Dr Daniel Harris

Lecturer in Geography

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science
daniel.harris@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 56084

Overview

My research career began when I recognised that the marine world has a history and pattern that can studied and understood to better explain the past, understand the present, and predict the future. I started studying beaches and coral reefs since they are iconic and complex systems where marine, ecological, geological and human processes constantly interact resulting in the ecosystems we see today. My goal, and that of my lab (The BeachLab), is to develop tools, gather data, and provide analyses to help coastlines and coral reefs navigate a warmer world. Our projects are focused on fundamental research questions about how coasts and coral reefs change through time. We also have applied research objectives to support the future management of coastal and coral reef systems.

I am now a teacher and researcher in Geography and Marine Science at the School of Earth and Environmental Science and the Remote Sensing Research Centre at UQ. Prior to my appointment at UQ, I was a teacher and researcher at The University of Sydney (where I completed my PhD), The University of Bremen and the Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT). Perhaps equally importantly I grew up on the east coast of Australia and I have a personal and professional passion for beaches, coral reefs, surf, and the ocean.

Research Interests

  • Morphodynamics
    My research broadly fits into the topic of morphodynamics, which examines the mutual interactions between physical processes (i.e. waves, tides, and currents) and morphology of coastal systems (e.g. beaches and coral reefs). More simply I study coastal change and the processes driving such change, and attempt to establish conceptual and numerical models that describe coastal and coral reef change.
  • Coral Reefs
    The effects of hydrodynamics and sea level changes on coral reef geomorphology and ecology is the primary focus of my research. This includes a wide range of topics such as: sea level change and geological development of coral reefs, surf zone science, and linking hydrodynamic forcing to changes in ecological assemblages. This work is conducted in collaboration with a wide range of reef ecologists, geologists, and coastal scientists. The aim of this work is to build a sophisticated understanding of coral reef change by incorporating methods from multiple disciplines and ultimately improve our knowledge of coral reef evolution on scales relevant to planners and managers.
  • Coral reefs and coastal protection
    The observed worldwide degradation of reef building corals has led to concerns regarding the provision of ecosystem services provided by coral reefs in the future. Coastal protection is one of the most important services provided by coral reefs and yet is poorly studied. This work attempts to quantify the wave climates and coastal change on tropical coastlines for future scenarios of coral reef health.
  • Beach change and surf zone processes
    This area focuses on collecting and assessing surf zone wave data in order to test the prevailing models that describe surf zone processes in coral reefs and beaches. There are research projects almost constantly available in this area of study looking at coral reefs and the beaches on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Sydney

Publications

  • Mao, Yongjing., Harris, Daniel L., Xie, Zunyi. and Phinn, Stuart. (2021). Efficient measurement of large-scale decadal shoreline change with increased accuracy in tide-dominated coastal environments with Google Earth Engine. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 181, 385-399. doi: 10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2021.09.021

  • Browne, Nicola K., Cuttler, Michael, Moon, Katie, Morgan, Kyle, Ross, Claire L., Castro-Sanguino, Carolina, Kennedy, Emma, Harris, Dan, Barnes, Peter, Bauman, Andrew, Beetham, Eddie, Bonesso, Joshua, Bozec, Yves-Marie, Cornwall, Christopher, Dee, Shannon, DeCarlo, Thomas, D’Olivo, Juan P., Doropoulos, Christopher, Evans, Richard D., Eyre, Bradley, Gatenby, Peter, Gonzalez, Manuel, Hamylton, Sarah, Hansen, Jeff, Lowe, Ryan, Mallela, Jennie, O’Leary, Michael, Roff, George, Saunders, Benjamin J. and Zweilfer, Adi (2021). Predicting responses of geo-ecological carbonate reef systems to climate change: a conceptual model and review. Oceanography and marine biology. (pp. 229-370) edited by S. J. Hawkins, A. J. Lemasson, A. L. Allcock, A. E. Bates, M. Byrne, A. J. Evans, L. B. Firth, E. M. Marzinelli, B. D. Russell, I. P. Smith, S. E. Swearer and P. A. Todd. Boca Raton, FL, United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/9781003138846-4

  • Firth, Louise B., Curd, Amelia, Hawkins, Stephen J., Knights, Antony M., Blaze, Julie A., Burrows, Michael T., Dubois, Stanislas F., Edwards, Hugh, Foggo, Andy, Gribben, Paul E., Grant, Lisa, Harris, Daniel, Mieszkowska, Nova, Nunes, Flavia L.D., Nunn, Julia D., Power, Anne Marie, O'Riordan, Ruth M., McGrath, David, Simkanin, Christina and O'Connor, Nessa E. (2021). On the diversity and distribution of a data deficient habitat in a poorly mapped region: The case of Sabellaria alveolata L. in Ireland. Marine Environmental Research, 169 105344, 105344. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2021.105344

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • There are projects available at the Honours or Masters level in examining surf zone processes on coral reef flats in the Great Barrier Reef and the Pacific. Ideally, the student would have some understanding of GIS and MATLAB as this work will in general be based in developing a numerical understanding of coral reef surf zones. However, if you are comupter savvy and enthusiastic you are welcome to discuss projects. There are currently no specific plans for field work in this area but there are always plans for addtional data collection. Potential PhD students are also wlelcome to come and discuss projects if interested in this area.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Browne, Nicola K., Cuttler, Michael, Moon, Katie, Morgan, Kyle, Ross, Claire L., Castro-Sanguino, Carolina, Kennedy, Emma, Harris, Dan, Barnes, Peter, Bauman, Andrew, Beetham, Eddie, Bonesso, Joshua, Bozec, Yves-Marie, Cornwall, Christopher, Dee, Shannon, DeCarlo, Thomas, D’Olivo, Juan P., Doropoulos, Christopher, Evans, Richard D., Eyre, Bradley, Gatenby, Peter, Gonzalez, Manuel, Hamylton, Sarah, Hansen, Jeff, Lowe, Ryan, Mallela, Jennie, O’Leary, Michael, Roff, George, Saunders, Benjamin J. and Zweilfer, Adi (2021). Predicting responses of geo-ecological carbonate reef systems to climate change: a conceptual model and review. Oceanography and marine biology. (pp. 229-370) edited by S. J. Hawkins, A. J. Lemasson, A. L. Allcock, A. E. Bates, M. Byrne, A. J. Evans, L. B. Firth, E. M. Marzinelli, B. D. Russell, I. P. Smith, S. E. Swearer and P. A. Todd. Boca Raton, FL, United States: CRC Press. doi: 10.1201/9781003138846-4

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Stringari, Caio E., Harris, Daniel L. and Power, Hannah E. (2017). Quantifying the fraction of broken waves on a high energy east coast Australian beach. Australasian Coasts and Ports 2017 Conference, Cairns, QLD Australia, 21-23 June 2017. Barton, ACT Australia: Engineers Australia, PIANC Australia and Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand.

  • Harris, Daniel, Rovere, Alessio, Parravicini, Valeriano and Casella, Elisa (2016). The role of coral reef rugosity in dissipating wave energy and coastal protection. EGU General Assembly 2016, Vienna, Austria, 17-22 April 2016.

  • Harris, Daniel L. and Vila-Concejo, Ana (2013). Wave transformation on a coral reef rubble platform. 12th International Coastal Symposium (ICS2013), Plymouth, United Kingdom, 8-12 April 2013. Coconut Creek, FL, United States: Coastal Education & Research Foundation. doi: 10.2112/SI65-086.1

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • There are projects available at the Honours or Masters level in examining surf zone processes on coral reef flats in the Great Barrier Reef and the Pacific. Ideally, the student would have some understanding of GIS and MATLAB as this work will in general be based in developing a numerical understanding of coral reef surf zones. However, if you are comupter savvy and enthusiastic you are welcome to discuss projects. There are currently no specific plans for field work in this area but there are always plans for addtional data collection. Potential PhD students are also wlelcome to come and discuss projects if interested in this area.