Claire Masteller

Assistant Professor of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences
PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz
research interests:
  • Geomorphology
  • Sediment Transport
  • Landscape Evolution
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    contact info:

    mailing address:

    • MSC 1169-204-110
    • Washington University in St. Louis
    • 1 Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    Professor Masteller’s research investigates the processes and patterns that shape the surface of the Earth and other planetary bodies, or the "science of scenery."

    Masteller is broadly interested in sediment transport and erosion mechanics and their role in driving landscape evolution. She uses interdisciplinary methods to address research questions across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales.

    Masteller received her undergraduate degree in Earth and Environmental Science from the University of Pennsylvania. She then pursued a PhD in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her dissertation research used a combination of numerical modeling, laboratory experiments, and field data to quantify the roles of biology and flow variability on coarse sediment transport in fluvial and coastal settings.

    Following her PhD research, Masteller moved to Germany to undertake training in environmental seismology, active source geophysics, and their application to rocky coast geomorphology. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher and Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Helmholtz Center, German Research Center for Geoscience from 2017-2019.

    The WUSTL Geomorphology Lab is currently seeking motivated graduate students and postdocs to work on a wide range of research questions. Projects will be largely dictated by individual interests but some jumping off points include:

    • "Unpacking" the state function of incipient motion in gravel rivers
    • Interplay of abrasion and plucking as mechanisms for bedrock incision
    • Biological and physical controls on the evolution of rocky coasts
    • Erosion and geomorphology in the Ozark Mountains

    For more information on these opportunities and Masteller’s research, please visit her personal website.