Dr Thomas Oliver studied at the University of Wollongong and completed Bachelor of Marine Science Advanced Honours (Class 1) supervised by Dr Kerrylee Rogers and Prof. Colin Woodroffe. He then completed a PhD under the supervision of Professor Colin Woodroffe reconstructing the depositional history of three prograded coastal barrier systems in southern NSW using OSL dating, Ground Penetrating Radar and airborne LiDAR. Dr Oliver continued and expanded this work as a post-doctoral research fellow at UOW before arriving at UNSW Canberra at the beginning of 2018 as a Lecturer in a teaching and research position. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2022.
Dr Oliver is interested in all aspects of coastal science spanning a range of time and space scales, from the late Quaternary to present-day processes, and from barrier and estuary evolution through to cyclic cut and fill of beaches by storms and estuary entrance behaviour. He has conducted research in many coastal locations around Australia including north Queensland, NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. An overarching theme of his research is the application of our knowledge of sandy shoreline behaviour to coastal management in light of future coastal pressures. His research also involves the application of OSL dating to coastal sediments and he has led or co-authored publications that have contributed >350 OSL ages. This has furthered our understanding of the timing of coastal deposition and better constrained the age of key coastal landform features.
Research interests and potential PhD topics:
- Holocene evolution of prograded coastal barriers
- Reconstructing Late-Quaternary and Holocene sea levels in southeastern Australia from raised coastal landforms
- Application of Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating to young (<500 years) sediments
- Sandy shoreline behaviour on planning timescales from sedimentary archives - extending the record of east coast lows along the NSW coast
- Beach morphodynamics at Bengello Beach - continuing a 50-year monitoring program with new technologies
- Luminescence dating of Australian coastal sediments - a review and contribution to the OCTOPUS database in collaboration with CABAH at UOW.
- Understanding the sediments of the shallow sea bed and the character of drowned landforms
- Quantifying the contribution of river sediments to the coast in southern NSW.
- Barrier washover in the sedimentary record and on historical timescales
Honours project topics:
- Historical washover events at Brou Beach barrier - stratigraphy and sedimentology
- Sediments of the lower Moruya River - do they reach the coast?
- Merimbula barrier washover plain, morphology, age and stratigraphy
Follow me on Twitter: @dr_tom_oliver