Our People

Scott Nichol
Project Leader


Scott Nichol is Theme Leader for the National Ecosystems Knowledge Theme and Section Leader at Geoscience Australia for Marine Biodiversity and Antarctic Geoscience. In these roles, he provides science leadership and administers research within the Shelf and Canyon Ecosystems project of Theme 3 and has an active role in the marine survey components of Theme 1 - National Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting and Theme 4 - Regional Biodiversity Discovery.

Scott is a coastal geomorphologist and sedimentologist with 25 years experience in marine geoscience research. Research themes include stratigraphic reconstruction of modern coastal and shallow marine depositional systems, interaction of physical and biological processes, and the impacts of extreme events and human activity on sedimentation processes. He has maintained a strong emphasis on field-based empirical and interdisciplinary research, with published studies from projects in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Ireland, Maldives and Antarctica.

Project leadership

The fundamental processes that cause erosion during storms are generally well understood and management strategies are available. However, the response of beaches to successive storms (storm clusters), such as those that damaged Australia’s east coast in 1974, is not well understood or managed, with the response of any given beach depending on its physical characteristics. Because of this, the likely effectiveness of a given management strategy may not be clear, such as beach nourishment (a remedial process where sand is added to a beach to restore its shape). This project developed a methodology and demonstrated it through two case study sites, which had different oceanographic and geological settings. The methodology combined expertise in statistical modelling, hydrodynamics, coastal geology, hazard mapping and impact analysis. The project, now concluded, integrated these approaches to develop tools, information and methods that can be used by others nationally. Utilisation is now in progress.

Posters credited

Resilience to clustered disaster events on the coast - storm surge

Coastal communities in Australia are particularly exposed to disasters resulting from the coincidence of severe wind damage, storm surge, coastal flooding and shoreline erosion during cyclones and extra-tropical storms. 

Resilience to Clustered Disaster Events on the Coast - Storm Surge

The aim of the project is to develop a new method to quantify the potential hazard associated with coincident and clustered disaster events on the coast, with an initial focus on storms that erode and reshape the coastline and impact on buildings and infrastructure. To date, a range of baseline data has been identified and collected for two study sites where eroision is an active management issue; Adelaide metropolitan beaches (SA) and Old Bar (NSW mid-north coast).

Improving resilience to storm surge hazards: assessing risk through wave simulations, shoreline modelling and field observations

This research aims to produce probabilistic assessments of the coastal erosion and inundation risks associated with storms, particularly for coincident or clustered events, thereby helping to strengthen the resilience of coastal communities.

Resources credited

Type Released Title Download Key Topics
Presentation-Slideshow 21 Mar 2014 Resilience to clustered disaster events on the coast Save (1.67 MB) coastal, coincident events, engineering
Presentation-Slideshow 04 Dec 2014 Resilience to clustered events on the coast - storm surge Save (2.02 MB) coastal, coincident events, storm surge
Presentation-Audio-Video 06 May 2016 Coastal management - cluster overview Save (0 bytes) coastal, cyclone, storm surge
HazardNoteEdition 09 May 2016 Oceans on the rise Save (180.51 KB) coastal, cyclone, storm surge
Presentation-Slideshow 24 Oct 2016 Resilience to clustered disaster events on the coast: storm surge Save (5.7 MB) coastal, resilience, storm surge
HazardNoteEdition 08 Jun 2017 New technologies to better manage coastal erosion Save (681.09 KB) coastal, modelling, storm surge

All the resources from our 2016 conference

Research program in detail

Where, why and how are Australians dying in floods?

2015-2016 year in review

Bushfire planning with kids ebook