Coastal scientist Borja Reguero awarded Early-Career Research Fellowship

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Borja Reguero

The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has awarded a 2020 Early-Career Research Fellowship to Borja Reguero, associate researcher in the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz and an assistant adjunct professor in UCSC’s Coastal Science and Policy Program.

The fellowships are awarded to emerging scientific leaders who are prepared to work at the intersections of environmental health, community health and resilience, and offshore energy system safety in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. coastal regions.

Reguero’s work focuses on assessing the impacts of climate change and coastal hazards on communities and ecosystems, and finding sustainable adaptation solutions that are relevant to decision-makers. His research examines the effects of climate change on waves and extreme sea levels, the role of ecosystems in coastal processes, and evaluating nature-based solutions and other climate-resilient strategies.

“My scope includes the increasing coastal challenges in the Gulf Coast, but also California and other coastal regions nationally and internationally,” Reguero said.

The two-year fellowship includes a $76,000 award, mentoring support, and a built-in community of colleagues who share an interest in the well-being of Gulf Coast communities and ecosystems. Since the award is not attached to a specific project, fellows are able to use the support to pursue bold, nontraditional research that they otherwise might not be able to conduct.

Reguero said he plans to focus on understanding and characterizing the effects of extreme weather events and climate change, including socioeconomic effects, and advancing the approach of engineering with nature. This work will also examine the inequality aspects of coastal risk, comparing intensely developed areas with high economic value and vulnerable communities protected by natural infrastructure.

The ultimate goal of this work is to inform cost-effective adaptation solutions to the rising challenges of coastal communities in the Gulf Coast, nationally, and internationally.