Marco Ghisalberti

Associate Professor

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

    6009 Perth


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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

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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