Dr. Zhilong Liu

Dr. Zhilong Liu

Research Assistant Professor
Marine Sciences


  • Research Assistant Professor, University of South Alabama
  • Ph.D. 2021, University of Maine

Emphasis:  Coastal Physics and Biogeochemistry, Coastal and Ocean Engineering, Aquaculture, Regional scale modeling,CFD and large eddy simulation

Research Interests

Estuarine and coastal resilience to human activity and climate change

  • Rapidly advancing methodologies in numerical modeling and supercomputing simulations provide the capacity to profoundly change the understanding of the complex and often critical interactions among estuarine physical, biogeochemical, ecological processes that lead to resilient and robust coastal systems. My research is to use numerical models to study the physical and biogeochemical responses of the northern Gulf of Mexico climate change and local changes resulting from human activities, such as population growth and land use/land cover change, wastewater treatment plan, channel dredging and river diversions. The outcomes not only provide information to coastal engineers for coastal restoration design purposes, but also inform local decision-making in the context of both local and
    remote changes caused by climate or humane activity.

Earth system modeling

  • Earth system modeling approaches are integral for accurately predicting estuarine and coastal resilience. One avenue involves constructing a multi-purpose modeling system by coupling physical models to other models such as a sediment transport model, shellfish growth model, seagrass model, and/or engineering model to study
    the effects of climate change and human activities on ecosystem evolution, shoreline protection, fishery, and aquaculture. Another focus is to improve the performance of regional scale models by gaining a deeper understanding of and better parameterizing mechanisms at small scales such as air-sea momentum and energy exchange, bottom sediment resuspension, light attenuation in turbid water columns, wave-current interactions, and mixing from wave breaking.


  • Liu, Z., Lehrter, J., Dzwonkowski, B., Lowe, L.L. and Coogan, J., 2022. Using dissolved oxygen variance to investigate the influence of nonextreme wind events on hypoxia in Mobile Bay, a
    shallow stratified estuary. Frontiers in Marine Science, 9, p.989017. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2022.989017.
  • Dzwonkowski, B., Fournier, S., Lockridge, G., Coogan, J., Liu, Z. and Park, K., 2022. Hurricane Sally (2020) shifts the ocean thermal structure across the inner core during rapid intensification over the shelf. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 52(11), pp.2841-2852. https://doi.org/10.1175/JPO-D-22-0025.1.
  • Dzwonkowski, B., Fournier, S., Lockridge, G., Coogan, J., Liu, Z. and Park, K., 2021. Cascading weather events amplify the coastal thermal conditions prior to the shelf transit of Hurricane Sally (2020). Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 126(12), p.e2021JC017957. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021JC017957.
  • Liu, Z., and Huguenard, K. 2020. Hydrodynamic response of a floating aquaculture farm in a low inflow estuary. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 125, e2019JC015625. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JC015625.