Ryan Mulligan is a professor in civil engineering, specializing in coastal engineering and oceanography. His research interests cover the physical forces that cause changes to coastal regions and the ways in which coastal systems respond. He is particularly interested in regions that are exposed to severe storms including hurricanes, with large surface waves and storm surge, that drive erosion and flooding and impact human populations. He uses field observations and numerical models to study coastal systems, and develop further understanding of coastal oceans and estuaries. Understanding the interaction of processes is needed to simulate and predict future changes to the coastal environment.