Dr. Katy Serafin

Assistant Professor

Affiliate Faculty, UF Climate Institute



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Curriculum Vitae

Focus Areas

Research Statement:

I am a coastal scientist who merges fundamental and purpose-driven inquiry to better understand the dynamics of the changes threatening our coastlines and the resultant consequences for people and ecosystems. My main interests include compounding flood hazards, coastal processes, extreme value analysis, human-natural coupled systems, climate adaptation and resilience, and the quantification of the indirect consequences of flooding. Specifically, my research focuses on understanding the frequency, drivers, and impacts of coastal flooding and erosion events to evaluate the risk and resilience of coastal settings to present day and future hazards. I approach these complex problems by merging observational datasets with probabilistic and numerical models. The dynamic and broad nature of coastal science demands a highly interdisciplinary approach and I work with collaborators in different fields, institutions, and government agencies to enhance the resilience of communities to the impacts of coastal hazards.

Recent Publications

Serafin, K.A., Ruggiero, P., Parker, K. and Hill, D.F., 2019. What’s streamflow got to do with it? A probabilistic simulation of the competing oceanographic and fluvial processes driving extreme along-river water levels. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 19(7), pp.1415-1431. DOI: 10.5194/nhess-19-1415-2019

Serafin, K.A., Ruggiero, P., Barnard, P.L. and Stockdon, H.F., 2019. The influence of shelf bathymetry and beach topography on extreme total water levels: Linking large-scale changes of the wave climate to local coastal hazards. Coastal Engineering, 150, pp.1-17. DOI: 10.1016/j.coastaleng.2019.03.012

Parker, K., Ruggiero, P., Serafin, K.A. and Hill, D.F., 2019. Emulation as an approach for rapid estuarine modeling. Coastal Engineering, 150, pp.79-93. DOI: 10.1016/j.coastaleng.2019.03.004

Cohn, N., Ruggiero, P., García-Medina, G., Anderson, D., Serafin, K.A. and Biel, R., 2019. Environmental and morphologic controls on wave-induced dune response. Geomorphology, 329, pp.108-128. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2018.12.023

Mills, A.K., Bolte, J.P., Ruggiero, P., Serafin, K.A., Lipiec, E., Corcoran, P., Stevenson, J., Zanocco, C. and Lach, D., 2018. Exploring the impacts of climate and policy changes on coastal community resilience: Simulating alternative future scenarios. Environmental modelling & software, 109, pp.80-92. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2018.07.022

Lipiec, E., Ruggiero, P., Mills, A., Serafin, K.A., Bolte, J., Corcoran, P., Stevenson, J., Zanocco, C. and Lach, D., 2018. Mapping out climate change: Assessing how coastal communities adapt using alternative future scenarios. Journal of Coastal Research, 34(5), pp.1196-1208. DOI: 10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-17-00115.1

Erikson, L.H., Espejo, A., Barnard, P.L., Serafin, K.A., Hegermiller, C.A., O’Neill, A., Ruggiero, P., Limber, P.W. and Mendez, F.J., 2018. Identification of storm events and contiguous coastal sections for deterministic modeling of extreme coastal flood events in response to climate change. Coastal Engineering, 140, pp.316-330. DOI: 10.1016/j.coastaleng.2018.08.003

Serafin, K.A., Ruggiero, P. and Stockdon, H.F., 2017. The relative contribution of waves, tides, and nontidal residuals to extreme total water levels on US West Coast sandy beaches. Geophysical Research Letters, 44(4), pp.1839-1847. DOI: 10.1002/2016GL071020

Barnard, P.L., Hoover, D., Hubbard, D.M., Snyder, A., Ludka, B.C., Allan, J., Kaminsky, G.M., Ruggiero, P., Gallien, T.W., Gabel, L. and McCandless, D., Weiner, H.M., Cohn, N., Anderson, D.L., Serafin, K.A., 2017. Extreme oceanographic forcing and coastal response due to the 2015–2016 El Niño. Nature Communications, 8, p.14365. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14365

Serafin, K.A. and Ruggiero, P., 2014. Simulating extreme total water levels using a time-dependent, extreme value approach. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 119(9), pp.6305-6329. DOI: 10.1002/2014JC010093

Chavas, D., Yonekura, E., Karamperidou, C., Cavanaugh, N. and Serafin, K., 2012. US hurricanes and economic damage: Extreme value perspective. Natural Hazards Review, 14(4), pp.237-246. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)NH.1527-6996.0000102

Educational Background

  • PhD in Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, 2017
  • M.S. in Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, 2013
  • B.A. in Environmental Studies, Connecticut College, 2008

Current Graduate Students

Currently accepting applications for graduate students to begin in Fall 2020.


Compound Flood Risk in a Changing Climate
Water, Wetlands, and Watersheds Seminar at the UF Howard T. Odum Center for Wetlands
Dr. Katy Serafin will talk about compound drivers of flooding along both open coasts and coastal rivers in a changing climate.
11:45am, Phelps 101, UF campus
Can’t make it? Watch the video! https://cfw.essie.ufl.edu/seminars/

Is Florida Trying to Kill Me?
Science on Tap: Hurricanes
Join the Florida Museum of Natural History and UF Thompson Earth Systems Institute for an engaging conversation about hurricanes with Dr. Corene Matyas at First Magnitude Brewing Company.
More info: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/event/sot-hurricanes/