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

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


My research focuses on the study of the physical drivers of coastal processes and hazards, including how nearshore processes govern coastal flooding and erosion risk that threaten coastal populations and infrastructure, as well as how these processes are modified by coastal ecosystems. A major area of research is also on developing novel solutions to mitigate wave-driven coastal hazard risk, with a particular emphasis on integration of natural and nature-based features. My research utilises a wide range of field studies, laboratory (physical modelling) experiments and numerical models.

I joined UWA in 2007, after completing a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2005 from Stanford University and following a postdoctoral research and lecturing position at Stanford. Between 2012-2016, I received an ARC Future Fellowship that focused on improving predictions of nearshore processes that govern coastal hazards worldwide, using Western Australia’s extensive coastline as a case study to investigate the coastal dynamics of diverse wave- and tide-dominated coastal systems. From 2014-2020 I served as Editor for the Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans. My research has been well-supported by a number of sources, including from the ARC, State Government, international funding agencies and through collaborative projects with a wide range of industry partners.

I have published over 130 papers in international journals and have contributed to a number of international initiatives that advance nature-based solutions for coastal protection, including as Lead Author for the Reefs chapter of an international guidelines manual developed through a consortium led by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Research interests

  • Nearshore oceanography
  • Coastal engineering
  • Nature-based solutions for coastal protection
  • Ocean wave dyanmics
  • Coastal sediment transport
  • Benthic boundary layer and canopy flow dynamics
  • Biophysical interactions in marine systems (especially coral reefs)
  • Marine renewable energy

Roles and responsibilities

Future research

I have openings for PhD students to study coastal processes in systems that include coral reefs, rocky reefs and sandy beaches along Western Australia. Potential PhD projects may be related to the current projects listed above, however, I may be able to accommodate additional projects in other areas. If you are interested in working with me, please send me an email with your C.V. and Master/Honours degree transcript as an attachment.

I welcome applications from Australian or international students with a strong background in either science or engineering, together with an enthusiasm for the coastal ocean. Funding opportunities for qualified Ph.D. students are available.

Teaching overview

OCEN4010 Ocean Observational Methods and Modelling

This unit covers advanced observational methods and analysis techniques that are commonly used to assess oceanographic processes from the deep to nearshore ocean, including the dynamics of surface wave fields, ocean currents and turbulence, sediment transport and morphological changes. Topics will include principles for designing field observational programs, quality control of raw data, and analysis of oceanographic time-series and spatial data sets using the Python programming language. The unit will also cover common models used to predict oceanographic processes, including an overview of different classes of numerical models, governing principles, model requirements and validation.

ENVT3307 Oceanography

This unit covers an introduction to the physics of the ocean; physical properties of sea water; global distribution of temperature and salinity; dynamics governing motion in the ocean; barotropic and baroclinic ocean circulation; heat and salt budgets; water mass formation; major ocean biogeochemical cycles; the dynamics of coastal primary to secondary biological production; and the interaction of ocean processes with benthic biological communities.

SCIE2204 Marine Systems

This unit provides an introduction to the multidisciplinary aspects of marine science. Using the framework of the local Western Australia (WA) marine environment, it outlines how the multidisciplinary aspects of marine science are essential in understanding and managing such an ecosystem. Aspects covered include oceanography, geology and geomorphology and marine biology. Students obtain an introduction to the multidisciplinary aspects of marine science; and develop an understanding of the principles of oceanography, geology and geomorphology and how marine organisms interact with the environment.

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 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Research expertise keywords

  • Oceanography
  • Coastal processes
  • Numerical modelling of coastal processes
  • Sediment transport
  • Remote sensing
  • Biophysical interactions in marine systems
  • coastal engineering


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