Coral Reef Hydrodynamics

Scientists have long been investigating coral reefs of which Darwin was the first to observe the rich habitat and thriving biodiversity in the vicinity of coral reefs. My current research aims at exploring the physics of how reefs function in terms of their interaction with varying flow regimes at micro and macro scales. I aim to achieve this through extensive field trip campaigns to gather and analyse hydrodynamic data along the Sodwana Bay coral reef system off the eastern coast of South Africa. In parallel I am developing coastal process numerical models to supplement and parameterise the observed coral reef hydrodynamics all with the purpose of understanding the fundamental workings of the currents moving around vibrant reef systems. Through this I hope to draw links between these flows and associated turbulent mixing and the biological functioning of coral reefs to understand and define the fundamental role hydrodynamics plays in the health of our coral reefs. 


Calvin Wells

BScEng (Civil)

MScEng (Civil)