Chief Investigators

Patrick Hesp Bio

Professor Patrick Hesp
Strategic Professor in Coastal Studies

Patrick was born in Hawera, in the Taranaki region, New Zealand (NZ). He completed his Bachelors and Masters degrees at Massey University in NZ, and Ph.D. in coastal geomorphology at the University of Sydney in 1982. He was awarded a DSc from Massey University in 2013. Patrick has held academic positions in New South Wales, Western Australia (WA), Singapore, USA and NZ, non-academic positions in the WA State Dept. of Agriculture, Geomarine P/L and the Rottnest Island Authority, held visiting professorships and fellowships in numerous countries, and worked on beaches and coastal and desert dunes all over the world. He specialises in coastal dune geomorphology and surfzone-beach-dune interactions.

Listen to Patrick speak about his BEADS work and research:

Flinders University: The Investigator Transformed | ABC Australia: Fowlers Bay Dunefields | ABC Adelaide: Post Office Rock Experiment 2020Flinders University: Marine and Coastal Research Consortium

Dr. Graziela Miot da Silva
Senior Lecturer in Coastal Geomorphology

Graziela is an oceanographer, specialized in coastal geomorphology. She has a BSc in Oceanography from the University of Vale do Itajaí (UNIVALI), Brazil, and a Masters Degree and Ph.D. in Marine Geology from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Brazil. She joined the College of Science and Engineering (School of Environment) at Flinders University in 2013 after an academic position at the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Louisiana State University (LSU). She has conducted extensive research on surfzone dynamics and sediment transport, beach morphodynamics and sedimentology, aeolian sediment transport, dune ecology, foredune dynamics and barrier evolution. 

Listen to Dr. Graziela Miot da Silva speak about Coastal Geology here.

David Bruce Bio

Professor David Bruce
Associate Professor in GIS

David Bruce is an Associate Professor in GIS at Flinders University, adjunct Professor at the University of South Australia and a faculty member of the International Space University. He teaches in remote sensing; satellite Earth observation and remote sensing from drones. He as many years of experience in teaching, researching and in the computer analysis of digital images from passive optical sources (high resolution cameras, multi and hyper spectral imaging sensors) and active sources (LiDAR and RADAR). David has worked mainly in Australia but has also carried out work in Asian counties (Malaysia, Nepal, Bhutan and Laos/ Cambodia) and Antarctica. He has spent research leave at NASA / JPL in California and ANU (Fenner) in Canberra. David’s current research: Satellite and airborne Earth Observation (Remote Sensing). Wild Fire: detecting location of fire commencement; monitoring the progression and impact of fire; use of optical and radar satellite imagery. Forests: use of medium and super high resolution optical imagery to detect forest disturbance over very large spatial extents. Coasts: use of optical drone imagery and LiDAR to detect 3D morphological change.  

Default Bio Photo

Mr Rob Keane
GIS specialist

Technical support for Geographic Information Systems

Spatial Database Manager

Member of Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute

Adrian Werner Profile Photo

Professor Adrian Werner
Professor in Groundwater Hydrology

Adrian Werner is a Professor of Hydrogeology at Flinders University. After completing a Civil Engineering Degree at Central Queensland University in 1992, he worked for the Queensland State Government until 2006 on water resources projects, specialising in surface and subsurface hydrology. Adrian completed a Ph.D. at the University of Queensland in 2004 on the topic of coastal aquifer hydrodynamics, and holds Associate Editor positions with the Journal of Hydrology (since 2007) and Advances in Water Resources (since 2012). Adrian is an active member of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training.

Adrian recently completed an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship on the topic of Coastal Hydrogeology (2016-2020), through which he delivered world-leading knowledge on the occurrence of fresh groundwater in coastal settings. His other research interests include surface water-groundwater interaction, water resources management, and other groundwater-related topics.

PhD Students

Marcio da Silva Bio

Marcio da Silva
PhD (current)

Marcio is a second year PhD candidate in the BEADs lab focusing on coastal dunes across South Australia and their responses to disturbances. His research interests include airborne and space based remote sensing from passive and active sensors, studying the effects of fires in dune environments, shoreline erosion and dune transgression.   

He completed a Bachelor of Science in Geography at the University of North Texas in 2013. Shortly after graduating he relocated to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to work as a field research technician for a project monitoring atmospheric deposition in urban forests.  

In 2020, he finished his Masters of Geospatial Science at Flinders University in which he focused on monitoring shoreline changes with Cubesat observations and drone surveys associated with a marina in South Australia. He is a teaching assistant in the remote sensing and field methods topics; Airborne Remote Sensing, Remote Sensing for All Disciplines and Field Studies in Environmental Disciplines. His PhD projects are (i) an examination of the impacts of the post-Jan. 2020 fires on coastal dunefields in Kangaroo Island, and, (ii) the impacts of coastal erosion on driving coastal dune changes and dynamics on the Younghusband Peninsula, Coorong National Park, SA.  

Jasper Willoughby Bio

Jasper Willoughby
PhD (current)

Jasper’s passion for the coastal environment started at a young age, exploring rockpools and snorkelling with his dad for as long as he can remember. He started his undergraduate degree in marine biology at Flinders University in 2016 and completed his honours research thesis investigating rocky shore food webs before commencing his PhD in 2021 at Flinders UniversityHis PhD comprises an investigation of the potential impacts of sand nourishment regimes on invertebrate communities along the Adelaide metropolitan coastline. 

Jasper is interested in coastal ecosystems and how people have altered these coastlines. He is eager to make the links between the changing physical environment and the ecological communities that live within these environmentsWhen not occupied with his PhD, he enjoys demonstrating undergraduate students, as well as he takes every opportunity to go to the beach with his dogs. 

Jasper is researching the potential impacts of sand nourishment regimes on intertidal invertebrate communities. He started in August 2021, so it is still early days into his PhD, but he is eager to start fieldwork early 2022. 

Ben Perry Bio

Ben Perry
PhD (current)

Ben is a PhD student and coastal engineerAfter completing a Bachelor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Adelaide in 2017 he worked as a coastal engineer for Tonkin + Taylor in Auckland, New Zealand before commencing his PhD in 2021. Ben has experience in coastal hazard assessments, coastal engineering design and numerical modelling. His current PhD research comprises an investigation of longterm shoreline changes on Adelaide’s managed beaches using numerical modelling and field observations.  

Charlotte Uphues
PhD (current)

Charlotte is a coastal engineer from Germany, focused on the  dynamic morphological behaviour of the coast as a result of sediment transport by waves, currents and wind. She is interested in finding sustainable solutions to protect coastlines from future challenges such as climate change and associated sea level rise. Charlotte has a B.Sc. degree in Civil Engineering from the Technical University Munich, Germany, and a M.Sc. degree in Hydraulic Engineering with a specialization in Coastal Engineering from Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. In June 2022, Charlotte started a PhD in the College of Science and Engineering at Flinders University supervised by Dr Graziela Miot da Silva, Professor Patrick Hesp, and Dr Arnold van Rooijen. Her PhD study is a joint Flinders University – Robe District Council collaboration. During the three years of her PhD, she will study the coastal processes of the Robe area with the goal to provide recommendations on how to improve the protection of Robe’s coastline into the future.

Honours & Masters Students

Sunira Reardon
Honours (current)

Sunira finished her undergraduate degree at the end of 2021 in Marine Biology, majoring in Aquaculture at Flinders University. Her passion for the marine environment was motivated by her parents who have dived around the world and took her snorkelling from a young age. Her interest in Marine Biology led her to get her diving licence in Cambodia on a volunteering trip, before completing an internship as an activity leader on Lady Elliot Island on the Great Barrier Reef. Her passion continued with input in the proposal of the Glenelg Shellfish Reef through an internship with TNC. This led to a laboratory assistant role at SARDI where she worked with pacific oysters for aquaculture purposes. Starting mid-ear 2022 she is begining her honours project to create a baseline understanding of the nutrient composition and trace metals surrounding the Glenelg Shellfish Reef.

Enya Chitty
Honours (current)

Enya is a highly accomplished student specialising in coastal geomorphology and nearshore hydrodynamics. She has a passion for applied, high-impact, adaptive strategies for shoreline change with the view of positively benefiting the environment, economy, and culture. Enya is in her honours year of the Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Enhanced Program for High Achievers) (Coasts and Oceans). Her thesis aims to develop a reference zone for the landward limit of seagrass meadows in Adelaide’s metropolitan waters to inform decision-making by benchmarking restoration “success” in the context of system pressures related to essential human activities. The study integrates predictive geospatial modelling with direct hydrodynamic observations and is part of the larger project; ‘Multi-ecosystem restoration to boost South Australia’s seagrass recovery’, funded by SA Water. She has received the Playford Trust Honours Scholarship to support her work in 2023.

Enya’s talents have also been recognised through the 2023 Soroptimist International Southern Districts of Adelaide Prize for High Achieving Women for the highest achieving female student who has completed the undergraduate portion of her degree, the Australian Council of Environmental Deans and Directors 2021 ACEDD Scholar award, and she is three-time recipient of the John Lewis Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Geography awarded by the Royal Geographical Society of South Australia. She lives off-grid on the rugged south coast of Kangaroo Island with her “brilliant husband” and two ardent sons. Enya has leadership aspirations, and as an ambitious woman, mother, rural student, and person with a learning disability (ADHD), she plans to facilitate, and advocate for the benefits of, the diversification of the professional cohort in her field of practice.


Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of hosting fellow researchers and friends from all over the world.

Sierd de Vries

TU Delft (Netherlands). Numerical modelling of aeolian coastal systems.

Sergio Dillenburg

Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Brazil. Quaternary geology and coastal geomorphology, evolution of Holocene barriers.

Michael Hughes

NSW Office of Environment & Heritage (Australia). Surfzone dynamics, beach morphodynamics, tidal dynamics in estuaries and on the inner shelf.

Bernie Bauer

University of British Columbia (Canada). Process geomorphology, hydrology, wind and wave-driven sediment transport.


Caroline Hallin

Lund University (Sweden) and TU Delft (Netherlands). Numerical modelling of long-term evolution of the integrated shoreface, beach and dune system.

Robin Davidon-Arnott

Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph (Canada). Studies of surfzone-beach-dune interactions, macrotidal estuary dynamics and surfzone dynamics.

Sarah McSweeney

University of Canterbury (New Zealand). Coastal geomorphology, estuary processes, coastal landform evolution.

Arnold Van Rooijen

University of Western Australia. Coastal oceanography, physical and numerical modelling of nearshore hydro- and morphodynamic processes.

Guangyin Hu

Shaanxi Normal University (Xi’an, China). Desertification, remote sensing, land use and degradation.

Talitha Santini

University of Western Australia (Australia). Soil formation and weathering, geochemistry, mineralogy, and microbiology.

Claudia França de Abreu

Founding Director at Coastal Connections Community (Perth, Australia). Western scientific knowledge and Indigenous knowledge with the ultimate goal of enabling Indigenous Peoples in coastal areas.

Former Post-Doctoral Fellows & Students

Thomas Smyth
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Thom is an aeolian and coastal geomorphologist, with experience in both laboratory and field-based research. Thom is an expert on the application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling of near surface flow to coastal dune environments. He has also been involved in the application of CFD tools to marine and martian environments. Thom´s interests include the measurement of airflow and aeolian sediment transport over complex topography using ultrasonic anemometry and GIS. He has participated in field experiments in Ireland, Australia, USA, and the Sefton Coast. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Geography at University of Huddersfield, England.

Martim Moulton
PhD (2020)

Martim completed his PhD from Flinders University and Fluminense Federal University (Cotutelle) in 2020, with the thesis entitled “Drivers of coastal dune dynamics on the Younghusband Peninsula, South Australia”. He is currently an Assistant Professor and postdoc Researcher (CNPq Schollarship) at Fluminense Federal University in Niterói (Brazil), working on surfzone-beach-dune morphodynamics in the Rio de Janeiro coast.

Samuel Davidson
PhD (2022)

Sam’s PhD explored severe coastal dune erosion through the use of UAV digital elevation model techniques, wind flow experimentation, historical aerial imagery analysis and bathymetric mapping. His research was based at Post Office Rock, in the Southeast coast of South Australia.

Giorgia Bovari Bio

Giorgia Bovari
Masters (2021)

Giorgia is a dynamic, enthusiastic and skilled Marine Biologist and Environmental Manager. Giorgia completed her Bachelor of Biological Sciences (Honours) at the Politecnica delle Marche University, Italy in 2015, followed by the completion of a Master of Marine Biology at the Politecnica delle Marche University, Italy in 2018. In 2021, Giorgia completed her Master of Environmental Management at Flinders University, South Australia. Giorgia has always been interested in the conservation of marine species, with the completion of projects on the distribution and ecology of the Mediterranean invasive species bluspotted cornetfish (Fistularia commersonii) and on reproduction of the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Tunnus thynnus). Giorgia has also experience with molecular biology, particularly with ELISA techniques. In Australia, Giorgia significantly contributed to a research project concerning the mortality of the short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) linked to the SASF (South Australian Sardine Fishery), with poster and abstract published at the 2019 World Marine Mammal Conference in Barcelona. Giorgia recently completed her Master Project on the potential effects of the new Glenelg (SA) shellfish reef on hydrodynamics of the metropolitan Adelaide coastal environment.

Dylan Chenoweth
Honours (2018)

Dylan graduated from a Bachelor of Science with Honours in 2018, with his thesis “Intertidal bar mobility and transitional modal states of an intermediate, low-energy beach”. Field investigations have taken Dylan to sites experiencing coastal management issues including the Adelaide metropolitan coast, Beachport, Southend, Robe and Hallett Cove (South Australia). He is currently working as a Surface Water Scientist at Water Technology Pty Ltd in Melbourne (VIC).

Laura Thomas Bio

Laura Thomas
Honours (2022)

In 2020, Laura completed a Bachelor of Science (Marine Biology) at Flinders University, and in 2021, she started an honours project under the supervision of Dr. Graziela Miot de Silva and Dr. Ryan Baring. Laura has a passion for the environment and marine life. In her free time, she loves spending time outdoors going to the beach, snorkelling, scuba diving and playing sport. She is interested in ecosystem restoration and conservation.  

Her honours project she researched the sediment dynamics associated to a shellfish reef restoration program in Glenelg, South Australia. The research investigated how sediment settles and resuspends around a habitat restoration structure while developing hydrodynamic model to visually display the spatial movement in and around the reef.  

Michael Hillman Bio

Michael Hillman
Honours (2021)

Michael is an environmental science student researching in the coastal zone. He has completed a Bachelor of Letters in English Literature (2020) at Flinders University, along with an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science specialising in Coasts and Oceans (2020). He has most recently completed an Honours degree in Environmental Science (2021), researching the role of geological controls in cliff and rocky coast erosion. With 20 years previous experience in software development, his current research interests include high resolution terrestrial surveys based on photogrammetry and LiDAR, hydrodynamic modelling of wave energy using Delft3D and XBeach, and short-term analysis of change in the rocky coast environment.