Donald and Martha Harleman Professor Heidi Nepf and recent PhD student Jiarui Lei published research in the Journal of Fluids and Structures titled “Blade dynamics in combined waves and current” and in Coastal Engineering, titled “Wave damping by flexible vegetation,” that demonstrates seagrass’ strong potential for curbing erosion. By dissipating wave energy, the plants could help protect vulnerable shorelines in the face of rising sea levels. Through experiments and mathematical modeling, the researchers were able to quantify how large and dense seagrass meadows must be in order to provide sufficient damping of waves in a given geographic, climate, and oceanographic setting. The abundant seagrass could help prevent beach erosion, protect seawalls, improve water quality, and absorb carbon. Read more on MIT News.