Bright received a B.S. in Marine Science from Nanjing University, China, as well as an M.S. in Marine Geology. He is broadly interested in tidal dynamics, coastal sediment transport, and estuarine and coastal morphodynamics, with a focus on human disturbance (reclamation, sluice gate operation, harbor construction, etc) to the coastal system. He used a combination of observed data analysis and numerical modeling to tackle these problems. For his PhD, Bright will work in the Virginia Coast Reserve LTER and focus on sediment dynamics in salt marshes.


Geomorphology and Sedimentology

Geomorphology is the study of how planetary landscapes change through time in response to physical, chemical, and biological processes. Researchers in the department study landscapes over a wide range of scales, from particle-scale sediment transport to the global evolution of planetary surfaces, utilizing a variety of methods including computational modeling, field studies, and experimental work.

Land-atmosphere Interaction

Within the Department there is a strong focus on the interactions between the Earth’s surface and its atmosphere. These efforts integrate hydrological, ecological, and meteorological principles to understand the exchange of water, heat, and trace gases between the land and the atmosphere. Much of the interest in these mass and energy fluxes centers on the nonlinear feedback effects between the surface and the atmosphere, and the resulting impacts to the biosphere and atmosphere.


Integrating with spatial applications of remote sensing and GIS, my Ph.D. research focuses on advancing the ecohydrological modeling as a powerful tool to support the future decision-making pertaining to the water resources within ecosystems. I received B.A. and M.S. degrees in Geography from Virginia Tech.


My primary research interest is in sediment erosion, transport, and deposition in river, coastal, and wetland environments. Current research topics include storm-driven transport and the formation of sedimentary strata on the continental shelf, erosion and deposition on tidal salt marshes, flow-sediment-vegetation interactions in shallow coastal bays, mud dynamics in meso- and macro-tidal flats, wave-formed ripples, impact of climate change on barrier-bay-marsh morphology, and sediment associated contaminant transport.


My primary research interests are in the areas of (1) catchment hydrology, focusing on hydrological and geochemical transport processes, and (2) land-atmosphere interaction, including the exchange of water, energy, and gaseous compounds such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane between the terrestrial surface and the atmosphere. I seek to develop an integrated understanding of how the hydrological cycle, vegetation processes, and atmospheric dynamics are linked as well as how these connections are manifest in terms of nutrient cycling and ecosystem function.


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