Juan L. Garzon is a civil engineer (University of Granada) with a master degree in coastal and port engineering (University of Cantabria). In 2018, he obtained his PhD in Coastal and Environmental Engineering at George Mason University (USA). His scientific path during the last years is the result of diverse activities conducted in Spain, Mexico, the UK, the US and Portugal. During his time in the US, he was funded by an NSF project to develop a model to predict the impacts of hurricanes and improve resilience in coastal areas. In parallel, he worked on another project which aimed at evaluating the capacity of natural solutions to improve coastal resilience. In the last year of his Ph.D., he also collaborated on a The Nature Conservancy project assessing the efficiency of natural flood defense systems. Hence, his work contributed to 1) the development of coastal flooding studies in large estuaries and the implementation of water level forecast systems. It was investigated in 5 peer-review publications, 2) demonstrate the wave energy attenuation capacity of marshes and their effectiveness at reducing maximum water levels. This highly helps to implement natural solutions in estuarine areas. This research was presented in several seminars, oral and poster presentations and 5 publications. This expertise allowed him to mentor high school and undergrad students in research techniques. Also, he was awarded the Distinguished Academic Achievement Graduate for his Ph.D. and the Certificated of Appreciation from the Mentorship Program.
In 2019, he was hired under the EW-Coast project as a postdoctoral fellow to develop and implement an operational coastal flooding and erosion warning system. This system uses the outcomes from a Bayesian Network that surrogates the results from advanced models, enabling an estimation of the risks. Currently, he is responsible for the system at two sites, Faro Beach and Quarteira, while supporting other colleagues in implementing it at Caparica. Encouraging results have been already obtained and have been presented to emergency planners with a very positive response. In another short-term exploratory project funded by CEIMAR (within a young researcher call), he, as the PI, monitors flooding episodes at Faro Beach. Other research activities involved obtaining funding from the European Space Agency, processing high-resolution satellite imagery and analyzing the data to investigate dune response to storms. The outcomes of these projects were submitted in conferences and peer-review journals (e.g. ESPL and IAHR) and accepted or presented in conferences (e.g. Coastal Dynamics and APRH). Also, he is the advisor and co-advisor of two master students exploring the suitability of numerical models to be included in risk assessments and operational systems.
Natural Solutions; Coastal risks; Numerical Modeling; Machine Learning; Field observations; Forecast Systems.