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Personal profile


I research and teach in the fields of geomorphology and Quaternary science.  I investigate how past climate changes have shaped earth surface processes, now and in the past. Much of my research has examined arid and semi-arid (dryland) regions of Australia. I am interested in how climate change has influenced desert sand dunes, dust storms, rivers, wetlands and vegetation cover and how those feed back into climate change.

I am Convenor of the Bachelor of Environment course and teach several units within the Environmental Earth Science major: ENVS266 Earth Surface Processes (convenor), ENVS340 Environmental Change, and ENVS341 Advanced Environmental Earth Science (field unit in New Zealand).

Recent and current reseasrch projects include: history of rivers in the Murray-Darling Basin over the last 100 000 years and how their discharge has decreased dramatically as global temperatures increased; how drought affects vegetation cover and wind erosion on sand dunes in the Simpson Desert; the global distribution of desert sand dunes, their activity and climatic sensitivity; the links between rivers, wetlands and dunefields in central Argentina (Mendoza province).

Education/Academic qualification

Australian National University

1 Apr 19893 Apr 1993

Award Date: 1 Jul 1993

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Research Output

Investigating (non)equilibrium changes in avulsive channels in floodplain wetlands

Yousefi, N., Ralph, T. J., Chang, H-C., Grenfell, M. & Hesse, P. P., 24 Jul 2017, WIDS2017 Dynamic Landscapes: proceedings of the Wetlands in Drylands Research Network Conference. Ralph, T. J. (ed.). Sydney, Australia: Macquarie University, p. 26-27 2 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstractResearch

Open Access
  • How can knowledge of mechanisms and timescales of avulsion and floodout formation in floodplain wetlands inform interpretation of Quaternary fluvial sedimentary records?

    Ralph, T. J., Tooth, S. & Hesse, P., 29 Jun 2014, AQUA biennial meeting: program and abstracts. Australasian Quaternary Association, p. 95 1 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstractResearch

    Open Access
  • Open Access
  • Catchment-wide denudation rates from the Murrumbidgee River, Murray-Darling Basin, SE Australia, using in situ cosmogenic ¹⁰Be

    Fujioka, T., Dosseto, A., Hesse, P. & Mifsud, C., 2012, In : Mineralogical Magazine. 76, 6, p. 1725 1 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractResearch

  • Past changes in sediment dynamics in the Himalayas inferred from uranium-series isotopes

    Dosseto, A., Hesse, P. P., Fink, D. & Srivastava, P., 2012, p. 724. 1 p.

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearch