Coastal Scientist


Geography, Physics and Maths

Geophysical Sciences (Southampton University)

Sally’s job is to predict what will happen if sea levels rise.

“Trying to find out what would happen if the sea rises is such an important question.  You can’t build flood defences if you don’t know how high the waves are going to be.”

Sally’s work uses both geography, to understand the way coasts change and how people use the coastline, and physics, to understand what happens to waves as they head towards the coast.

Despite physics not being her strongest subject, she felt it was the right choice for her, “I really enjoyed geography at school, but I found physics explained things which geography didn’t; how sea levels rise, and then how that affects the coast, and ultimately the people who live there.”

Whilst studying, Sally had opportunities to undertake fieldwork. “I enjoyed doing fieldwork because I could see how the processes fit together. It made my research become more ‘alive’. Going to different coastlines across the country was great – not many people can go for beach walks and claim they are doing work!”

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