Local Hub Coordinators

Meet our local hub coordinators

Joshua Sargent , Waikato NZ

Joshua Sargent is an environmental scientist and first year PhD candidate at the University of Waikato. The goal of his research is to understand decision making concepts associated with coastal flooding hazards in rural areas. His chief supervisor is Professor Karin Bryan and his research is funded by a National Science Challenge associated with resilience to natural hazards. Prior to his studies in New Zealand, Joshua worked for three years as an environmental planner/GIS analyst for a local government environmental agency in the United States. He currently holds a MSc and BSc in Environmental Science and Management from the University of Rhode Island.”

Karin Bryan, Waikato NZ

Karin Bryan works on coastal processes on sandy beaches and estuaries. Her interests are broad, but are basically covered by: Hydrodynamics: rip currents, wave dynamics, storm surges and flooding; Geomorphology: embayed beach patters, estuarine infilling, sediment interactions, tidal channels; and, Coastal Ecology: nutrient dynamics, light climate in estuaries, seabed exchange. She takes an engineering approach to solving problems, and likes to combine modelling, remote sensing and field observations. She works mostly in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Regions.

Wagner Costa, Waikato NZ

Originally from Brazil, Wagner moved to New Zealand about one year ago to start his PhD at the University of Waikato. His thesis is entitled: Predictors for estuarine flooding in New Zealand. The project is embedded in the National Science Challenge NZ programme and supervised by prof. Karin Bryan. Wagner and colleagues (Joshua Sargent and Berengere Dejeans), together with prof. Karin Bryan, are organizing the Waikato local hub for the AusYCSEC2021

Mandi Thran, Sydney NSW

Mandi is a numerical modeller of ocean and sedimentary processes, and she works as a postdoctoral researcher at UNSW’s Water Research Laboratory. Currently, she is developing a prototype early warning system for coastal marine flooding and erosion hazards along Australia’s east and west coasts. Mandi received her PhD in Marine Geology at the University of Sydney in October 2020, where she primarily studied deep sea oceanographic and sedimentary processes. Her PhD also focused on modelling of tsunami hazards and long-term (10,000’s to 100,000’s years) continental margin and coastal dynamics.

Kilian Vos, Sydney NSW

I am a third year PhD student at UNSW Sydney and my current research aims employ publicly available satellite imagery to investigate the links between climate drivers and shoreline changes in the Pacific basin over the last 30+ years. I also enjoy developing open-source remote sensing tools and creating web applications to visualise remotely sensed data (e.g., http://coastsat.wrl.unsw.edu.au/). My background is in Environmental Sciences and Engineering, BSc and MSc at EPFL, Switzerland.

Chris Leaman, Sydney NSW

Chris is a PhD student at UNSW’s Water Research Laboratory in Sydney, currently investigating how to better predict and prepare for coastal storm hazards at the regional scale. Since process-based morphodynamic models are too computationally expensive to run over 100’s of kilometres of coastlines, simple threshold based models can be used to provide a first-pass assessment of coastal flooding and beach erosion hazards. This work forms part of a larger, prototype coastal hazards Early Warning System project developed in conjunction with the Bureau of Meteorology, UWA and the USGS. Chris also has consultancy experience with coastal and maritime structure design and is currently a Senior Coastal Engineer at BMT. 


Mike Cuttler, Perth WA

Mike is Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia. His research focuses on understanding the physical processes driving changes in coastal morphology over a range of a time (individual storm events to interannual coastal evolution) and spatial scales (individual beaches to regional coastlines). To study these processes, he relies on observational data (in situ instruments, real-time wave buoys, fixed cameras, drones, satellites) as well as numerical modelling. His current research projects span the Western Australian coastline from the South Coast to the Pilbara.

Arnold van Rooijen, Perth WA

Arnold is a coastal engineer / oceanographer and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Western Australia. His current research focuses on better understanding coastal hazard reduction provided by marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, mangroves, kelp forests and seagrass, and he aims to use experimental findings to improve coastal engineering models such as XBeach. Prior to joining UWA, Arnold worked at Dutch applied research institute Deltares as coastal engineer/researcher as well as local representative in Australia.

Dr Maryam Abdolahpour, Perth WA

I am currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Western Australia (UWA), following research and teaching positions at UWA and the University of Melbourne. I received my PhD in the field of experimental fluid dynamics, jointly from UWA and Edith Cowan University (ECU). Prior to my postgraduate studies, I worked for 5 years as a dam engineer and fluid mechanics expert. As such, my area of specialisation rests in the field of fluid dynamics, with a particular focus on turbulence, mixing, flow-roughness interactions, coastal processes and sediment transport in both steady and wave-driven flows. My current research projects focus on how bed large roughness (e.g. seagrasses, corals, mangroves, etc) alter flow, turbulence and mixing in coastal and riverine systems.

Christelle Auguste, Hobart TAS

Christelle Auguste is a third year PhD student in the Marine Renewable Energy team of AMC/UTAS. Her doctoral research investigates sediment transport processes near tidal stream devices in Australia. She holds a master’s degree in Marine Science from Seatech School of engineering/ University of Toulon, France. After her master’s degree, she joined SNCF (National company of railway in France), as a hydraulic engineer then project manager where she accrued over 10 years significant experience in civil engineering projects within hydraulic and infrastructures fields. However, after so many years away from the ocean, she decided to come back to her passion, and to have a big change in her life: moving and career. She resigned from her job to reorient her path into the ocean renewable energy fields and started a PhD at the Australian Maritime College, University of Tasmania. Her main research interests are numerical modelling, tidal energy, wave-current interaction and coastal processes.

Karen Palmer, Hobart TAS

Karen is a PhD candidate in the Climate Futures team at the University of Tasmania.  Her research is focused on the factors for changing water levels in the transition zone between river and sea. By using data driven understanding of complex and sensitive estuary environments, she hopes to help improve community preparedness and adaptation for increasing inundation threat with climate change.

Dr Hannah Power, Newcastle NSW

Hannah is a associate professor and coastal scientist in the School of Environmental and Life Sciences at the University of Newcastle. Hannah has expertise in the processes and landforms of coastal environments and conducts research into waves, tides, and currents on coastlines. Her research also investigates how landforms, such as beaches, estuaries, and coral reefs, change through time. Hannah also conducts research into coastal hazards such tsunamis and wave overtopping of rock platforms.

Tom Oliver, Canberra ACT

Tom Oliver is a coastal geographer interested in all aspects of coastal science from the late Quaternary to present-day processes. He has conducted research in many coastal locations around Australia and has a special interest in sandy coastal plains which preserve past shoreline behaviour, past coastal processes and palaeoclimatic signatures.

Marzieh H. Derkani, Melbourne VIC

Marzieh is a PhD candidate at the Ocean Engineering Centre, Department of Infrastructure Engineering, The University of Melbourne. Her PhD studies are focused on coastal, oceanic, and climate processes in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic marginal ice zone. Her main research interests are marine data analysis, numerical modelling, wave climate and statistics, air-sea interaction, sea-ice, and coastal processes.

Dr Chloe Leach, Melbourne VIC

Chloe is a coastal geomorphologist and numerical modeler, interested in the medium- to long-term behaviour of coastal environments. She has principally developed and applied advanced modelling techniques to understand the role of driving environmental conditions in shaping the coastal system, including changing wave climate patterns and sea level rise. Chloe is currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Melbourne, as part of the Victorian Coastal Monitoring Program.

Ana Paula da Silva, Gold Coast QLD

Ana is a PhD Candidate at the Coastal and Marine Research Centre – Griffith University on the project: Wave Climate Control on Headland Bypassing. She holds a Master of Science degree, with an emphasis in Oceanography – Coastal Dynamics, and a B.Sc. (Hons) in Oceanography at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil. During her academic formation, her research interests were focused on wave climate changes, sediment transport, long-term climate change, coastal morphodynamics and adaptation.

Gaëlle Faivre, Gold Coast QLD

Gaëlle is a PhD Candidate at the Coastal and Marine Research Centre – Griffith University working on a project on Eco-based Adaptation in the South Pacific Islands. Her PhD project focus on coastal risks within a coral reef lagoon in Vanuatu. She is an engineer, graduated from the Engineering School of Mathematics and Modelling (MATMECA), Bordeaux. She also received a Research master at the University of Bordeaux and a Post-advanced Master in Hydraulics at ENSEEIHT, Toulouse. She starts her career as an environmental engineer at INERIS, a research institute under the supervision of the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Marine. Then, she came to Australia and worked at BMT WBM as a coastal engineer where she has been involved in many projects in the coastal, flooding and water quality groups. Since May 2014, Gaelle is a research assistant at the Coastal and Marine Research Centre at the Gold Coast Campus of Griffith University. Her research interests include coastal hazards, extreme events, climate variability impacts and coastal adaptation. 

Dr. Guilherme Vieira da Silva, Gold Coast QLD

Dr Guilherme Vieira da Silva is a Research Fellow at the Coastal and Marine Research Centre – Griffith University where he provides technical support for the City of Gold Coast related to coastal processes. His research is focused on headland sand bypassing, beach erosion and nourishment, extreme events, analysis and optimization of coastal protection strategies and impacts of climate change to the coast. Before join CMRC, Guilherme worked in the numerical modelling group at CB&I Brazil (Chicago Bridge & Iron Brazil) where had the opportunity to work for major oil, gas and mining companies, ports and harbours as well as working in beach nourishments projects in Brazil, Canada and USA. 

Dr. Tom Murray, Gold Coast QLD

Dr Tom Murray is an Early Career Researcher and Research Fellow at the Coastal and Marine Research Centre – Griffith University. Located on the Gold Coast campus, Tom is a field scientist whose main interests include: coastal geomorphology, coastal oceanography, rip current research and surf research.

Ananth Wuppukondur, Brisbane QLD

Ananth is a Research Officer in the School of Civil Engineering at The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia. He recently completed his PhD thesis on tsunami propagation in coastal rivers and its impacts. Prior to this, he obtained a Masters degree in Civil Engineering from India’s top-ranked institute for Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) in 2017. His research interests include learning and implementing mathematical and analytical techniques along with physical modelling to understand, predict and solve physical processes involved in natural hazards such as floods in coastal and river environments; flow-sediment dynamics.

Alejandro Astorga-Moar, Brisbane QLD

Alex studied his under-grad in Geomatics Engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Later he got his Master’s degree in Civil Engineering with a research focused on the coastal processes shifts under reef degradation scenarios. Now, Alex is a PhD Candidate in Coastal Engineering at The University of Queensland. His research is focused on the role of fringing reefs systems on beach face sediment transport. By doing controlled laboratory experiments, he expects to improve the understanding of beach profile evolution on fringing reef shores under low frequency wave spectra.

We want to hear your suggestions!  Nominate a Keynote speaker you would like to see at AusYCSEC 2021 to our email aus.ycsec@gmail.com, LinkedIn or Twitter

The AusYCSEC series is organised and held on what was and always will be the land of Aboriginal , Torres Strait Islander and Maori people. We acknowledge and pay our respect to the Custodians of this land, Elders, past present and emerging. We acknowledge the many Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Maori peoples who have made an important contribution to this land and community, and continue to do so.

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