Dr. Sam Brody, Center Director

Dr. Sam Brody
Center Director
Bldg. 3029, Office 366
Phone: (409) 740-4939
Fax: (409) 740-4429

Dr.  William J. Merrell

Dr. William J. Merrell
Senior Researcher
Bld# 3003, Office 104
Phone: (409) 740-4732
Fax: (409) 740-4429

Dr. Wes Highfield, Associate Professor / Research Scientist

Dr. Wes Highfield
Associate Director for Research
Bldg. 3029, Office 364
Phone: (409) 740-4726
Fax: (409) 740-4754

Leonard Waterworth, Associate Director for Outreach

Colonel Len Waterworth
Associate Director for Outreach
Bldg. 3007, Office 222
Phone: (409) 741-4397
Fax: (409) 741-4014

Faculty Fellows

Dr. Anna Armitage
Dr. Meri Davlasheridze
Dr. Jens Figlus
Dr. Himanshu Grover
Dr. Mike Lindell - Senior Research Fellow
Dr. Tom Linton
Dr. Patrick Louchouarn
Dr. Walter Peacock - Senior Researcher
Dr. David Retchless
Dr. Ashley Ross
Dr. William Seitz - Senior Researcher
Dr. Pete Van Hengstum
Dr. Shannon Van Zandt

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Yoonjeong Lee

Dr. Yoonjeong Lee
Postdoctoral Research Associate


Yoon is a postdoctoral research associate in the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores at Texas A&M University Galveston. Her research focuses on urban flooding, flood risk reduction and mitigation strategies, environmental policy, and urban resilience. She also works on NSF PIRE Flood Risk Reduction Program as the coordinator of the research education component of the project, which involves organizing and implementing student research abroad program.

She holds a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Sciences from Texas A&M University, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) and a B.A. in Urban Administration from University of Seoul, Korea.

Josh Gunn

Dr. Josh Gunn
Senior Research Associate


Josh Gunn is currently a Senior Research Associate with the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores at Texas A&M University at Galveston, where he works with visiting faculty fellow Dr. Gerry Galloway from the University of Maryland to better understand the extent of the urban flooding problem in the United States. Josh’s research agenda focuses on developing actionable knowledge that helps coastal communities and businesses reduce their risk to coastal hazards, and for the past five years he has paired his research findings with community education and engagement activities through Michigan Sea Grant, Texas Sea Grant, and now the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores.

Prior to a career in academia, Josh spent eight years in the U.S. Coast Guard on a range of missions, including fisheries and search and rescue patrols in Alaska, maintaining aids to navigation along the south shore of Long Island, NY, and recreational boating safety education and enforcement in Portland OR and Galveston, TX. His undergraduate degree is in Public Affairs (B.A.) from Washington State University, and he holds graduate degrees in Marine Resources Management (M.M.R.M.) and Urban and Regional Sciences (Ph.D.) from Texas A&M University.

Graduate Assistant Researchers

Kayode Atoba

Kayode Atoba
Doctoral candidate


Kayode O. Atoba is a Doctoral candidate in the Urban and Regional Science program at Texas A&M University, College Station. He holds a B.S in Urban and Regional Planning form Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria and a M.S in Geographic Information Systems from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX.

His PhD research under Dr. Sam Brody is on fostering regional resilience through evaluation of current hazard mitigation techniques. He proposes that hazard mitigation should be implemented in ways that will reduce residual effect on the vulnerable, and promote large-scaled inter-jurisdictional collaboration among communities. 

Russell Blessing 

Russell Blessing
Graduate Assistant Researcher


As a researcher within the field of Land Use and Environmental Planning, Russell seeks to understand how coastal cities can become more resilient to man-made and natural hazards. To do so, he firmly believes that cities must develop in congruence with larger ecological processes so as to preserve vital ecosystem services. His current research under Dr. Samuel Brody at the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores focuses on the conservation and protection of Texas' coastline through innovative research in cooperation with government and private sector agencies.

William Mobley 

William Mobley
Doctoral candidate


William Mobley is a PhD candidate in the Urban and Regional Science program at Texas A&M University.  He is a Research Assistant at the Center for Texas beaches and Shores. His research interests focus on the interactions of development with coastal and inland hazards. Recently William has been working on the Texas Coastal Atlas, ensuring data and research is easily accessible. He has a Masters in Urban Planning from University Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a BS in Geography from University Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Jayton Rainey

Jayton Rainey
Graduate Assistant Researcher


Jayton Rainey is a PhD student in the Urban and Regional Science program at Texas A&M University.  He is a Hagler Institute for Advanced Study HEEP Fellow and a Graduate Research Assistant at the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores. His research interests focus on environmental factors affecting coastal populations and the interactions of development with coastal and inland hazards. Recently, Jayton has been working with Dr. Gerald Galloway, regarded as the top flood-management expert in the United States, and Texas A&M University at Galveston faculty to identify the causes and costs associated with increased flooding events in areas traditionally not considered vulnerable. He has a Masters in Marine Resource Management from Texas A&M University at Galveston, and a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University. 

Former Researchers

Helen Walters
Md Yousuf Reja

Vera Abou Shakra

Heather Deforges
Morgan Wilson
Jake Emmert
Sequoia Riley
Jennifer Feagins
Carland Holstead
Amie Hufton
Himanshu Grover
Dustin Henry
Sri Harsha
Sarah Norman
Mary Trevino
Kevin Crosby
Joshua Gunn
Hee Ju Kim
Tak Makino
Patrick Doty
Alexandra Stiles
Nick Souza
Logan Harrell
Lindsay Doremus


Sherry Parker, Research Administrator

Cherie Coffman, Senior Administrator

Sarah Reinert, Communication Coordinator


Lisa Gonzalez - Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC)

Dr. Sarah Bernhardt - Galveston Bay Estuary Program

Dr. Stuart Carlton, Senior Research Associate
Location: OCSB, room 340H

Josh GunnExtension Program Leader
Location: OCSB, room 102A

For questions about the Center:

Dr. Sam Brody
Ocean and Coastal Studies Building
1001 Texas Clipper Rd
Galveston, TX 77551
Bldg. 3029, Room 366
Phone (409) 740-4939
Fax (409) 740-4429

For media/meeting coordination:

Sarah Reinert
Communication Coordinator
Phone (817) 888-0002

CTBS Partners

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