Researcher, Engineer, Lover of Coasts


    I am a civil engineering researcher with a passion for the coastal environment. I use numerical computer models to study coastal physical processes: from storm surge and wind waves to stratification and sea level rise. I am incredibly curious, and eager to learn. And I love a good laugh.

  • Science. For Good.

    My desire is to do science that makes a difference.


    I started in Saint Lucia, working at government agencies dedicated to agricultural and environment sustainability. I've studied and worked alongside brilliant people to understand coastal hazards and their impacts along the US Gulf and California coasts. I'm now part of a research team investigating the interactions of coastal infrastructure with storms and rising sea-levels from climate change, providing insight to local and regional communities and governments in San Francisco Bay.


    It's science and it's good.


    Project Scientist,

    University of California, Berkeley

    and Visiting Scientist,

    US Geological Survey, Santa Cruz

    October, 2016 - present

    • Simulate San Francisco Bay water levels under wide ranging storm and incoming river flow conditions using coupled watershed, hydrodynamics and wind-wave models
    • Contribute to the development of an operational flood forecasting of San Francisco Bay  through a USGS-NOAA joint research initiative on coastal flooding
    • Contribute to the NSF-funded RISER research initiative (http://riser.berkeley.edu) on using numerical models to assess San Francisco Bay coastal flooding vulnerability due to storms, sea level rise, and coastal adaptation measures
  • Prior Experiences


    Post-doctoral researcher,

    University of California, San Diego

    August 2012 - September, 2016

    • 3D hydrodynamic modeling of waterlevels, flows, salinity and temperature using an unstructured finite-volume circulation model (Delft3D-FM)
    • Coupled riverine, tidal, salinity and temperature numerical modeling of complex estuarine environments under historical and future sea level and climate conditions
    • Executed parallel hydrodynamic software verification, scaling and profiling on high‐performance computing environments
    • Engaged in multi-disciplinary, multi-agency collaboration on coupling climate, hydrodynamics, sediment dynamics, water-quality and habitat suitability models

    Hydrodynamic Modeler

    US Geological Survey, Menlo Park

    August 2012 - September, 2016

    • Hydrodynamic modeler for the U.S.G.S-led CASCaDE II project on San Francisco Bay-Delta ecosystem health http://cascade.wr.usgs.gov/
    • Calibrated, validated, and applied a 3D finite volume model (Delft3D-FM) for analysis of San Francisco Bay-Delta hydrodynamics and water quality parameters under historical and alternate future hydrological and infrastructural conditions
    • Developed close partnership with software developers Deltares as an advanced software user, using San Francisco Bay-Delta as testbed for software feature development

    • Partner in developing the San Francisco Bay-Delta Community Model: http://www.d3d-baydelta.org/ 

    • Enjoyed working within multi-agency collaborative environments involving government agencies, universities, and regional research agencies

  • Education

    PhD. Civil Engineering, University of Notre Dame

    Dissertation: Toward a Unified Parameterization of Bottom Friction for Riverine, Tidal and Storm-Surge Analysis

    Advisor: Joannes J. Westerink, Ph.D.

    Graduation Date: January, 2013


    My dissertation applied a coupled hydrodynamics and wind-wave model, SWAN+ADCIRC, of the US Gulf coast to investigate coastal inundation under high river flow and hurricane conditions. This work produced modeled flows for coastal Louisiana rivers under wide-ranging hydrological conditions, a time-varying river boundary condition with application during hurricanes, and modeled coastal inundation responses to mesh resolution and friction.


    Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Concentration in Civil Engineering

    Geneva College, Beaver Falls, PA

    Graduation Date: May, 2006


      Department of Civil Engineering, University of Notre Dame

      Course Instructor, Introduction to Engineering Programming

      2009, 2010

      • Organized, developed a curriculum, and taught a semester-long University class to undergraduate and graduate students on C and MATLAB programming languages

      Course Co-Instructor, Methods of Civil Engineering Analysis II


      • Developed a portion of a curriculum on computational tools used by civil engineers, and lectured a sophomore-level course on computer programming languages as tools used by civil engineers

      Graduate Teaching Assistant,  2006-2008

      • Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering – Spring 2007, 2008

      • Computational Methods – Fall 2007, 2008

      • Introduction to Structural Engineering – Fall 2006

      Government of Saint Lucia

      Castries, Saint Lucia, 2001-2004

      • Technical Assistant, Sustainable Development & Environment Unit, Ministry of the Environment, 2004
      • Technical Assistant, Water Resources Management UnitMinistry of Agriculture, 2003
      • Field Technician, Water Resources Management UnitMinistry of Agriculture, 2002
      • Science and Technology Assistant, Sustainable Development & Environment Unit, Ministry of the Environment, 2001

      Skills & Memberships

      Skills & Languages:

      • Numerical Models: Delft3D-FM, ADCIRC, SWAN 
      • Computer Programming: MATLAB, C, FORTRAN, Mathematica 
      • English (native), German (moderate)

      US Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation

      American Society of Civil Engineers
      Saint Lucia National Trust
    • Selected Publications & Reports

      Application of an unstructured 3D finite volume numerical model to flows and salinity dynamics in the San Francisco Bay-Delta

      Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 192 (2017) 86-107, DOI 10.1016/j.ecss.2017.04.024

      Martyr-Koller, R.C., H. Kernkamp, A. van Dam, M. van der Wegen, L. Lucas, N. Knowles, B. Jaffe, T. Fregoso.

      “Task 4: Hydrodynamics” in CASCaDE II Final Report to Delta Stewardship Council

      CASCaDE: Computational Assessments of Scenarios of Change for the Delta Ecosystem, http://cascade.wr.usgs.gov/ 

      Martyr, R., J. Helly, L. Lucas, N. Knowles, M. van der Wegen , D. Roelvink, A. van Dam, S. van der Pijl, H. Kernkamp, Julia Vroom. June, 2015

      US IOOS Coastal and Ocean Modeling Testbed: Evaluation of tide, wave, and hurricane surge response sensitivities to mesh resolution and friction in the Gulf of Mexico

      Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 118, 4633-4661, DOI 10.1002/jgrc.20305, 2013

      Kerr, P.C., R.C. Martyr, A.S. Donahue, J.J. Westerink, R.A. Luettich, Jr., M.E. Hope, J.C. Dietrich, C. Dawson, S. Tanaka, H.J. Westerink, L.G. Westerink. 2013.

      Simulating Hurricane Storm Surge in the Lower Mississippi River under varying flow conditions

      ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 139, 492‐ 501, 2013.

      Martyr, R.C., J.C. Dietrich, J.J. Westerink, P.C. Kerr, C.N. Dawson, J. Smith, H. Pourtaheri, N. Powell, M. van Ledden, S. Tanaka, H. Roberts, H. Westerink, L. Westerink.

      Surge generation mechanisms in the lower Mississippi River and discharge dependency

      ASCE Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering, 139, 326-335, 2013.

      Kerr, P.C., J.J. Westerink, J.C. Dietrich, R.C. Martyr, S. Tanaka, D.R. Resio, H.J. Westerink, L.G. Westerink, J. Smith, T. Wamsley, M. van Ledden, W. de Jong.

    • SELected Presentations

      Take a look and enjoy!

      Impacts World 2017, Potsdam, Germany

      October, 2017

      Communities can collaborate in addressing sea-level rise based on their risk and/or how they adapt. How does this affect governance structures?

      USGS, Santa Cruz, California

      Dec, 2015

      The integration of hydrodynamics, sediment, water quality, and habitat suitability models to understand the cascading effects of regional hydrodynamics and water quality changes on San Francisco Bay-Delta ecosystems

      CERF, Portland, Oregon

      Nov, 2015

      What are the new hydrodynamic and salinity characteristics of the San Francisco Bay-Delta under varying degrees of sea level rise? How will X2, a measure of salinity intrusion, respond to freshwater flows under the influence of sea level rise?

      USGS, Menlo Park, California

      Jan, 2014

      Development, validation, and application of coupled circulation and wind-wave models to coastal infrastructure cases in the Gulf of Mexico

    • LET'S CHAT!

      +1 (574) 329-2802

      345 Middlefield Rd., Menlo Park, CA

      San Francisco Bay Area