We study how tides, waves, and sea level shape coastal environments. We apply our research to investigate coastal change and coastal hazards such as flooding, subsidence, and erosion.


Google Scholar




Crevasse splays versus avulsions: A recipe for land building with levee breaches


Future Change to Tide-influenced Deltas

WUR News

Large-scale coastal and fluvial models constrain the late Holocene evolution of the Ebro delta, Spain

NASA Earth Observatory

Wavelength selection and symmetry breaking in orbital wave ripples


Our group

Jaap Nienhuis

Assistant Professor

Jaap Nienhuis is originally from the Netherlands, where he obtained his BSc and MSc degree in Civil Engineering. After completing his engineering degrees Jaap moved to the US and obtained his PhD degree from MIT and WHOI working on coastal sediment transport. Following postdoctoral research on the Mississippi River Delta at Tulane University in New Orleans, Jaap Nienhuis started a faculty position at Utrecht University in 2019.

Xuejiao Hou

Postdoctoral Fellow

Xuejiao Hou is a postdoctoral fellow, studying coastal suspended sediment concentration dynamics in river deltas.

Jana Cox

PhD Student

Jana Cox is a PhD candidate on Rivers2morrow interested in sediment budgets of urban river deltas

Joey O'Dell

MS Student

Joey is an MS student and sand fanatic.

John Malito

MS Student

Born and raised in Texas, I earned a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science from the University of Texas at Austin where I conducted research in coastal and fluvial geomorphology. After completing my undergraduate degree I worked as an Environmental/GIS Specialist for a civil engineering firm. I currently study at UNC-Chapel Hill where I use Delft3D to evaluate the response of Arctic continental shelves to a rapidly growing wave climate, focusing on potential feedbacks between shelf morphology and wave propagation toward the coast.



Most vacancies are listed here, but other opportunities may exist. Contact us if you're interested.

Past members

Christopher Daly

Postdoctoral Fellow

I did my undergrad in Civil Engineering in Trinidad and Tobago and practised as a Coastal Engineer in Jamaica before leaving for Europe to further my studies. There, I did my MSc in the Netherlands and my PhD in Germany, with stops along the way in Norway, Spain and New Zealand. After a few postdocs, I moved from last position in France to FSU in Florida. As a Coastal Geomorphologist, I use a combination of fieldwork and numerical modelling to understand hydrodynamic and sediment transport processes on beaches and coasts, mainly as a result of wave forcing. At the moment I am investigating changes in sediment transport patterns in reef-protected coastal environments caused by reef degradation and sea level rise.

Juan Paniagua-Arroyave

Postdoctoral Fellow

Juan F. Paniagua-Arroyave, "Pani", is originally from Colombia, where he obtained a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering and a M.Sc. degree in Earth sciences. After completing his degrees in Colombia, Pani moved to the U.S. as a Fulbright scholar and obtained his Ph.D. degree at the University of Florida in Gainesville working on inner-shelf hydrodynamics. Pani works on morphodynamic models of river delta evolution in Columbia and elsewhere.

Mingyang Chen

PhD Student

Mingyang Chen is currently a first-year doctoral student in the College of Engineering Ph.D. program at the Florida State University, working on remote sensing of storm impacts on barrier islands. He is originally from China, where he obtained his first BSc in Civil Engineering. After 2012, he moved to the US and graduated from the Northern Arizona University in 2015 with BSc in Civil Engineering with a minor in Mechanical Engineering and from Florida State University in 2017 with a MSc in Civil Engineering. His research interests involve image processing and analysis, intelligent transportation systems, weight in motion analysis.

Kevencia Faton

Undergraduate Researcher

4th year Geology student at Florida State University, working on remote sensing of sea-level-rise driven coastal change using the Google Earth Engine.


Jacob Harm 'Jaap' Nienhuis
Vening Meinesz Building 4.88
Utrecht University
Princetonlaan 8a
Utrecht, 3584 CB
+1 (774) 521-8097
+31 (30) 253-2367
j.h.nienhuis (at) uu (dot) nl