Professor Patrick Hesp

Strategic Professorship

College of Science and Engineering

Research expertise

I study beaches and dunes all over the world. I also study desert dune systems.

Research expertise

I study beaches and dunes all over the world. I also study desert dune systems.

place Earth Sciences Building (303A)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Professor Patrick Hesp was born in Hawera, in the Taranaki region, New Zealand. He completed his Bachelors and Masters degrees at Massey University in New Zealand, and his Ph.D. in coastal geomorphology at the University of Sydney in 1982. He was awarded a DSc from Massey University in 2013. He has held academic positions in NSW, Western Australia, Singapore, USA, and NZ, non-academic positions in the WA State Dept. of Agriculture, Geomarine P/L, and the Rottnest Island Authority, held visiting professorships and fellowships in South Africa, Namibia, Israel, Holland, China, Brazil, Italy, Malaysia, Thailand, and France, and has worked on beaches and coastal and desert dunes all over the world. He is an expert on coastal dune geomorphology, and has published over 270 articles in his career to date.


B.A., Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Degree conferred 1974.

M.A. (Hons), Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. Degree conferred 1976.

Ph.D, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Degree conferred 1982.

DSc, Massey University, Palmerston North, NZ. Degree conferred 2013.

Honours, awards and grants

1978: Received an unprecedented grant from the Soil Conservation Service of N.S.W. to fund Ph.D research.
1985: Visiting Fellow to the Dept. Zoology, Univ. Pt. Elizabeth, R.S.Africa.
1989: Visiting Fellowship to the Namib Desert Ecological Research Station, Namibia.
1995: Visiting Professor,Department of Physical Geography and Soil Science, University of Amsterdam, Holland.
2001: Awarded Richard J. Russell award by the American Association of Geographers "in recognition of contributions tocoastal geography".
2001: Distinguished VisitorFellowship, Department of Geography and Environmental Development, Ben-GurionUniversity of the Negev, Israel.

2001-12: VisitingFellow, CECO, Lab. de Estudos Costeiros, Federal Univ. Rio Grande do Sul, PortoAlegre, Brazil.
2007: Awarded the title ofRichard J. Russell Professor of Geography and Anthropology by LSU.
2007: Awarded the LSU Alumni Association FacultyExcellence Award
2008 and 2009: Awarded the title of"Rainmaker" LSU's top 100 research faculty.
2010 and 2012: Awarded Visiting Professorship's to Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale, Laboratoire d'Océanologie et de Géosciences, Dunkerque, France.
2011: Awarded the LSU Distinguished Faculty Award. One of five faculty for "a sustained record of excellencein teaching, research and service".

2011: Fulbright Research Fellow.

2011: Visiting Professor toThe National Research Group for Coastal Environment issues in Italy.
2011: Awarded the '2011 Secretary's Partners inConservation Award' by the US Department of the Interior for "ArchaeologicalAnalysis of Submerged Sites, Gulf of Mexico Continental Shelf" with A.Evans, M. Keith, G. da Silva, and M. Allison.

2013: Appointed Emeritus Professor, Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana StateUniversity, USA.
2017: Appointed a China Academy of Science (CAS) Presidents International Fellowship Initiative (PIFI) Visiting Scholar.

2017: Awarded Distinguished New Zealand Geographer Award and Medal.

2018. Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award and medal conferred in March, 2018 by Massey University, NZ.


Aust$360,000 in 2015 from ARC for climate and env history of Cooloola and Fraser Island. J. Shulmeister, P. Hesp and G. Miot da Silva (C.I.'s)

Key responsibilities

Head of Environmental Science, College of Science and Engineering, and representative to the Australian Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (ACEDD).

Research expertise
Environmental science and management
Other earth sciences
Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research interests
  • Aeolian geomorphology
  • Coastal dune initiation, dynamics, geomorphology, ecology and management
  • Desert dune geomorphology and dynamics
  • Surfzone-beach-dune interactions
  • Coastal dune archaeology
Teaching interests
  • Coastal geomorphology
  • Aeolian geomorphology
  • Coastal morphodynamics
  • Geomorphology
  • Introductory physical geography
Supervisory interests
Aeolian geomorphology
Beach-dune interactions
Coastal archaeology
Coastal dune dynamics
Coastal environmental change
Coastal geomorphology and management
Coastal management
Coastal plants and ecology
Desert geomorphology
Impacts of climate change on coastal environments
Surfzone-beach-dune interactions
Higher degree by research supervision
Associate supervisor: Coastal geomorphology and GIS (3)
Expert for media contact
coastal science, coastal geomorphology, coastal dune dynamics, and management
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
  • coastal science, coastal geomorphology, coastal dune dynamics, and management
Further information


Hesp, P.A. and Smyth, T.A.G., 2017. Nebkha flow dynamics and shadow dune formation. Geomorphology 282: 27-38.

Walker, I.J., Davidson-Arnott, R.G., Bauer, B.O., Hesp, P.A., Delgado-Fernandez, I., Ollerhead, J., Smyth, T.A.G., 2017. Scale-dependent perspectives on the geomorphology of beach-dune systems. Earth Science Reviews 171: 220-253.

Smith, A., Gares, P., Wasklewicz, T., Hesp, P.A., Walker, I.J., 2017. Short-term morphologic changes of a bowl blowout, Cape Cod , USA. Geomorphology 295: 452-466.

Hesp, P.A., Hilton, M.J., Konlecher, T., 2017. Flow and sediment transport dynamics in a slot and cauldron blowout and over a foredune, Masons Bay, Stewart Island, NZ. Geomorphology 295: 598-610.

Dong, Y., Hesp, P.A., Namikas, S., 2017. Flow dynamics and sediment transport over a reversing barchan, Changli, China. Geomrophology 278: 121-127.

Hesp, P.A. and Smyth, T.A.G., 2016. Jet flow over foredunes. ESPL 41: 1727-1735.

Smyth, T.A.G. and Hesp, P.A., 2016. CFD modelling of turbulent flow structures in a trough blowout. J. Coastal Research SI 75: 328-332.

Hesp, P.A. and Smyth, T.A.G., 2016. Flow in a trough blowout at Cape Cod. J. Coastral Research SI 75: 288-292.

Dillenburg, S., Hesp, P.A., Cecilio, R., Miot da Silva, G., 2016. Wave energy as a control on dune development on two regressive barriers in southern Brazil. J. Coastal Research SI 75: 273-277.

Hesp, P.A. and Smyth, T.A.G., 2016. Surfzone-beach-dune interactions: Rview and role of the intertidal beach. J. Coastal Research SI 75: 8-12.

Hesp, P.A., Smyth, T.A.G., Nielsen, P., Walker,I.J., Bauer, B.O., Davidson-Arnott, R.G., 2015. Flow deflection over a foredune. Geomorphology 230: 64-74.

Smyth, T.A.G., Hesp, P.A., 2015. Aeolian dynamics of beach scraped dunes. Coastal Engineering 99: 38-45.

Hesp, P.A., Ruz, M-H, Hequette, A., Marin, D., Miot da Silva, G., 2015. Geomorphology and dynamics of a traveling cuspate foreland, Authie estuary, France. Geomorphology 254: 104-120.