UM Experts: Earthquakes and Tsunamis

Find UM experts on issues related to earthquakes

Miami (March 11, 2011) — The University of Miami's Office of Media Relations can assist the media in locating UM faculty members who are experts in fields related to earthquakes and humanitarian recovery efforts. If you cannot reach the faculty expert listed, or need a source for a topic not listed below, please contact Catharine Skipp, Media Relations Officer at 305-284-3667 or 305-773-5801 via cellphone. The Media Relations Office may be reached at 305-284-5500. For medical sources, please call the Miller School of Medicine Office of Communications at 305-243-4853.

Michael Connolly is a professor of economics at the University of Miami School of Business Administration whose areas of specialty include international finance, trade and development, as well as currency boards and exchange speculation. He looks at the effect of currency boards and/or dollarization on risk premia in emerging markets. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley, an MA in Economics from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago.


Brian Haus, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the division of Applied Marine Physics at RSMAS. He studies wave-current interactions, and shelf and estuary dynamics using radar remote sensing techniques. Dr. Haus’ hurricane research involves studies of the air-sea coupling in very high winds. In particular using the Rosenstiel School’s Air-Sea Interaction Saltwater Tank (ASIST), to investigate the effects of wave breaking and spray on the air-sea interface.

To reach Brian Haus, contact Catharine Skipp (contact info above).


Denis Hector, R.A. LEED AP., is an Associate Dean of the School of Architecture. He has investigated issues related to natural hazards and the built environment since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. He produced Hurricane Hazard Mitigation, edited with Beth Dunlop, in which he outlines a "Five-Point Disaster Plan” and participated in the Mississippi Renewal Forum charrette after Hurricane Katrina. He is available to discuss wave action and buildings, bridges, and other structures not designed for this kind of natural phenomenon.

To reach Denis Hector, contact Catharine Skipp (contact info above).

Dr. Shimon Wdowinski, Ph. D., associate professor of geology, geophysics at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, works on the development and usage of space geodetic techniques that can detect very small movements of the Earth's surface. He successfully applies these technologies to study natural hazards and environmental phenomena, such as earthquakes, landslides, and wetland surface flow. Dr. Wdowinski can speak about the earthquake deformation cycle, understanding when, where, and why an earthquake occurs in seismically active areas, seismo-tectonics of specific regions, in particular: California, the Andes, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Caucasus, and Sumatra and seismic hazard and risk, the probability assessment of earthquake occurrence in populated areas and their damage potential. Dr. Wdowinski teaches a class on natural hazards and disasters called 'Natural disasters: Hollywood versus reality'.

To reach Shimon Wdowinski, contact Catharine Skipp (contact info above).

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