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Bianca Reo Charbonneau


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    I am a current 5th year PhD candidate in the Biology Department at the University of Pennsylvania - planning to defend August 2019. I study how coastal dunes ecologically respond to and recover after storms. More specifically, I am studying what biotic and abiotic factors govern dune plant recolonization, and thus re-stabilization, post-storm, and what the implications are morphologically for what plant colonizes an area for building the dune system back up. I am from NJ and from a young age, have always been drawn to our coasts. When Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, I fell into studying dunes to give back to my home state hoping to help us to be better prepared for the next storm. I am heavily involved with outreach in general and am also involve in management at my field site in NJ. I am an ecologist, but believe in crossing disciplines to tackle coastal problems that span fields such as social sciences, geology, ecology, physiology, and biology. As an example of this, I have orchestrated the building of a wind tunnel lab to study dune morphology ( thereby spanning ecology, geology, and conservation entrenched in outreach and community involvement and support. I dabble in the political, social science, and engineering side of our coastal beyond the biology so that I can have a well-rounded and informed opinion about what is happening on our coasts to help us improve their resiliency. I strive to be a resource to improve dune management.

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