Ruth Durán is a marine geologist investigating the geomorphology, sediment dynamics and recent evolution of continental margins and coastal environments towards a more effective use of marine resources and coastal management. For this end, she uses state-of-the-art remote coastal and seafloor exploration instruments and analytical techniques (e.g. airbone LIDAR, swath bathymetry, side scan sonar, seismic reflection profiling, ROV, AUV, seabed sampling, geomorphometry, GIS).
More specifically, she focuses her research on the short-term (years to decades) morphological evolution of coastal systems with the aim of improving our current knowledge of morphodynamical processes and providing useful information to predict how they will respond to sea level rise associated with Climate Change. She studies the geomorphological processes and bottom sediment dynamics on continental shelves, with special emphasis on the formation, evolution and present day activity of bedforms. She works on the recent evolution (Quaternary) of continental margins, with particular attention given to the causes of the high variability on the shelf growth patterns. Currently, her research is also focused on the quantitative characterization of the contribution of deep-sea bottom trawling activities on the seafloor morphology over a range of spatial scales, from fine (m–dam) to mesoscale (5–100 km).