WUSTL Geomorphology Group Fall 2021

Left to right: (back row) Maria Schmeer, Robert Kostynick, Jed Dale, Hossein Hosseiny, (front row) Claire Masteller, Diala Abboud, Jordan Neeley

Dr. Claire Masteller

Assistant Professor

cmasteller -at- wustl -dot- edu

Rudolph 286


I am originally from New Jersey and have spent much of my life on the barrier islands of the Jersey Shore. As a first generation college student, it took me a while to find my feet at the University of Pennsylvania. I  dabbled in biology, fine arts, international relations, and environmental studies before I found geoscience – specifically, geomorphology.

To me, there is something captivating about being able to go outside and read the landscape around us – or, to build our own landscape with power tools in the lab or with mathematics on a computer. I was lucky enough to do all three as I pursued my PhD at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where I studied how biology and flow variability affect sediment transport rates in rivers and on coasts.

Following my time in Santa Cruz, I left the sunshine behind for a two-year postdoctoral position at GFZ-Potsdam, the German Research Center for Geosciences, where I used seismology to measure environmental signals and landscape response – with a focus on wave energy transmission and erosion on rocky coasts. 

I am broadly interested in sediment transport, erosion mechanics, and their role in driving landscape evolution. I have particular interests in the application of granular and solid mechanics to geomorphic problems.

Graduate students


Jed Dale

I am a PhD student interested in studying physical and biological controls on sediment transport and landscape evolution with a combination of experiments, remote sensing, and modeling (all rooted in fieldwork),. I’m fascinated by the ways in which life, from the scale of bacteria to forests, can shape the form and function of landscapes, with an emphasis on rivers. I also have an ongoing interest in geoarchaeology and long-term human interactions with landscape, especially in the Pre-Columbian neotropics. I previously studied Earth Science at the University of Pennsylvania and Geography at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Robert Kostynick

I am a Ph.D. student interested in the influence of climate-driven landscape evolution via sediment transport processes, with a focus on alluvial rivers. I have always been in awe of our varied natural world and how environmental differences result in unique ecosystems and landscapes. I have also studied and appreciate the distinctiveness of music’s timbre and mechanics of sound propagation, which has led me to combine my curiosity of natural environments with the physics of sound to hopefully answer some of these pressing climate-based questions. I am also interested in natural disaster dynamics and how they relate to sediment transport and water sustainability. I have previously studied Applied Geosciences at the University of Pennsylvania, Geology at Portland State University, and Live & Installed Sound at Columbia College Chicago.

Cesar Lopez

I am a PhD student broadly interested in geomorphology and the mechanics of landscape evolution. I am particularly fascinated by the interplay between different geophysical and geomorphic processes and how they shape the Earth’s surface and drive landscape evolution. I also have interests in planetary geomorphology and science policy. I previously studied geology
at Northern Illinois University.

Research Assistants

Henry Chandler

Washington University, Class of ’23

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Sophie Dorosin

Washington University, Class of ’23

Lab Alumni

Kenzie Mounir, Class of ’25

Jesse Bower, Class of ’23, Now PhD student at Utah State University

Jordan Neeley, Class of ’23, Now at Guidehouse Sustainability

Hossein Hosseiny, Now at Highmark Health

Maria Schmeer, Class of ’22, Now PhD student at California Institute of Technology

Diala Abboud

Keshaun Childress, Class of ’21 – Harris Stowe State University

Shauntae Conner, Class of ’21 – Harris Stowe State University

Olivia Shaw, Class of ’21 – Now at TRC Environmental

L2R: Jordan Neeley, Claire Masteller, Hossein Hosseiny, Keshaun Childress (Summer 2021 Intern)

L2R: Jed Dale, Olivia Shaw (C’21)