Carol WilsonCarol A. Wilson

Associate Professor - Deltaic Wetland Sedimentology and Geomorphology

Bachelor's Degree: Biology, University of New Orleans, 2001
MS: Environmental Sciences Tulane University, 2006
PhD: Environmental Sciences Boston University, 2013

Phone: (225) 578-6439
Fax: (225) 578-2302


Carol Wilson's Personal Site

Google Scholar Page:

Office: E229 Howe-Russell

Areas of Interest

My research centers on quantifying ecophysical processes that shape deltaic and coastal wetlands, specifically how biology, geology, and water interact to create and maintain functioning landscapes.

Research interests include:

  • The physical drivers of sedimentation and landscape elevation change (vertical accretion, subsidence, backwater effects, hydroperiod)
  • Tidal creek and platform interactions and feedbacks, particularly with respect to vegetation, infauna, and sediment dynamics
  • Understanding the spatial and temporal patterns of organic versus inorganic accumulation and preservation.

I am also interested in how humans have impacted wetland and delta landscapes, and their future sustainability. Recent work in Bangladesh focuses on:

  • Quantifying elevation deficits in embanked (poldered) regions of the tidal deltaplain, funded by NSF Coastal SEES
  • Measuring impacts to the tidal channel network (drainage density and connectivity) and the distribution of water and sediment (Coastal SEES)
  • Understanding how subsurface stratigraphy affects the susceptibility of embankment failure, funded by NSF Coupled Natural Human Systems
  • Measuring river channel migration and how this impacts human migration (CNH)

New work in Louisiana includes:

  • Understanding the underlying architecture of the Mississippi River Delta
  • Sediment character and vertical accretion in sediment starved local bays (e.g., Barataria, Breton Sound) prior to diversions, funded by USGS
  • Dredge pit evolution and infilling, implications for oil and gas infrastructure, and barrier island restoration resources, funded by BOEM

Primary study areas include coastal Louisiana (the Mississippi Delta), southwest Bangladesh (the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta), Massachusetts (The Great Marsh)

Awards & Honors

  • 2016-2017 Louisiana Discovery, Integration, Application (LaDIA) Fellow
  • 2016 Sigma Phi Epsilon Certificate of Recognition for Teaching
  • 2015 LSU Bengal Bound community leader

Selected Publications

Wilson, C.A., Goodbred, S., Small, C., Gilligan, J., Sams, S., Bishawjit, M., Hale, R., 2017. Widespread infilling of tidal channels and navigable waterways in the human-modified tidal deltaplain of southwest Bangladesh. Elementa 5:78. DOI:

Ayers, J.C., George, G., Fry D., Benneyworth, L., Wilson, C., Auerbach, L., Roy, K., Karim, M.R., Akter, F., and Goodbred S.L., 2017. Salinization and Arsenic Contamination of Surface Water in Southwest Bangladesh. Geochemical Transactions 18 (4) DOI 10.1186/s12932-017-0042-3.

Sebesvari, Z., E. Foufoula-Georgiou, I. Harrison, E.S. Brondizio, T. Bucx, J.A. Dearing, D. Ganguly, T. Ghosh, S.L. Goodbred, M. Hagenlocher, R. Hajra, C. Kuenzer, A.V. Mansur, Z. Matthews, R.J. Nicholls, K. Nielsen, I. Overeem, R. Purvaja, Md.M. Rahman, R. Ramesh, F.G. Renaud, R.S. Robin, B. Subba Reddy, G. Singh, S. Szabo, Z.D. Tessler, C. van de Guchte, N. Vogt, and C.A. Wilson, 2016. “Imperatives for sustainable delta futures”, Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) 2016 UN Science Brief.

Wilson, C.A., Goodbred, S. L., 2015. Construction and maintenance of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta: linking process, morphology, and stratigraphy. Annual Review of Marine Science v 7: 67-88. 10.1146/annurev-marine-010213-135032.

Auerbach, L., Goodbred, S., Mondal, D., Wilson, C., Ahmed, K., Roy, K., Steckler, M., Small, C., Gilligan, J., Ackerly, B., 2015. Flood risk of natural and embanked landscapes on the Ganges-Brahmaputra tidal delta plain. Nature Climate Change. 5:153-157.

Wilson, C.A., Hughes, Z., J., FitzGerald, D.M., Hopkinson, C., Valentine, V., Kolker, A., 2014. Marsh Pool and Tidal Creek Morphodynamics: Dynamic Equilibrium of Northern Saltmarshes? Geomorphology 213: 99-115.

Wilson, C.A., Hughes, Z.J., and FitzGerald, D.M., 2012. The effects of crab bioturbation on mid-Atlantic saltmarsh tidal creek extension: geotechnical and geochemical changes. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 106: 33-44.

Priestas, A.M., Fagherazzi, S., Wilson, C.A., and FitzGerald, D.M., 2012. Rapid wetland expansion during European settlement and implication for marsh survival under modern sediment delivery rates, COMMENT. Geology 40: e284-e285.

Hughes, Z.J, FitzGerald, D.M., Wilson, C.A., Pennings, S.C., Wieski, K., and Mahadevan, A., 2009. Rapid headward erosion of marsh creeks in response to relative sea-level rise. Geophysical Research Letters 36, L03602.

Wilson, C.A. and Allison, M.A., 2008. An equilibrium profile model for retreating marsh shorelines in southeast Louisiana. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 80: 483-494.

Current students: