Ryan Lowe


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

    6009 Crawley


  • 1978 Citations
  • 23 h-Index
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Personal profile


• Ph.D. Stanford University, 2005 (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
• M.S. Stanford University, 2002 (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
• B.S. University of California, 2000 (Mechanical Engineering)

Roles and responsibilities

Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans

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. In addition, we have active research to support projects related to wave energy. 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. 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

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.


My research involves the study of how oceanic and atmospheric forcing drives the circulation and distribution of wave energy within a broad range of coastal systems (e.g., on beaches, coral reefs, and rocky shorelines). In most cases, this work is motivated by the need to improve our understanding of the coupling between hydrodynamics and other key processes occurring in marine environments, such as sediment transport, marine ecology and the impact to/from coastal infrastructure. As part of this work, I employ a wide range of field, laboratory and numerical modelling techniques. Major research interests include:

• Coastal and estuarine hydrodynamics
• Numerical modelling of waves and coastal circulation
• Coastal sediment transport
• Benthic boundary layer and canopy flow dynamics
• Biophysical interactions in marine systems
• Renewable wave energy


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

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Projects 2007 2021

Research Output 2002 2018

Improving predictions of the coastal impacts of wave farms using a phase-resolving wave model

Rijnsdorp, D. P., Hansen, J. & Lowe, R. 2018 Proceedings of the 12th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper

wave energy
potential flow
induced response

Nonhydrostatic and surfbeat model predictions of extreme wave run-up in fringing reef environments

Lashley, C. H., Roelvink, D., van Dongeren, A., Buckley, M. L. & Lowe, R. J. 1 Jul 2018 In : Coastal Engineering. 137, p. 11-27 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Coastal engineering
Coastal zones
Numerical models

Sediment dynamics of muddy coasts and estuaries in China: An introduction

Wang, X. H., Gan, J. & Lowe, R. 30 Jun 2018 In : Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 206, 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

Shoreline variability at a low-energy beach: Contributions of storms, megacusps and sea-breeze cycles

Segura, L. E., Hansen, J. E., Lowe, R. J., Symonds, G. & Contardo, S. 1 Jun 2018 In : Marine Geology. 400, p. 94-106 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

sea breeze
25 Citations

Spatial and temporal patterns of mass bleaching of corals in the Anthropocene

Hughes, T. P. , Anderson, K. D. , Connolly, S. R. , Heron, S. F. , Kerry, J. T. , Lough, J. M. , Baird, A. H. , Baum, J. K. , Berumen, M. L. , Bridge, T. C. , Claar, D. C. , Eakin, C. M. , Gilmour, J. P. , Graham, N. A. J. , Harrison, H. , Hobbs, J. P. A. , Hoey, A. S. , Hoogenboom, M. , Lowe, R. J. , McCulloch, M. T. & 5 others Pandolfi, J. M., Pratchett, M., Schoepf, V., Torda, G. & Wilson, S. K. 5 Jan 2018 In : Science. 359, 6371, p. 80-83 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

El Nino-Southern Oscillation
Global Warming
Oceans and Seas