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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

Faculty and Staff Directory

Björn Kjerfve

Title: Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Department: School of the Earth, Ocean & Environment
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 979-450-1832

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Bjorn Kjerfve

Professional experiences
Dr. Björn Kjerfve is a coastal physical oceanographer with extensive academic leadership experience in higher education. In 2013, he was elected as a corresponding member to the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. He has served in several university leadership positions:

  • Chancellor of American University of Sharjah (UAE), 2014-2019
  • President of World Maritime University (Sweden), 2009-2014
  • Dean College of Geosciences, Texas A&M University, 2004-2009
  • Director, Marine Science Program, University of South Carolina, 2000-2004

At the University of South Carolina, Dr. Kjerfve served as Director of the Marine Science Program for four years (2000-2004) and as Professor of Marine and Geological Sciences for 31 years. Dr. Kjerfve taught more than 6,000 students oceanography, environmental science, climate change, and human interactions with the environment; mentored/advised 20-25 undergraduate majors annually; supervised to conclusion 14 Ph.D. student dissertations and 24 M.Sc. student theses; and employed 79 undergraduate students as research assistants. His taught semester-abroad courses on tropical marine science over 24 years in Belize, Bahamas, Jamaica, and Isla de Providencia, Colombia. He also taught numerous coastal ocean short-courses in Brazil (while serving part time as Professor Visitante at Universidade Federal Fluminense), and in Mexico, Uruguay, Colombia, and Sweden.

As a PI or Co-PI on some 90 grants at USC and Texas A&M University, Dr. Kjerfve received more than $20 million in grants to carry out ocean and environmental research in the US and around the world, much of the funding obtained from NSF and other Federal agencies. He has published more than 250 publications, including116 peer-reviewed journal articles, 60 peer-reviewed book chapters, 13 authored and edited books, and more than 60 additional science and technical publications. His research includes field research, using SCUBA diving, and small boat operations; numerical modelling of circulation in ocean and coastal areas, enclosed bays, estuaries, and lagoons; and analyses of large data sets. Much of his research is multidisciplinary in nature, including biological, geological, and ecosystem processes.


  • PhD Marine Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
  • MS Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • BA Mathematics, with minor in journalism, Georgia Southern College, Statesboro, GA

Sample publications

  • Newton, A., A.C. Brito, J. D. Icely, V. Derolez, I. Clara, S. Angus, G. Schernewski, M. Inácio, A. I. Lillebø, A. I. Sousa, B. Béjaoui, C. Solidoro, M. Tosic, M. Cañedo-Argüelles, M. Yamamuro, S. Reizopoulou, H-Ch. Tseng, C. Donata, L. Roselli, M. Maanan, S. Cristina, A. C. Ruiz-Fernández, R. Lima, Kjerfve, N. Rubio-Cisneros, A. Pérez-Ruzafa, C. Marcos, R. Pastres, F. Pranovi, M. Snoussi, J. Turpie, Y. Tuchkovenko, B. Dyack, J. Brookes, R. Povilanskas, V. Khokhlov. 2018. Assessing, quantifying and valuing the ecosystem services of coastal lagoons, Journal for Nature Conservation.
  • Miranda, L. B., F. P. Andutta, Kjerfve and B. M. Castro Filho. 2017. Fundamentals of Estuarine Physical Oceanography. Ocean Engineering & Oceanography Vol. 8, Springer. ISBN: 978-981-10-3040-6 (Print). 426 pp.
  • Sale, P. F., D. A Feary, J. A. Burt; A. G. Bauman, G. H. Cavalcante, K. G. Drouillard, Kjerfve, E. Marquis, C. G. Trick, P. Usseglio and H. Van Lavieren. 2010. The growing need for sustainable ecological management of marine communities of the Persian Gulf. Ambio, 10.1007/s13280-010-0092-6. 14 pp.
  • Dias, G. T. M. and Kjerfve. 2008. Barrier and beach ridge systems of the Rio de Janeiro coast. In Geology and Geomorphology of Holocene Coastal Barriers of Brazil. S. R. Dillenburg and P. A Hesp (eds). Springer-Verlag, Berlin/Heidelberg. pp. 225-252.
  • Molisani, M. M., Kjerfve, A. P. Silva and L. D. Lacerda. 2006. Water discharge and sediment load to Sepetiba Bay from an anthropogenically altered drainage basin, SE Brazil. Journal of Hydrology 331(3-4): 425-433.
  • Morris, J. T., P. V. Sundareshwar, C. T. Nietch, Kjerfve and D. R. Cahoon. 2002. Response of coastal wetlands to rising sea level. Ecology 83(10): 2869-2877.
  • Heyman, W. D., R. T. Graham, Kjerfve and R. E. Johannes. 2001. Whales sharks, Rhincodon typus, aggregate to feed on fish spawn in Belize. Marine Ecology Progress Series 215: 275-282.
  • Restrepo, J. D. and Kjerfve. 2000. Magdalena River: Interannual variability (1975-1995) and revised water discharge and sediment load estimates. Journal of Hydrology 235: 137-149.
  • Kjerfve, B. (ed.) 1999. CARICOMP - Caribbean coral reef, seagrass, and mangrove sites. Coastal Regions and Small Islands Papers 3. UNESCO, Paris. 345 pp.
  • Kjerfve, B., C. H. A. Ribeiro, G. T. M. Dias, A. M. Filippo and V. S. Quaresma. 1997. Oceanographic characteristics of an impacted coastal bay: Baía de Guanabara, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Continental Shelf Research 17(13): 1609-1643.
  • Kjerfve, B., D. J. Macintosh, B. Clough, S. Sabhasri, C. Field, S. Al-Numairy, P. R. Bacon, C. Caratini, H. T. Chan, E. S. Diop, J. Ellison, L. D. Lacerda, M. Vannucci and A. Yáñez-Arancibia). 1994. Assessment and monitoring of climatic change impacts on mangrove ecosystems. UNEP Regional Seas Reports and Studies. Vol. 154. United Nations Environmental Programme, Nairobi, Kenya. 62 pp.
  • Kjerfve, B. (ed.) 1994. Coastal lagoon processes. Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands. (ISBN 0-444-88258-8). 577 pp;
  • Kjerfve, B. 1990. Manual for investigation of hydrological processes in mangrove ecosystems. UNESCO/UNDP, New Delhi, India. 79 pp.
  • Kjerfve, B., K. E. Magill, J. W. Porter and J. D. Woodley. 1986. Hindcasting of hurricane characteristics and observed storm damage on a fringing reef, Jamaica, West Indies. Journal of Marine Research 44(1): 119-148, doi: 10.1357/002224086788460120.
  • Kjerfve, B. 1981. Tides of the Caribbean Sea. Journal of Geophysical Research 86(C5): 4243-4247.

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