Develops computational approaches to coastal engineering challenges, such as hurricane storm surges and erosion

Talea Mayo,

Assistant Professor

Dept of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering


Office: Eng 2, Room 402

She is Also:

A member of the National Center for Integrated Coastal Research Cluster

"I hope to make significant contributions to coastal engineering challenges directly through my research, and also indirectly by teaching and supporting the next generation of diverse scholars."


Oftentimes the most damaging aspects of a hurricane lie not in the winds and rain, but in the resulting storm surge – its effects can be devastating to communities. Mayo’s research aims to improve the computational models used to forecast these storm surges. She is a nationally recognized computational mathematician, with expertise in the development and application of numerical models. Mayo specializes in coastal ocean modeling, with special interests in tides, waves, hurricane storm surges, flood risk analysis, wave energy, coastal erosion, and data assimilation methods for state and parameter estimation of dynamical systems.

Societal Impact

Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast while Mayo was a sophomore at Grambling State University, in northern Louisiana. Although Katrina’s effects were not felt in that part of the state, many of Mayo’s college peers had families who were impacted by the flooding caused by the resulting storm surge, exposing her to the social impacts of Katrina. Today, Mayo hopes her work can help serve coastal communities. She studies the hydrodynamic response to hurricanes, using numerical models that can help forecasters better understand the flooding that can be expected from these storms.

Graduate Students and Achievements

Advising two doctoral students, Jeane Camelo and Cigdem Ozkan


Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Princeton University, 2015

Ph.D. Computational and Applied Mathematics, University of Texas at Austin, 2013

M.S. Computational and Applied Mathematics, University of Texas at Austin, 2010

B.S. Mathematics, Grambling State University, 2008

Current Projects

Mayo and her postdoctoral research advisor Ning Lin recently examined the accuracy of the SLOSH model (Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes), which is used currently by the National Hurricane Center. In this work, they investigated the impact of using a modified wind field representation with the goal of improving the accuracy of predicted maximum storm surges.

In addition, Mayo is also exploring the possibility of using ocean waves as a renewable energy source. She recently published a paper with her graduate student Cigdem Ozkan that examines the available wave power on the Florida coast.

Courses She Teaches

CGN 3405 Applied Numerical Methods for Civil Engineering

CWR 3201 Engineering Fluid Mechanics

CWR 5515 Numerical Methods in Civil and Environmental Engineering

CWR 6539 Finite Elements in Surface Water Modeling


The CHAMPS Lab (Center for Hydroscience Analysis, Modeling & Predictive Simulations) educates and trains future engineers, scientists and educators while meeting the hydroscience challenges of today. Its primary research goal is to incorporate the physical system and associated processes using computer modeling and simulation to better understand and analyze hydroscience.

Discoveries/Publication Highlights

Mayo has 11 journal articles and 101 citations published.


• Early Career Faculty Innovator Program, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), 2019

• National Academies of Sciences Gulf Research Program Early-Career Research Fellow, 2018-2020

• National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2010-2013

In the News

March 28, 2019 – American Association for the Advancement of Science: Numbers: More than the Book in the Bible

May 8, 2018 UCF Today: Professor to Showcase Work to Congress During D.C. Exhibit