Research Themes

Program 1: Coastal Oceanography

Program Leader: Prof. Xiao Hua Wang
Prof. Peter Steinberg, Prof. Emma Johnston, A/Prof. Moninya Roughan, Dr Andrew Kiss, Mr Chris Lane, Ms Zhibing Li, Mr Guan Dong Gao, Ms Amanda Xiao, Ms Zhixin ChengMr Fanglou LiaoA/Prof Liz TyoProf. Charles Lemckert


  • To develop and apply hydrodynamics and sediment transport models in estuaries, ports, and turbid coastal environments;
  • To explore the structure, function, dynamics and interactions of marine ecosystems and their relationships with common environmental stressors within estuarine and coastal waters;
  • To develop regional coastal ocean observing and forecasting system.

Deliverables in 2016:

  • UNSW-Sed to be coupled with FVCOM 4.0;
  • Applications of UNSW-Sed in the WHP;
  • Application for ACJRC to transform urban ports and harbours both in China and in Australia.

Program 2: Coastal and marine natural resource management, people, policy, practice

Program Leader: A/Prof. Stuart Pearson
MA Yingjie, SONG N’igerA/Prof. Stuart Pearson, Dr Jo Banks, Dr David Leary, Mrs Amanda Putri, Mr Saiful Marbun, Dr Shengnan Chen, Ms Bo Dong, Mr Maozeng Jiang


  • Fostering excellence in comparative research on natural resource management in China, Australia and with other international partners.
  • Sharing of research knowledge and development of new insights and capacity to contribute to marine and coastal natural resource management.

Deliverables in 2016:

  • PhD completion – Shengnan Chen
  • MPhil completion – Saiful Marbun
  • New PhD research project topics drafted in late 2015.
  • Submitted papers (2)
  • Conference papers (3)
  • Blue Economy discussion paper

Program 3: Remote sensing/GIS

Program Leader: TBA
A/Prof. Linlin Ge, Dr Xiuping Jia, Dr Zhi Huang, Dr Chunhui Zhou, Dr Qianguo Xing, Mr Haifeng Zhang, Miss Meng Xu


In this task, we will examine and assess to which extent the routine measurements from spaceborne sensors are combined and used together with model-based forecasting systems. The outcome shall form the basis of a series of recommendations concerning bridging the gap of Chinese/Australian capacity for utilizing spaceborne measurements in the framework of an operational ocean forecasting system.


  • Collect the data from current satellites and the information of future satellites which will be launched in the near future for coastal ocean observation (SST, wind, waves, sea ice, ocean colour and surface current).
  • Investigate multi-temporal data processing techniques for retrieving the ocean environmental parameters as a time series to match the goals of ocean applications in the China Seas and Australia waters. Develop cloud removal techniques to generate frequent optical images.
  • Investigate data fusion approach to integrate big data including multi/hyperspectral, SAR, and LiDAR from both optical and microwave sensors.
  • Collect UAVs and field data for ground trothing and validation.

Deliverables in 2016: TBA

Program 4: Cyclones and Weather

Program leader: A/Prof. Liz Ritchie

Asst. Prof. Kim Wood 
Dr. Difei Deng, Dr. Clair Stark


  • To investigate physical processes associated with landfalling tropical cyclones and their impacts on coastal regions;
  • To quantify the vulnerability and resiliency of coastal habitats (natural and built) to extreme weather events historically and into the future;
  • To develop satellite-based early warning systems for flooding events due to cyclones
  • To develop a regional coastal seamless integrated atmosphere-ocean-impacts observing and forecasting system for extreme events