Jeff Hansen

Dr, BSc PhD Calif., MSc S.Francisco State

  • The University of Western Australia (M470), 35 Stirling Highway, Room 1.24, Geology and Geography Building, Perth campus

    6009 Perth


  • Source: Scopus
  • Calculated using citation counts from Scopus for publications in the UWA Profiles and Research Repository
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Personal profile


2018-present 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

  • 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.
  • Improvements spectral wave forecast using 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 assess the suitability of machine learning and other data science techniques to correct persistent biases and other errors in these existing wave models.
  • 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

Unit coordinator for:

EART2204 Coastal Processes

EART4415 Coastal Hazards and Adaptation

ENVT4403 Coastal and Esturine Processes (discontinued)

Research expertise keywords

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


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