Dr. Ivor van Heerden is involved in a series of applied research projects related to the 2011 BP oil spill that impacted coastal Louisiana. Previously he was the deputy director of the Louisiana State University (LSU) Hurricane Center and director of the Center for the Study of Public Health Impacts of Hurricanes.
A native of South Africa, van Heerden received his undergraduate degrees in geology from the University of Natal in South Africa, and a master’s and doctorate in marine sciences from LSU. He is a former assistant secretary of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, where he ran a successful coastal wetlands restoration program.
van Heerden has been involved in natural disaster research projects in various parts of the world and played a key part in the dissemination of information on the impacts of Hurricane Katrina.
He has given numerous interviews and appeared in documentaries, including Harry Shearer’s “The Big Uneasy,” Spike Lee’s HBO documentaries, as well as by NOVA-PBS, History Channel, Discovery Channel, National Geographic and the BBC. He is the author of “The Storm – What went wrong and why during Hurricane Katrina – the inside story from one Louisiana scientist.”