Professor Patrick Hesp

Strategic Professorship

College of Science and Engineering

place Earth Sciences (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 300 articles in his career to date. In 2023 he was awarded the Distinguished Career Award from the International Society for Aeolian Research (ICAR).


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 to coastal geography".
2001: Distinguished Visitor Fellowship, Department of Geography and Environmental Development, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel.

2001-12: Visiting Fellow, CECO, Lab. de Estudos Costeiros, Federal Univ. Rio Grande do Sul, PortoAlegre, Brazil.
2007: Awarded the title of Richard J. Russell Professor of Geography and Anthropology by LSU.
2007: Awarded the LSU Alumni Association Faculty Excellence 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 for "a sustained record of excellence in teaching, research and service".

2011: Fulbright Research Fellow.

2011: Awarded the '2011 Secretary's Partners inConservation Award' by the US Department of the Interior

2017 & 2020: 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 by Massey University, NZ.


Aust$380,000 in 2022 for Evolution, Morphodynamics and History of the Younghusband Peninsula. Hesp, P., Miot Da Silva Hesp, G., Wilson, C., Moffat, I. et al.

Aust$300,000 in 2019 from The National Science Centre in Poland for Airflow and aeolian sand transport dynamics beneath and above vegetation canopies - implication for foredunes initiation and growth, UMO-2018/31/B/ST10/03051

Key responsibilities

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

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
Earth sciences
coastal science, coastal geomorphology, coastal dune dynamics, and management
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Beach
  • Earth sciences
  • Sedimentology
  • coastal science, coastal geomorphology, coastal dune dynamics, and management
Further information


Viera-Pérez, M.I., Hernández-Calvento, L., Hesp, P.A., Santana-del Pino, A., 2019. Effects of artificial light on flowering of foredune vegetation. Ecology. doi: 10.1002/ecy.2678

Piscioneri, N., Smyth, T.A.G., Hesp, P.A., 2019. Flow dynamics over a foredune scarp. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.

Pickart, A. and Hesp, P.A., 2019. Spatio-temporal geomorphological and ecological dynamics of the Lanphere transgressive dunefield system, Arcata, California. Global and Planetary Change 172: 88-103.

Moulton, M., Hesp, P.A., Miot da Silva, G., Bouchez, C., Lavy, M., Fernandez, G., 2018. Changes in vegetation cover on the Younghusband Peninsula transgressive dunefields (Australia) 1949 – 2017. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 44: 459-470.DOI: 10.1002/esp.4508

Pickart, A. and Hesp, P.A., 2019. Spatio-temporal geomorphological and ecological dynamics of the Lanphere transgressive dunefield system, Arcata, California. Global and Planetary Change 172: 88-103.

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.

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

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.