Jeff Hansen

Associate Professor, BSc PhD Calif., MSc S.Francisco State

  • The University of Western Australia (M470), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


2022-present Associate Professor, University of Western Australia

2018-2022 Senior Lecturer, University of Western Australia

2013-2017 Lecturer, University of Western Australia

2012 Postdoctoral Scholar, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

2011 Ph.D., Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz

2007 M.Sc. Applied Geoscience, San Francisco State University

2002 B.S. Earth Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz


The core of my research focuses on understanding physical processes in coastal environments and linking these to evolution of the coast over a range of time scales. Specific topics of interest include:
Wave driven surf zone currents on beaches and reefs
Inlet dynamics and interaction with adjacent coast.
Mechanisms of sediment transport in near coastal waters.
Beach and coastal response to storms and sea level rise.
Development of new in situ and remote sensing techniques to measure waves, water levels, currents.
Marine renewable energy.

I am always seeking well-qualified PhD students to work on any of the above broad research areas (see some current projects below also). Please get in touch and include a recent CV if you are potentially interested in pursuing a PhD at UWA. UWA offers a range of schlarships for domestic and international students, see for the latest details or contact me.

Current projects

  • New: Understanding onshore sediment transport processes across shore-connected sand ridges. Onshore sediment transport from offshore sediment reserves is a key natural nourishment mechanism for many coastlines globally. This project will combine co-located measurements of the time variable sea bed (e.g. from a scanning sonar) with detailed velocity and water level measurements to understand the mechanisms that drive onshore sediment transport across shallow sand ridges. One or more PhD students is immediately sought to work on this project. If you are interested, please contact me with your CV.
  • New: Improvements spectral wave forecast using data assimilation and machine learning. Most existing wave forecasts rely on spectral (phase-averaged) wave models that neglect or parameterize key physical processes. I currently have a project underway to develop novel data assimilation and machine learning methods to improve operational wave forecasts. One or more PhD students is immediately sought to work on this project. If you are interested, please contact me with your CV.
  • Development of drone based platforms to measure surface waves and currents as well as shallow bathymetry. In situ measurement of waves, currents and bathymetry in shallow marine environments is difficult often due to strong currents and breaking waves. I have a project underway to develop a drone based platform and associated algorithms to measure surface waves and currents as well as bathymetry in shallow marine environments in Western Australia.
  • Sediment dynamics in mixed sand-reef environments. The west coast of Australia features numerous limestone and coral reefs that range from being shore attached to several km offshore. Wave refraction and dissipation over these reefs alters the wave field and impacts the circulation. I am currently conducting a range of experiments investigating the wave and circulation dynamics in these environments.
  • Mechanisms of sediment transport onshore of fringing reefs. Many of the ubiquitous fringing reefs in Western Australia feature a seaward protruding shorelines in their lee, similar to that often found onshore of a detached breakwater. I am currently investigating the mechanism that result in these accreted shorelines, which occur at scales ranging from tens of meters to more than a km, as well as their temporal variability.
  • Optimal placement and arrangement of wave energy converters (WEC) and their downstream impacts. WECs will have to be arranged into arrays of many devices to extract a commercially viable amount of energy and wave farms of a considerable size will thus likely substantially alter wave and flow fields in their lee (in both the near and far-field), and have the potential to cause coastal impacts (e.g., beach erosion and/or accretion). I have a several projects underway to understand the downstream impacts of WECs and how to optimise their placement to both maximize power production while minimizing cost and potential downstream impacts.


Teaching overview

Course coordinator for:

Marine and Coastal Process (undergraduate)

Marine Sceince (undergraduate)

Master of Oceanography



Unit coordinator for:

EART2204 Coastal Processes

EART4415 Coastal Hazards and Adaptation

ENVT4403 Coastal and Esturine Processes (discontinued)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Industry keywords

  • Oceans
  • Defence
  • Energy

Research expertise keywords

  • Nearshore waves and currents
  • Coastal sediment transport
  • Coastal evolution and storm response
  • Inlet dynamics


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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