Time: 3:00 PM
Room: R1 101/101A

Dr. Vasileios Kitsikoudis (Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Central Florida)

Title: How does oyster reef restoration affect flow and turbulence?

Abstract: Oysters are ecosystem engineers that provide numerous beneficial services to coastal areas. Despite the fact that these services are widely acknowledged, oyster populations have dramatically declined worldwide. Current efforts aim to increase oyster numbers by restoring degraded oyster reefs. During this process, the surface roughness of the reefs is radically altered because oysters form very rough clusters that protrude into the flow and lead to complicated flow patterns. Understanding how the presence of oysters alters the flow field and turbulence levels are crucial for oyster recruitment and sediment transport.

This presentation will discuss observed flow patterns within and above the roughness sublayer formed by oyster clusters on intertidal reefs. Data were obtained from high-frequency field measurements of flow velocities and waves at several oyster reefs in Mosquito Lagoon, at the Atlantic coast of Florida. The monitored oyster reefs comprised natural intact reefs, degraded reefs, and reefs with different restoration age. It was observed that turbulence gradually increases at reefs with increasing restoration age, both within and immediately above the roughness sublayer. This is attributed to increased drag from larger and denser oyster clusters; however, the quantification of such complex roughness elements can be very challenging.

Biographical Note: Vasileios Kitsikoudis is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering at the University of Central Florida. He got his Ph.D. in February 2015 from the Department of Civil Engineering in Democritus University of Thrace in Greece and before joining UCF he was a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Department of Civil Engineering in Istanbul Technical University in Turkey. His research interests include environmental fluid mechanics, experimental hydraulics, ecohydraulics, and sediment transport.