Dr. Alex Kolker
Associate Professor

Mailing Address:
Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium
DeFelice Marine Center
8124 Highway 56
Chauvin, Louisiana 70344

Phone: 985-851-2837

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., 2005, Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
    Stony Brook UniversityState University of New York
  • M.A., 2000, Ecology
    Stony Brook University,State University of New York
  • B.A., 1995
    University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

Research Interests

  • I am interested in how natural sedimentary and hydrological processes interact in the coastal zone, and how these processes influence, and are influenced by the morphology of coastal wetlands. Currently, my research group is particularly, but not exclusively, focused on the Mississippi River Delta and its associated coastal zones.
  • We are interested in patterns of subsidence in the delta, and how these patterns influence wetland loss in Louisiana. Our group is examining many of the natural, and semi-natural settings that serve as analogues for the large river diversions that the State of Louisiana plans to build to restore the coastal zone.
  • This laboratory is deeply interested in the role that climate change and climate variability play in influencing coastal wetlands. More recently, our team has been examining the subsurface pathways by which water flows from the Mississippi River to the estuaries of the Louisiana coastal zone.

Current Projects

  • Paleochannels as reactive transport pathways for submarine goundwater discharge in the Mississippi River Delta
  • Mophodynamics and Ecological Functioning in the West Bay Diversion
  • Geotechnical properties associated with wetland loss and gain in the Cubits Gap Subdelta and their implications for coastal restoration.
  • Development of a subsidence map for the Louisiana coast.
  • Preliminary Investigations into the stratigraphy and ecogeomorphology of the Davis Pond diversion receiving basin.

Research Group

  • Alex Breaux, Graduate Student
    • B.S., 2012, Geology
      Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

  • Molly Keough, Graduate Student
    • B.S., 2010, University of Oregon
      Pursuing M.S. at Tulane University

  • Annelise Muscietta, Graduate Student
    • B.S., 2012, Geology
      State University of New York, Oneonta, NY


  • Kolker, A.S., Li, C., Walker, N., Piley, C., Ameen, A. D., Boxer, G., Ullah, M,. and Ramatchandirane, C.G. (2014). The impacts of the great Mississippi/Atchafalaya River flood on the oceanography of the inner-continental shelf. Continental Shelf Research, 86:17-33.
  • Kolker, A.S., (2014). Time and Tide; A Review of Rising Seas: Past Present and Future by Vivien Gornitz. Biosicence. 64(1): 69-70.
  • Wilson, C.A., Hughes, Z.J., Fitzgerald, D., Hopkinson, C., Valentine, V., Kolker, A.S., (2014). Saltmarsh pool and tidal creek ,orphodynamics: Dynamic equilibrium of northern latitude saltmarshes? Geomorphology, 213: 99-115.
  • Wang, Z., Liu, Z., Xu, K., Mayer, L.M., Zuliun, Z., Kolker, A.S., Wu W. (2014). Concentrations and sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in surface coastal sediments of the northern Gulf of Mexico, Geochemical Transactions, 15(2): 1-12.
  • Allison, M.A., Kolker, A.S., Meselhe, E. (2013). Water and sediment dynamics through the wetlands and coastal water bodies large deltaic river plains. pp 21-57 in Biogeochemical dynamics at major river-coastal interfaces: Linkages with Global Change, Cambridge University Press. 658pp.
  • Rosenheim B.E., Roe K.E., Roberts B.J., Kolker A.S, Allison M.A., Johannesson K.H. 2013. River discharge influences on particulate organic carbon age structure in the Mississippi/Atchafalaya River System. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 27:1-13. doi: 10.1029/2012GB004339.[pdf]
  • Kolker, A.S., Cable, J.E., Johannesson, K.H., Allison, M.A., Inniss, L.V. 2013. Pathways and processes associated with the transport of groundwaters in deltaic systems. Journal of Hydrology 498, 319-334.[pdf]
  • Esposito, C.R., Georgiou, I., Kolker, A.S. 2013. Efficient delivery of sediment through an active crevasse splay. Geophysical Research Letters 40: 1540-1545. doi: 1510.1002/grl.50333.
  • Kolker, A.S., Miner, M.D., Weather, H.D. 2012. Depositional dynamics in a river diversion receiving basin: The case of the West Bay Mississippi River Diversion. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 106, 1-12
  • Land, L.E., Kolker, A.S., Gambrell, R.P., 2012. Biotic and abiotic controls on sediment aggregation and consolidation: Implications for geochemical fluxes and coastal restoration. Marine Environmental Research 79, 100-110
  • Bianchi, T.S., Wysocki, L.A., Schneider, K.m., Filley, T.R., Corbett, D.R. and Kolker, A.S.. (2011) Sources of Terrestrial Organic Carbon in the Mississippi Plume Region: Evidence for the Importance of Coastal Marsh Inputs. Organic Geochemistry.
  • Kolker, A.S., Allison, M.A., Hammed, S. (2011). An evaluation of subsidence rates and sea-level variability in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Geophysical Research Letters. 38:L21404. doi:10.1029/2011GL049458,2011.
  • Bianchi, T.S. Cook, R.L., Perdue, E.M. Kolic, P.E., Green, N.. Zhang, Y.. Smith, R.W.. Kolker, A.S., Ameen, A.D., King, G, M., Ojwang, L., Schneider, C., Normand, A., (2011). Impacts of Diverted Freshwater on Dissolved Organic Matter and Microbial Communities in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, U.S.A. Marine Environmental Research, 72: 248-257.
  • Kolker, A.S., Kirwan, M., Goodbred, S.L. and Cochran, J.K., 2010. Global climate changes recorded in coastal wetland sediments: Empirical Observations lined to Theoretical Predictions. Geophysical Research Letters, 37(L14706, doi:10.1029/2010GL043874).
  • Kolker, A.S., Meffert, D.J. Carbonell, A. and Nelson, S.A. (2010). The lessons from a major climate event: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans. Accepted to the International Panel on Climate Change in Cities First Assessment Report. Cambridge University Press.
  • Rahoon, D.R., Reed, D.J. Kolker, A.S., Brinson, M.M., Stevenson, J.C., Riggs, S., Christian, R., Reyes, E., Voss, C., Kunz, D., (2009). Coastal Wetland Sustainability. Chapter 4 in US Climate Change Science Program: Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.1 "Coastal Sensitivity to Sea Level Rise: A Focus on the Mid-Atlantic Region. US Environmental Protection Agency. p 189-237.
  • Kolker, A.S., Goodbred, S.L., Hameed, S. and Cochran, J.K., 2009. High resolution records of coastal systems responses to short-term sea-level variability. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 84(4): 493-508.
  • Kolker, A.S. and Hameed, S., 2007. Meteorologically driven trends in sea level rise. Geophysical Research Letters(L23616): DOI:2007GL021814.
  • Kolker, A.S. The Impacts of Climate Variability and Anthropogenic Activities on Salt Marsh Accretion and Loss on Long Island. Marine Sciences Research Center, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 241 p.