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Eli enjoys using field observations, laboratory experiments, and numerical modelling to investigate how and why landscapes change. Drawing on conceptual and quantitative tools from complexity science, his research examines feedbacks, pattern formation, and self-organised phenomena in Earth-surface systems.
Much of Eli's work involves coastal environments: Why do some reaches of shoreline erode while others accrete? How do extreme storms impact coastlines? His interests also include physical, ecological, and social dynamics linking landscape changes and human activities. For example, under what conditions do agricultural practices or flood defences trigger cycles of reactionary human and natural responses, such that each change sets up the next?
Before joining the School of Earth & Ocean Sciences faculty in 2012, Eli was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Sustainability Solutions Initiative at the University of Maine (USA). He has participated in the Global Sustainability Summer School at the Santa Fe Institute (USA), a centre for complex-systems research, and was selected to attend the Summer Institute for Earth-surface Dynamics at the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics (St Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota, USA). In addition to being involved with the Marine and Coastal Environments and Earth-surface Processes Research Groups within the School of Earth & Ocean Sciences, Eli is a Research Affiliate with Cardiff University's Sustainable Places Research Institute.