Marco Ghisalberti

Associate Professor

  • 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


I did my BSc (Chem)/BE (Environmental, Hons.) at UWA [1998] before completing a PhD at MIT in Environmental Fluid Mechanics at MIT [2005]. I then worked at UWA, initially as a UWA Postdoctoral Fellow [2005-08], then as a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer. In 2015, I moved to the University of Melbourne (School of Electrical, Mechanical and Infrastructure Engineering), before returning to UWA in 2018 to take up a position in the Oceans Graduate School. I was also a Visiting Associate Professor at MIT in 2014.

I serve as an Associate Editor for the journals Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Frontiers in Marine Science.

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Research listings: Google Scholar, ORCiD, ResearcherID


My field of research is environmental fluid mechanics. My focus is on flow, turbulence, transport and biophysical coupling in critically-important ecosystems, such as seagrass meadows, coral reefs, kelp forests, island wakes and permeable sediments. 

Current research projects include:

A framework describing the impact of living roughness on flow, turbulence and transport in environmental systems

Nature-based solutions for coastal protection

Predicting rates of ecosystem particle capture

Flow and mixing at the sediment-water interface

The aerodynamics of Australian vegetation communities

Funding overview

My research is funded by the Australian Research Council through the Discovery & Linkage programmes and by Industry funding from partners including the Water Corporation of Western Australia, Melbourne Water and Mars Australia.

Current large grants:

1. ARC Discovery, 2021-23, "A predictive framework for the flow control of environmental roughness”, DP210103131, Lead CI.

2. ARC Discovery, 2020-22, “Advancing predictions of ecosystem-based coastal flood defence”, DP200101545, Chief Investigator.

3. Water Corporation of Western Australia, 2020-21, “Improving drain water level maintenance strategies: Optimizing hydraulic performance, nutrient attenuation, macrophyte planting and amenity”, CRC for Water Sensitive Cities.

Teaching overview

Undergraduate (UWA unless noted)

GENG1010 Introduction to Engineering (2021-)

ENSC3003 Fluid Mechanics (2019)

ENGR3002 Fluid Mechanics, University of Melbourne (2016-18)

ENSC3010 Hydraulics (2007-15)

ENSC3012 Data Collection & Analysis (2005-15)

1.060 Fluid Mechanics, MIT (2014)

Masters (UWA unless noted)

ENVE4403 Fluid Transport, Mixing & Dispersion (2020-21)

CVEN90051 Civil Hydraulics, University of Melbourne (2017-18)

- Australian Award for University Teaching (AAUT) Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning [2020] (Citation: For embedding rigorous evaluation practices to the redesign and delivery of undergraduate fluid mechanics education at three universities.)

- University of Western Australia Award for Excellence in Teaching [2020]

- UWA Faculty of Engineering & Mathematical Sciences teaching awards for Individual Teaching Excellence [2019; 2010; 2008] and Excellence in Team Teaching [2008]

Roles and responsibilities

Degree management

2019-: Program chair, Master of Ocean Leadership, UWA 

2015-18: Program chair, Master of Engineering (Environmental), UoM

2017-18: Program chair, Master of Environmental Engineering, UoM

Education leadership

2021-: Mathematical and Physical Sciences Board of Studies

2019-: Faculty/School of Engineering Education Committee, UWA

2020: University Teaching and Learning Committee, UWA

2015-18: Department of Infrastructure Engineering Education Committee, UoM

Laboratory management

2006-15, 2019-: Manager of Hydraulics Teaching Laboratory and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, School of Engineering, UWA (2006-2015, 2019-)

2016-18: Manager of Sexton Ecohydraulics Laboratory, Department of Infrastructure Engineering, UoM

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 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Industry keywords

  • Environmental
  • Oceans

Research expertise keywords

  • Environmental fluid mechanics
  • Environmental hydraulics
  • Environmental transport processes
  • Flow at the sediment–water interface
  • Canopy flow
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Turbulence
  • Vegetated flows
  • Particle dynamics
  • Sediment transport
  • Coastal processes
  • Experimental fluid mechanics


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