Previous Research

Research Projects

Storm Hazards Testbed

The South East Queensland (SEQ) Storm Hazards Testbed is a field program supported by the University of Queensland (UQ), the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), the National Environmental Science Program (NESP), Guy Carpenter, Fugro Roames and Argonne National Laboratory. The goal of the testbed is to improve current capacity for mitigating against convective storm hazards through remote sensing and in-situ technology. This includes improving both nowcasting and the long-term understanding of damaging wind and hail across SEQ and nationally. Improving current capabilities is important because (1) convective storm hazards contribute the greatest insured losses across Australia, (2) rapidly increasing population of Australia’s coastal regions, including SEQ, continue to increase vulnerability, (3) there is a lack of research regarding convective storm hazards in subtropical regions of Australia and coastal regions internationally, (4) this lack of understanding limits our ability to calibrate and verify techniques for analysing convective storm hazards.

PhD Projects

The Applicability of organic spring deposits for reconstructing late Quaternary climatic and Environmental Change

Emily Field

There are few continuous palaeoenvironmental records from the monsoonal Kimberley region of northwest Australia, a region with a rapidly growing field of archaeological research. Unlocking the Kimberley’s environmental past is critical in providing an environmental context for known trends in human occupation in the region over the last 40,000 years. This research will also assess the suitability of tropical Australian mound spring peatlands as archives of environmental change, address the dearth of continuous palaeo-environmental data in northwest Australia and fill a gap in the knowledge of late Quaternary climate and environmental change in tropical Australasia.High resolution multi-proxy analyses on sediment cores collected from Kimberley mound springs is the key to unlocking the region’s environmental past. Analysis will be conducted on pollen, micro-charcoal, diatoms, peat humification, dust and other sediment characteristics to reconstruct vegetation, hydrology and aridity.

The Energy Balance of Contrasting Vegetation Types on a Subtropical Sand Island

Michael Gray

In subtropical coastal environments little is known about the nature of surface-atmosphere interactions and the transfer of mass and energy in the lower atmosphere. This project will contribute towards filling this knowledge gap by using the eddy covariance methodology to provide concurrent measurements of three contrasting groundwater dependent vegetation types on Bribie Island, a subtropical sand island off the coast of South East Queensland, Australia. Quantification of the energy balance will provide new insight into the relationship between coastal subtropical vegetation and background meteorological conditions, for example, the vegetative response to different air mass characteristics.