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.
  • How humans have impacted wetland and delta landscapes, and their future sustainability. 

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

 Peat auger shows the stratigraphy of the Louisiana marshes

Recent work in Louisiana includes: 

  • Understanding the underlying architecture of the Mississippi River Delta and projected transgressions, funded by US National Academy of Science
  • Quantifying subsidence rates in the Mid-Barataria Diversion receiving basin, funded by Louisiana Center for Excellence
  • Organic and inorganic accumulation rates in sediment starved local bays (e.g., Barataria, Breton Sound), funded by USGS and Louisiana SeaGrant
  • Impacts of Hurricane Ida to continental shelf sediment transport, funded by NSF RAPID
  • Dredge pit evolution and infilling, implications for oil and gas infrastructure, and barrier island restoration resources, funded by BOEM   

Recent work in Bangladesh focuses on:

  • Elevation and Sedimentation dynamics within Sundarbans mangrove forest, funded by NSF Coastal SEES
  • Quantifying elevation deficits and flood risk in embanked (poldered) regions of the tidal deltaplain, funded by NSF Coastal SEES and Coupled Natural Human Systems
  • 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, funded by NSF CNH
  • Shallow subsidence rates using Rod Surface Elevation Tables in the coastal zone, funded by the World Bank


Students working on a boat

PhD student Leslie Valentine works with Dhaka University student Arifur Rahman to take detailed elevation transects of the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta

Awards & Honors

2023 LSU Provost Fund

2022-2023 LSU Science Club President
2019-2021 LSU Science Club Treasurer
2020 Public Outreach: LSU Natural Science Museum Girl’s Day
2016-2017 Louisiana Discovery, Integration, Application (LaDIA) Fellow
2016 Sigma Phi Epsilon Certificate of Recognition for Teaching
2015 LSU Bengal Bound community leader

students from the US and Bangladesh work together to measure the surface elevation change within poldered lands using an RSET
Past students and career paths:

Jeff Bomer, PhD student (Shell, Houston TX)
Leslie Valentine, PhD student (Oceaneering, Kansas City KS)
Zehao Xue, MS student (USGS, Woods Hole MA)
Samuel Shrull, MS student (Crescent Pass Energy, Houston TX)
Matthew Barley, MS student (Environmental Resources Management, St Louis MO)
Sophie Vincent, MS student (Arcadis, Baton Rouge LA)

PhD student Jeff Bomer measures the vertical accretion from the monsoon season in the Sundarbans mangrove forest in Bangladesh

Current students:

Mike Piorkowski, MS student
Adam Gartelman, PhD student
Grant Lopez, Undergraduate student
Sade Dennis, Undergraduate student
Yassmine Abba-kaka, Undergraduate student


Selected Publications (*indicates student author)

Raff, J.L.*, Goodbred Jr, S.L., Pickering, J.L., Sincavage, R.S., Ayers, J.C., Hossain, M.S., Wilson, C.A., Paola, C., Steckler, M.S., Mondal, D.R. and Grimaud, J.L. (2023) Sediment delivery to sustain the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta under climate change and anthropogenic impacts. Nature communications, 14(1), p.2429.

Valentine, L.*, Wilson, C., (2023) Sedimentology and Flood Risk of Chars Along the Fluvial-to-Tidal Transition Zone in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta, Bangladesh. Geomorphology

Kelsall, M.*, Quirk, T., Wilson, C., and Snedden G., (2023) Sources and Chemical Stability of Soil Organic Carbon in Natural and Created Coastal Marshes of Louisiana. Science of the Total Environment. p 161415.

Moran, K.*, Xu, K., Lopez, G., and Wilson, C.A., (2022) Contrasting Modes of Sediment Infilling and Geomorphic Change within a Sand Dominated Dredge Pit on the Inner Louisiana Shelf. Estuarine, Coastal, and Shelf Science. 278: 108127.

Wilson, C.A., FitzGerald, D.M., and Hughes, Z.J., (2022). Causal Relationships among Sea-level rise, Marsh Crab Activity, and Saltmarsh Geomorphology. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119(9), p.e2111535119.

Steckler, M.S., Oryan, B., Wilson, C.A., Grall, C., Nooner, S.L., Mondal, D.R., Akhter, S.H., DeWolf, S., and Goodbred, S.L., (2022). Synthesis of the Distribution of Subsidence of the Lower Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, Bangladesh. Earth Science Reviews: 224 103887

Valentine, L.*, Wilson, C., and Rahman, M., (2021). Flood Risk of Embanked Areas and Potential Use of Dredge Spoils as Mitigation Measures in the Southwest Region of the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta, Bangladesh. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Lowland Rivers Special Issue.

Xue, Z.*, Wilson, C., Xu, K.H., Bentley, S.J., and Liu, H., (2021). Sandy dredge pit sedimentation—characteristics and processes in South Pelto Dredge Pit on Ship Shoal, Louisiana Shelf, USA. Estuaries and Coasts

Bomer, E.J.*, Wilson, C.A., Quirk, T. (2020a). Process Controls of the Live Root Zone and Carbon Sequestration Capacity of the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest, Bangladesh. Sci 2(35), DOI:10.3390/sci2020035.

Bomer, E.J.*, Wilson, C.A., Hale, R.P., Hossain, A.N.M., and Rahman, F.M.A. (2020b). Surface elevation and sedimentation dynamics in the Ganges-Brahmaputra tidal delta plain, Bangladesh: implications for the sustainability of natural and human-impacted coastal systems. Catena.187:104312. 

Chamberlain, E., Goodbred, S., Hale, R., Steckler, M., Wallinga, J., and Wilson, C. (2020). Integrating geochronologic approaches across the Bengal Basin. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.45: 56-74. DOI: 10.1002/esp.4687.

Bomer, E.J.*, Wilson, C.A., Datta, D. (2019). An Integrated Approach for Constraining Depositional Zones in a Tide-Influenced River: Insights from the Gorai River, Southwest Bangladesh. In: Xu, K., Carlin, J., and Wang, H. (Ed) Special Issue: "Observation and Numerical Modeling of Sediment Transport in Coastal Areas". Water. 11(10) 2047.

Hale, R. Wilson, C.A., and Bomer, J. (2019). Seasonal variability of forces controlling sedimentation in the Sundarbans National Forest, Bangladesh. Frontiers Special Edition: Deltas in Peril. 7: 211.

Bomer, E.J.*, Bentley, S.J., Crawford, F., Hughes, J.E.T., Wilson, C.A., and Xu, K. (2019). Deltaic Morphodynamics and Stratigraphic Evolution of Middle Barataria Bay and Middle Breton Sound Regions, Louisiana, USA: Implications for River-Sediment Diversions. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 224: 20-33.

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.