Australian Coastal Systems: A New Book from Andy Short

Recently I received a copy of a book written by Andy Short entitled Australian Coastal Systems: Beaches, Barriers and Compartments (2019, Springer, Coastal Reference Library 32). It has been produced as a two-volume set containing 1241 pages, 550 figures and over 1000 references. The work is dedicated to all who have worked and published on the Australian coast. Read More

28th Annual NSW Coastal Conference - Terrigal, 2019

This year the NSW Coastal Conference was held at Terrigal and hosted by the Central Coast Council. In its 28th year, these conferences are always held at a location outside of Sydney. It is a testimony to the interest by local councils in running these gatherings of our coastal “family”. Read More

Coastal Incidents

Since I started wandering around beaches, cliffs, swamps and waterways just on 60 years ago, I have encountered any number of incidents that are memorable. The thrill of field work and the opportunity to visit and learn about different coastal environments has been a great privilege. I wish to thank all who have encouraged and participated in these studies and especially those who put their trust in me and put up with my idiosyncrasies. But at times there have been occasions when things got a little tricky, and in the world of the contemporary university I ask whether or not certain risks should have been allowed. Read More

Coastal morphostratigraphy: two papers from Denmark

Many years ago I was introduced to the concept of morphostratigraphy. By using a combination of landform mapping, drilling and where possible dating, constructing conceptual models of depositional history involving an appreciation of facies and morphological types is possible. Recently, Tom Oliver kindly drew my attention to two papers involving the evolution of coastal sand barriers on the North Sea coast in Denmark - from my perspective they constitute morphostratigraphic research par excellence and demonstrate that it is possible to be more specific about the way future changes in wave climate, sea level and sediment supply will influence coastal behaviour in different sediment compartments. Read More

Climate Change Attribution

It is not unusual to hear of attempts to ascribe a certain extreme climate event to global warming. Much commentary has occurred in recent weeks on the unusual behaviour of the hurricane that devastated the Bahamas and how that behaviour was due to climate change. Similarly, impacts of our recent drought are linked by some to the warming effects of greenhouse gases over the last 50 or more years. Read More

Rethinking Landscape in Aotearoa

I recently had the privilege of attending the annual conference of the Environmental Defence Society (EDS) of New Zealand in Auckland (14-15 August 2019). This is the major conference in NZ on environmental policy and management. Each year there is a focus on a different theme. Read More

Collaborative Science and Coastal Adaptation

In July an important paper of international relevance was published in Frontiers and Marine Science titled “Collaborative science to enhance coastal resilience and adaptation”. The lead authors were C. Reid Nichols and Don Wright along with 11 others including Scott Bainbridge from AIMS in Townsville. Read More


Science can be incomprehensible to many, yet it requires others to help communicate and apply great works such as those of Albert Einstein. Climate change science is also quite complex and those in this field are facing similar difficulties to those who sought to explain relativity to the broader public. It is irresponsible of decision-makers to not trust the science and ignore its implications in today’s uncertain world. Read More