Postdoctoral Researchers


My name is Alexandra Schueller and I moved from Germany to Newark, Delaware at the end of 2022. Water and environmental management have fascinated and inspired me throughout my life. Naturally, they became the content of my interdisciplinary studies, work experience, teaching, and research.

Water is my passion, running consistently through my professional career. Because of its diversity, I completed two master’s degrees (Civil Engineering & Environmental Sciences) and a 2-year trainee program in German and European environmental administrations, graduating as a Technical Assessor (state exam) in water management. I also recently obtained my doctorate in civil and hydraulic engineering (Dr.-Ing.) in flood emergency management at the Technical University Kaiserslautern-Landau (RPTU), Germany. Parallel to my education, I have worked full-time as a civil engineer and manager since 2012 at a German environmental agency and lectured part-time since 2015 at various German universities.

Now I am expanding my experience internationally by gaining insight into American water and coastal engineering. As a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Delaware (UD), I will help design and conduct wave basin studies to quantify hydrodynamics and sediment transport processes from oblique-wave-driven swash. Furthermore, I will conduct numerical simulations to extend the parameter space of the laboratory.

With my new job, I am pleased to be able to tie in with the content of my master’s degree in civil, environmental, and coastal engineering at Leibniz University Hannover (Germany), as well as my master’s thesis on sediment transport/passability in streams.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my husband, my 2 daughters, and my Bernese Mountain Dog or playing flute.

My name is Chris Lashley. I was born and raised on the beautiful Caribbean island of Barbados. As an islander, the coast has always been an important aspect of my life, providing not only recreation but also vital services like fisheries, tourism and trade by sea. However, as a child I was also introduced to the threat of the sea by the local proverb, “de sea ain’t got nuh back door”, which warned beachgoers that the sea can be very dangerous. This awareness of both the advantages and dangers of living along the coast sparked my interest and commitment to ensuring coastal safety.

This passion led me to the Netherlands to pursue a Master’s in Coastal Engineering & Port Development at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education (2017) and then a PhD in Hydraulic Engineering at Delft University of Technology (2021). My PhD research focused on the influence of shallow foreshores—such as marshes or mudflats—on coastal safety. The tools and methods developed during that research offer practical guidance for the design and assessment of coastal structures under very shallow conditions. Now as a Post-Doctoral researcher at the University of Delaware (UD), I use state-of-the-art numerical and empirical tools to estimate the likelihood of coastal flooding along varying sites in the U.S. during storms—with the ultimate goal of identifying a best practice at each location.

My research interests include: building with nature; disaster risk reduction; climate change adaptation; nearshore wave modelling; surf and swash zone processes; and the design of coastal structures. I also enjoy assisting and coaching graduate students, having sat on several graduation committees. With respect to teaching experience, I have previously developed and taught Project Management as a course for professional development.

Outside of the office, you can find me in the gym, playing basketball, woodworking or enjoying a good beer. If you share similar research (or non-research) related interests, feel free to come by my office. I’m always up for a chat over coffee or beer.

My name is Zaid Alhusban. I was born and raised in Amman, Jordan. I earned my PhD in civil engineering from the University of Glasgow in 2021. The title of my dissertation is “Investigation of sediment transport processes due to geophysical flows”, where I used a laboratory water flume with different setups and instruments (acoustic velocity profilers and particle image velocimetry) to study the dynamics of sediment transport. At the University of Koblenz-Landau, I have recently done experiments on the physics of plastic transport in the fluvial environment.
I have a lot of interest and enthusiasm for the topics related to “coastal engineering,” as they cover a variety of study fields such as sediment transport, numerical methods, water wave mechanics, coastal hydrodynamics, nearshore processes, and coastal hazards. I was therefore very eager to join Dr. Puleo’s study team because of his past and present research endeavors.
As a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Delaware (UD), I will conduct numerical experiments associated with hybrid shoreline protection mechanisms. The numerical experiments will assist project researchers in identifying the suitability of hybrid protection mechanisms at various locations in the mid-Atlantic region and the expected morphological response. I also enjoy assisting and coaching graduate students. When I am not working, I like reading, cooking, and doing random fitness exercises.


My name is Manoj Kumar Gangadharan. I was born and raised in Kerala, India. Kerala is a small state nestled along the southwestern side of India. We have a super extensive coastline, plains and high mountains that border the eastern state boundary. We also have 44 rivers, of which 41 flows directly into the Arabian sea.

After my Bachelor’s, I was offered an opportunity to study Ocean Engineering at IIT Madras. So, I packed my bags and moved to Chennai, a super large metropolis on the Southeast coast of India. With an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, picking up the basics of ocean engineering was hard. All thanks to my supervisor, I was able to pick up.

For someone whose hamlet has 12 rivers and a 70 Km long coastline, I could relate to many things. We had experienced the good and evil the sea has to offer. The lessons on storm surge, coastal erosion, sandbar formation and tsunamis were like reliving experiences. So, curiosity gave way to an affinity resulting in extending my Masters thesis into the doctoral program. I studied the nature and propagation characteristics of different wave groups and their impact on coastal and offshore structures.

As they say, there’s always more to learn. And here I am, halfway across the globe in Newark, Delaware. Incidentally, also close to the sea :). As a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Delaware, I am currently attached to the SERDP project that explores the end state of UneXploded Ordinances (UXOs) in the SWASH zones. My research focuses on understanding how wave forcing and sediment movement influence the final fate.

When I am not working, I like to spend time outdoors, either hiking or cycling or kayaking or cooking or eating.

bruder2As a post-doctoral researcher at University of Delaware, I am currently researching beach munition mobility in the swash zone. However, my past research and education has spanned a broad range of topics in civil engineering. I first studied structural engineering and architecture at Columbia University in New York City for my B.S. Degree obtained in 2009. Escaping the cold, I fled to Savannah and Atlanta, GA for my masters and doctoral degrees in coastal engineering from Georgia Tech in 2011 and 2015. My research focus for both degrees was hydrokinetic tidal energy applications in wetland environments. My favorite part of coastal research is the extensive field work. Growing up in South Carolina, I have always enjoyed being by the ocean…particularly with some barbecue or sweet tea on hand. In my free time I enjoy adventuring with my dog Jack…eating and hiking all that Newark has to offer.