Coastal geologist Robin Mattheus recently joined the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS). His position will help support the IDNR Coastal Management Program and he will be involved in a variety of research efforts along the shores of Lake Michigan. Robin obtained his Ph.D. in Marine Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he focused on coastal sediment transport and the evolution of coastal rivers, estuaries, and marshes.
Before coming to Illinois, Robin worked for the Delaware State Geological Survey, where he was involved in offshore geologic mapping for sand assessment purposes. This work specifically focused on finding offshore sand resources for beach nourishment. The theme of sand replenishment is one that resonates with most coastal states, including Illinois, and Robin is excited to get involved in sand management-related work here.
Having grown up in southern Germany’s alpine region, his passion for the coastal environment was kindled by summer vacations to the shores of Scandinavia. Once in college at the University of Alabama, he gravitated towards the geosciences and became involved in undergraduate research with the sedimentology group and, eventually, stayed on for a M.S. degree in geology, studying buried valleys beneath Gulf Coast estuaries. He has been up to his neck in mud and sand ever since, gaining familiarity in a variety of coastal environments, from the U.S. mid-Atlantic to several of the Great Lakes. He enjoys spending time in the outdoors and is both a winter sports and surfing enthusiast.
Robin is looking forward to getting involved in CMP activities and projects, meeting partners, and helping to promote coastal awareness and resiliency. As part of the Sand Management Working Group, he is currently helping to develop a series of coastal fact sheets for the State of Illinois, which is getting him up to speed on the scientific literature of the area. He is also getting research projects underway that will contribute to ongoing ISGS efforts aimed at a better understanding of how our coastal environment functions and responds to human and climatic forces.