This focal area will improve our understanding of natural infrastructure (NI) costs and benefits, develop tools for implementation, and identify data gaps regarding NI performance over project lifecycles. Learn more about our current work in this area below:

Prioritizing Biodiversity

There is increasing recognition of the value of biodiversity in maintaining the services essential for a sustainable society and the flows that drive economic activity. This research will drive toward a fundamental shift in both approach and in mindset to integrate biodiversity into major infrastructure programs.


Natural infrastructure can reduce flooding in coastal and riverine settings, however, it’s not currently clear which scale and combination of types of natural infrastructure needs to be implemented in order to most effectively reduce flooding. This research sets out to identify those features in the hopes that it will pave a way forward for reducing flooding.

understanding lifecycles

While it is suspected that natural infrastructure projects pose an affordable, long-lasting alternative and/or complement to traditional infrastructure projects, these numbers have not been crunched. In order to effectively implement natural infrastructure projects, we must understand their long-term costs, maintenance needs, resilience and function.

Ecological drivers OF Dune Stability

Vegetation is known to impact dune stability. This project examines how different species and previous management activities alter sediment strength, stability and dune morphology.

Enhancing coastal resilience through Thin Layer PLacement

Many different factors go into the success or failure of salt marsh restoration. This project seeks to develop and share a multiscale monitoring and model framework.

Screening Thin-layer placement sites 

This project will develop a high-resolution, multiscale numerical simulation platform based on the FUNWAVE-TVD model for investigating the effectiveness of wetland natural infrastructure solutions.