CFL Crew (aka Dune Goons, Beach Rats, Surfers and Modelers)

We love all things wavy, salty, and flooded. We run to the beaches and bays when others run away.

Timu Gallien, Ph.D. (she/her)

Associate Professor

Dr. Timu Gallien (below, 2nd from left) is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UCLA. She is a former Chancellor’s Fellow and Postdoctoral Scholar at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from University of California, Irvine. Her favorite things to do are windsurf, surf, SUP, snorkel and annoy her grad students and postdocs. 


Bernabe Gomez Perez, Ph.D. (he/him)

Postdoctoral scholar

Bernabe’s main interests are ocean physics and their relations with coastal areas, especially tsunami waves and flooding, which can have a direct effect on human settlements and a wide range of natural ecosystems. He earned his Ph.D. from Cardiff University, with his dissertation titled “Underwater earthquake characterization by acoustic radiation analysis.” Bernabe believes that data science techniques, such as artificial intelligence algorithms, in combination with numerical modeling tools can provide a deeper understanding of these physical processes and shed some light on non-obvious factors that affect them. Bernabe is a passionate about nature and wildlife and likes surfing, snorkeling, and diving.

Bo-Xiang (Burson) Tang (he/him)

Ph.D. Candidate

When Burson (below, left) snorkled for the first time, it made him sea sick. So what did he do next? He learned to scuba dive!  This describes our intrepid Mr. Tang perfectly. His initiative to take action, to help out and most of all to understand makes him a beloved team member. If you need someone to stand thigh deep in estuarine mud to take measurements, he’s your guy. If you want someone to hash out a concept or review an idea, he’s your guy, too. Burson graduated from Hohai University in Nanjing China and participated in the UCLA/Hohai exchange program. It was this program which introduced him to Dr. Gallien and his new goal to be ‘the’ compound flooding guru of CFL.

Maria Winters (she/her)

Ph.D. Candidate

Maria is our resident Mayor of Bermtown and chief pilot at CFL. When she is not hanging out on the natural shoreline project at Cardiff State Beach, she is busy running up and down X-Beach simulations. Maria takes her role as mentor seriously and participates in critical outreach here at UCLA (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and the IoES Center for Diverse Leadership in Science (CDLS)). She is looking forward to continuing her work on shoreline restoration and berm development as it relates to protection of our vital coast communities.

Joseph Lucey (he/him)

Ph.D. Candidate

It was no surprise that upon meeting Joseph (below, left) for the first time, the CFL team immediately gave him two thumbs up. He has won so many awards, there will soon be a scholarship named after him. But more than that, Joseph is a natural researcher, pushing the limits of his knowledge with questions and queries that probe common assumptions underlying flood principals. Why and how do things flood? His work uses statistics to understand uncertainty. Joseph wears his copulas well (no this is not a hat…) He is our companion on the journey into statistical models of flooding and how it really matters in the real world.  

Margit Maple (she/her)

Ph.D. Student

When Margit is not saving lives (see story), she is working on saving coastlines. Her interest in combining the scientific rigor of engineering with policy will translate the work we do to for those who make decisions for government and municipal entities. She is also a true bruin having received her undergraduate degree from UCLA.

Michael Angelis Jr. (he/they)

Ph.D. Student

Michael is a lover of all things water-related. His research interests include dune erosion, numerical modeling, and coastal engineering. When he’s not busy flipping burgers or leading his a cappella group, you can find him backpacking a mountain or catching some gnarly waves down at the beach. Michael is a true bruin as he recently graduated from UCLA with a major in Civil & Environmental Engineering. Although they are unsure about the future, they know that research fulfills their intellectual desire to understand more about coastal processes, flood prevention, and water resource management. 

Gabriela (Gabi) Carr (she/her)

Ph.D. Student

Gabriela (Gabi) Carr is a first year PhD student interested in improving coastal infrastructure as marine habitat. Born and raised in New York City, she has long been fascinated by urban habitats. In her undergraduate research as a biology major at Northwestern University, her research ranged widely from studying soil in restored prairies, to the behavior of rehabilitated squirrel monkeys, to the impacts of ocean acidification on gastropod egg masses. After teaching marine and river education for K through 12 in Los Angeles, she went on to complete her Master’s in Marine Affairs at the University of Washington. There she researched how septic systems, flooded by sea level rise, will impact water quality at Washington shellfish harvest sites.  She looks forward to combining marine science and coastal engineering perspectives as a student in IoES to help improve the way we build and live on the water.

— Our CFL Alumni —

Marie-Pierre (MP) Delisle, Ph.D. (she/her)

Former Ph.D. Student

Dr. MP Delisle is currently a Postdoctoral Investigator at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth, Massachusetts. She received her Ph.D. in May 2023 with her dissertation entitled “A high-resolution numerical investigation of beach groundwater and swash interactions.” MP is a triple bruin, having previously completed her B.S. and M.S. at UCLA. Her research interests revolve around high-resolution numerical modeling of swash-beach groundwater interactions and the implications on coastal vulnerability. More information about MP’s current work can be found here.

Chuan Li, Ph.D. (he/him)

Former Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. Chuan Li is currently a Senior Engineer at Arup. He earned his Ph.D. from Oregon State University with his dissertation entitled “Extreme Wave Runup and Runup Variability on Beaches.” Before that, he completed his M.S. at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (also his alma mater), studying sediment transport in rivers. As a Postdoctoral Scholar in CFL, he worked on projects related to nearshore hydrodynamics.

Yeulwoo (Yar) Kim, Ph.D. (he/him)

Former Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. Yeulwoo Kim is currently an Assistant Professor at Pukyong National University, Busan, South Korea. He is a small scale modeler with a big scale heart. He received his Ph.D. from University of Delaware with his dissertation entitled A Numerical Investigation of Turbulent Coherent Stuctures and Sediment Transport in Shallow Coastal Zone.” More information about Yeulwoo’s current work can be found here.

Nikos Kalligeris, Ph.D. (he/him)

Former Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. Nikos Kalligeris is currently Principal Researcher (tenured) at the Institute of Geodynamics of the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) and the operational head of the Hellenic National Tsunami Warning Center (HL-NTWC). He holds a Ph.D in Civil Engineering from that other school (USC) with his dissertation “Tsunami-induced turbulent coherent structures.” The primary focus of his research is in the fields of nearshore hydrodynamics and tsunami hazard assessment. Before joining NOA, he worked on projects related to nearshore hydrodynamics and morphodynamics while a Postdoctoral Scholar in CFL. His past research topics include experimental work on tsunami hydrodynamics, extensive field work after worldwide tsunami events as a member of the International Tsunami Surveying Team, tsunami hazard assessment studies, coastal flood modeling and harbor resonance. More information about Nikos’ current work can be found here.

Minna Ho (she/her)

Former Masters Student

Minna Ho received her M.S. in 2020 with her thesis “Modeling and Validation of Coastal Wastewater Effluent Plumes Using High-Resolution Nonhydrostatic Regional Ocean Modeling System.” She was co-advised with Dr. Jim McWilliams in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department at UCLA.  

As a scientist in the Biogeochemistry Department at the Southern California Coast Water Research Project (SCCWRP), Minna’s research on nearshore physical processes, specifically her work on wastewater plume modeling supports sanitation management discharge decisions at SCCWRP. More information about Minna’s current work can be found here.