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Dr Elizabeth Follett

Marie Curie Research Fellow

School of Engineering

Email
follette1@cardiff.ac.uk
Campuses
Room S/1.40, Queen's Buildings - South Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA

Overview

My research demonstrates the physical processes by which wood jams and vegetation affect flow, particle transport, and ecological health. I develop physically-based representations of these processes for modelling and design guidance using a combination of flume experiments, theoretical development and field observations, in order to improve the design and assessment of natural flood management projects and restoration interventions.  

Biography

Academic positions

  • 2018-2020: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow, Cardiff University
  • 2016-2017: Adjunct Lecturer, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, USA [Boston College is a nationally ranked U.S research university]
  • 2011-2016: PhD in Environmental Fluid Mechanics, MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 2009-2010: M.S. in Environmental Chemistry, MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 2005-2009: B.S. in Chemical-Biological Engineering, MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA

Committees and reviewing

  • Grant Reviewer, U.S. National Science Foundation
  • Journal Reviewer, Water Resources Research, Limnology and Oceanography, Environmental Fluid Mechanics, Acta Geophysica, Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences

Publications

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2014

2012

Structure and function of wood jams for natural flood management

Natural flood management practices, including engineered logjam installations, can promote floodwater storage and infiltration in upstream catchments, ehancing sediment storage and ecological resilience. Dr Follett's research considers the effects of engineered log jam installations on stream hydrodynamics and sediment transport in order to accurately assess the implications of natural flood management projects and guide management interventions.

Funding: Royal Academy of Engineering-Ser Cymru Research Fellowship [2020-2025]

WoodJam: Sediment dynamics of instream wood jams and managed installations
                                      
In order to reduce flood damages and prepare for an expected increase in severe floods due to climate change, the EU Water Framework Directive encourages the use of engineered logjams and other natural flood management interventions. It is necessary to consider the effects of channel- spanning engineered log jam installations, which are the most common, on stream hydrodynamics and sediment scour and retention in order to guide management interventions and accurately assess the implications of natural flood management project. This project experimentally investigated the impact of jam geometry and spacing on sediment storage, including development of a method to assess the porosity of a jam without disassembly in partnership with Slow the Flow Shropshire, a DEFRA-designated natural flood management site.

Funding: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship [2018-2020]

Particle transport in vegetated canopies

The feedbacks between plants, flow, and particle fate shape the size, shape, and resilience of vegetated regions, which provide key ecosystem services to the landscapes in which they reside. Vegetation acts as an ecosystem engineer by creating distinct regions of flow diversion, turbulent mixing, and quiescent flow, dependent upon canopy physical parameters. The density and extent of vegetated canopies alters the canopy mediated flow profile, in turn influencing particle transport. In order to predict the resilience and future growth of vegetation, it is necessary to consider particle transport in light of the canopy-mediated flow environment. Dr Follett's research considers particle fate and transport in emergent and submerged vegetated canopies through laboratory experiments and numerical modeling, connecting transport trends to the physical parameters governing the canopy mediated flow profile, as well as particle size and density.

Funding: U.S. National Science Foundation Grant No. AGS-1005480 (PI Professor Heidi Nepf)
                                                                                       EAR-0738352 (PI Professor Heidi Nepf)