long-term evolution of the floodplain, including organic sediment accumulation via plant growth. A key aspect of this forward numerical model is that it will apply numerical techniques from heat transfer such as the enthalpy method.

Other project directions

Fluvial deltas,
Reef Islands,
Computational Hydrodynamics in the coastal environment.
Coupled flow-bed form evolution,