Environmental Science

Environmental scientists in the School of PEMS investigate processes operating in Earth’s biotic and abiotic systems at multiple spatial and temporal scales.

The Group’s fundamental and applied research makes important international contributions towards contemporary environmental challenges, as evidenced by the quality of its published outputs, HDR students and history of winning grants.

Particular strengths of the Group lie in the multidisciplinary fields of:

  • Bushfire Research – modelling bushfire dynamics (Jason Sharples, Harvi Sidhu)
  • Ecological Biogeography - spatial relationships between species and their habitats (David Paull, Andrew Claridge)
  • Mathematical Biology - ecological dynamics of predator- prey relationships; spread of diseases (Zlatko Jovanoski, Isaac Towers, Harvi Sidhu);
  • Statistical Ecology - models of survival of animal populations in relation to biotic and abiotic factors (Leesa Sidhu);
  • Physical Oceanography and Coastal Catchment Science – observation and modelling of currents, tides, mixing and sediment; management, policy, socio-economics and law (Xiao Hua Wang, Stuart Pearson, Robin Robertson, Andrew Kiss)
  • Lower Atmosphere Research - radar entomology, atmospheric boundary layers (Alistair Drake, John Taylor, David Low)
  • Mesoscale atmospheric modelling – physical understanding, estimation and prediction of tropical cyclones (Elizabeth Ritchie)
  • Radioisotope tracing - sediment transport and dating, dispersal of nuclear fallout (Heiko Timmers, Chris Wright)

Amongst these fields of specialisation, measuring, monitoring and modelling of the environment is emphasised. The group is particularly well equipped for environmental field research with facilities to undertake remote-area investigations.

  • 4WD vehicles (Toyota Hilux, quad motorbike);
  • Extensive suite of oceanographic instruments;
  • Surveying and GPS devices (including Sokia Total Station and Thales Zmax RTK);
  • Remote digital infrared cameras and sonic/ultrasonic detectors for wildlife monitoring;
  • UAVs and imaging equipment for vegetation and terrain mapping;
  • Spectral Evolution SR-3500 Spectroradiometer for environmental remote sensing;
  • Ground penetrating radar.

This equipment complements an extensive suite of statistical, mathematical, spatial modelling software available in PEMS.