Dr. Eric Wolanski is a coastal oceanographer and ecohydrologist. He is linking physics and biology in estuarine, coastal, reef and savannah ecosystems. He has 430 publications, including six recent books:

  • Wolanski, E., Kingsford, M.J. (2024). Oceanographic Processes of Coral Reef. Physical and Biological Links in the Great Barrier Reef. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla., USA (in press).
  • Paris, C. B., Wolanski, E., eds. (2020). The Importance of Behavior in the Recruitment of Marine Fauna and Flora. Lausanne: Frontiers Media SA. doi: 10.3389/978-2-88963-501-6
  • Wolanski, E., Day, J., Elliott, M., Ramesh, Ramachandran (2019). Coasts and Estuaries. The Future. Elsevier, Amsterdam. 701 pp.
  • Perillo, G.M.E., Wolanski, E., Cahoon, D.R., Hopkinson, C.S. (2019). Coastal Wetlands. An Integrated Ecosystem Approach. Springer  2nd ed., Dordrecht, 1097 pp.
  • E. Wolanski & M. Elliott (2015). Estuarine Ecohydrology - An Introduction. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 310 pp.
  • E. Wolanski (2014). Estuaries of Australia in 2050 and Beyond. Springer, Dordrecht, 292 pp.

Eric launched in 2020, in collaboration with Professors Michael Elliott at the University of Hull (UK) and Ellen Wohl at the State University of Colorado (USA), a new Elsevier book series "Ecohydrology from catchment to coast"  to provide an analysis for key rivers worldwide of the next set of policy and institutional reforms (environmental, social, cultural and economic) needed to ensure that the river basin is managed as an integrated system (including its land use, water resources and estuary) capable to adapt to the human impact and future changes including climate change. The first book has just been published,it is about the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia. https://www.elsevier.com/books/book-series/ecohydrology-from-catchment-to-coast  Being written now are books about the Mekong in SE Asia, the Nile in Africa, and the Scheldt in Belgium/The Netherlands. 

Eric is a member of the Scientific and Policy Committee of Japan's EMECS (Environmental Management of Enclosed Seas, focusing on the Seto Inland Sea) and of the European Union DANUBIUS-PP Scientific and Technical Advisory Board (STAB; see www.danubius-ri.euhttp://danubius-pp.eu), which will be a pan-European distributed research infrastructure dedicated to interdisciplinary studies of large river–sea systems throughout Europe.

Eric is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Institution of Engineers Australia (ret.), and l'Academie Royale des Sciences d'Outre-Mer (Belgium). He was awarded an Australian Centenary medal for services in estuarine and coastal oceanography, a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, a 2nd Doctorate Honoris Causa by the University of Hull in the UK, a Queensland Information Technology and Telecommunication award for excellence, and the first LifeTime Achievement Award of the Estuarine & Coastal Science Association (ECSA).

Eric is Honourary Editor of  Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, a Chief Editor of Wetlands Ecology and Management and of the Elsevier book series Ecohydrology from catchment to coast.

Since 1994 he has been running in Tanzania for Tanzania National Parks Authority yearly ecohydrology field training workshops with ecologists of the Serengeti, Katavi, Arusha, Nkomazi, Ruaha, Tarangire and Saadani National Parks, which are all either suffering or threatened by a water crisis. This is summarised in the recent paper: Mnaya, B., Elisa, M., Kihwele, E., Kiwango, H., Kiwango, Y., Ng’umbi, G., Wolanski, E.   (2021). Are Tanzanian National Parks affected by the water crisis? Findings and ecohydrology solutions.Ecohydrology and Hydrobiology 21, 425-442.


Citation indices:

  • Citations: 24818
  • h-index: 86
  • i10-index: 263
  • MB3050: Biological Oceanography (Level 3; TSV)
  • MB5055: Biological Oceanography (Level 5; TSV)
  • estuarine, coastal and reef oceanography: field data collection and modelling the systems. Quantifying and modeling the physics-biology links enabling the self-recruitment and the connectivity of estuarine and marine fauna and flora (jellyfish, coral and fish, prawns, mangroves, seagrass, marine turtles,..)
  • modeling the environmental impact of dams, mine tailings, dredging, dredge spoil dumping, heavy metals and land-clearing in estuarine and coastal waters including mangroves, seagrass and reefs; studying through field work and modeling the spread of the Fly River plume in the Gulf of Papua and Torres Strait.
  • modeling lagoon, estuarine, coastal, mangrove and reef ecosystems. Applications to eutrophication in the Guadiana Estuary (Portugal) and Darwin Harbour (Australia), coral reef management in Maunalua Bay (Hawaii) ,fisheries in Chilika Lagoon (India) and Laizhou Bay (China)
  • modeling cohesive sediment (mud) dynamics in estuarine and coastal waters
  • modelling the transport and fate of ghost nets, macro- and micro-plastics in coastal waters; modeling the recruitment, connectivity and biophysics of fish larvae, juvenile jellyfish, coral larvae, coral fish larvae, box jellyfish, green and flatback turtle hatchlings, copepods, and temperate estuarine fish larvae. Modelling the self-seeding and connectivity within Micronesia for grouper fish.
  • modeling tropical savannah ecohydrology and applications to Serengeti, Ruaha, Katavi, Saadani and Tarangire National Parks in Tanzania, in collaboration with Tanzania National Parks.
  • modelling the nutrient budget for turbid estuaries with applications to the Guadiana, Hooghly, Wami and Yangtze estuaries, Chilika lagoon and Laizhou Bay and others).
  • modeling the water circulation in the topographically complex Great Barrier Reef, Torres Strait, the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Bohai Strait in China. Modelling the over-heating of the northern GBR and Torres Strait during the 2016 bleaching event. Oceanographic chaos in the Galapagos, the South China Sea, the Coral Sea and Micronesia. See https://mediasite.jcu.edu.au/Mediasite/Play/65138ef3785648c3afc2ad7c942e399f1d
  • 2008 to 2020 - Adjunct Professor, JCU (Townsville)
  • 1978 to 2007 - Lead Research Scientist, AIMS (Townsville)
  • 1976 to 1978 - Hydrologist, SMEC (Cooma, NSW)
  • 1974 to 1976 - Hydrologist, NSW State Pollution Control Commission (Sydney)
Research Disciplines
  • Australian Centenary medal for services in estuarine and coastal oceanography, Australia.
  • Doctorate Honoris Causa from the catholic University of Louvain, Belgium
  • Queensland Information Technology and Telecommunication award for excellence, Australia.
  • Doctorate Honoris Causa, University of Hull, UK.
  • First LifeTime Achievement Award of the Estuarine & Coastal Science Association (ECSA)
  • The Institution of Engineers Australia (ret.)
  • Académie Royale des Sciences d'Outre-Mer (Belgium).
  • Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Australia.

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

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ResearchOnline@JCU stores 175+ research outputs authored by Dr Eric Wolanski from 2001 onwards.


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These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.


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The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
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  • 5+ collaborations
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  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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