My research interests are in the hydrological response behaviour of tropical catchments, especially catchments which experience distinct rainfall seasonality. I've combined both fieldwork and hydrological modelling techniques to better understand runoff response.

More recent work have shifted towards urban stormwater remediation using low impact development techniques (LID) to achieve hydrological and stormwater runoff quality improvements. I am also very interested in river rehabilitation/restoration efforts and how these impact on the hydrological and ecological functioning of rivers.

Areas that I have worked in include Southeast Asia, India, Sri Lanka, China and now Australia often with a multi-disciplinary group of scientists and government agencies.

Current projects:

a) Rainfall runoff response of tropical forested catchments

b) Catchment water balance modelling - using isotopes to constrain model predictions

c) Palaeofloods (current project: what boulders tell us about floods)

d) Smart tropical urban catchments (smart sensing, water sensitive urban design, liveability)

This project won the Program Innovation Award at the 2019 Queensland Water Awards (https://watersource.awa.asn.au/technology/innovation/queenslands-most-innovative-celebrated-at-water-industry-awards/).

Also check out the exciting work that I am involved with my academic group members here:

JCU Land and Water Science: https://www.landwaterscience.com/

Tropical Urbanism and Design Lab: https://www.jcu.edu.au/TUDLab/research-projects


Please contact me if you are interested to work with me and my colleagues on the above listed projects.

Information about graduate studies at JCU is available here:







  • EA2006: Hydrology (Level 2; CNS & TSV)
  • EA3007: Field Studies in Tropical Land and Water Science (Level 3; CNS)
  • EA3008: Advanced Hydrology (Level 3; CNS)
  • EA5016: Hydrology (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • EA5018: Field Studies in Tropical Land and Water Science (Level 5; CNS)
  • EA5090: Applied Hydrology (Level 5; CNS)
  • SC3008: Professional Placement (Level 3; CNS & TSV)
Socio-Economic Objectives

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.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 20+ research outputs authored by Dr HanShe Lim from 2003 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Queensland Department of Environment and Science - Tender

An Innovative approach to documenting the largest floods in the Wet Tropics catchments and determining their effects on pollutant fluxes to the Reef.

Indicative Funding
The project examines the magnitude and impacts of past extreme floods in the Barron and Daintree Rivers using a wide range of information types that includes geomorphic evidence (slackwater deposits), historical documents and indigenous knowledge. This information will be used to estimate the impacts of these extreme floods on material fluxes that are of concern for reef health. It also extends our knowledge of flooding impacts on the environment and societies beyond the modern gauged record. The outcomes of the project form the basis of a larger DES grant application aimed at modelling the impact of extreme floods in the Wet Tropics.
HanShe Lim, Robert Wasson and Gillian McCloskey (College of Science & Engineering and Department of Natural Resources and Mines)
Extreme floods; Pollutant loads; Great Barrier Reef

Department of Environment and Heritage Protection - Tender

Denitrification bioreactor trial in the Russell catchment of the Wet Tropics

Indicative Funding
$235,087 over 3 years (administered by Jaragun Pty Ltd)
This project will establish the effectiveness of denitrification bioreactors as an on-farm technology for removing dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) in waters draining the Babinda Swamp Drainage Area. The region has been identified as a hotspot for DIN in the Great Barrier Reef catchment. This will be the first trial of denitrification bioreactors in the Wet Tropics. Denitrifying bioreactors route water through a high-carbon substrate under anaerobic conditions to encourage denitrification (the conversion of DIN to atmospheric N2). Two bioreactor configurations will be tested at two sites, and the potential for broader adoption will be assessed.
Paul Nelson, Alex Cheesman, Liz Owen, HanShe Lim, Bithin Datta, Colin MacGregor and Ian Layden in collaboration with Nathan Waltham, Bart Dryden and Mark Bayley (College of Science & Engineering, Jaragun Pty Ltd, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, TropWATER, Terrain Natural Resource Management and Australian Wetland Consulting)
sugarcane; Water quality; nitrate; runoff; Wet Tropics; Great Barrier Reef

Department of Industry - Smart Cities and Suburbs Program

Council improving the water quality of the Great Barrier Reef through the use of smart sensors and the IoT for urban water management

Indicative Funding
$360,146 over 1 year (administered by Cairns Regional Council)
The primary aim of this grant application is to bring smart city technology into urban water management to improve urban water quality discharging to the Great Barrier Reef by: 1). Developing IOT technology to manage large data sets obtained from existing smart meters and water quality monitoring probes to make effective management decisions; and 2) Supporting the development of new cost effective, real time water quality monitoring technology. This grant application is for purchase of commercially available water quality monitoring probes suitable for a tropical urban stormwater environment, for supporting the development of new real time monitoring technology for nutrients; for the development of data analysis tools using IOT technology for both smart meter water consumption data, sewer pump station overflow data and stormwater water quality data so that the data is available in real time and can be used for effective decision making.
Wei Xiang, HanShe Lim and Niels Munksgaard in collaboration with Lynne Powell (College of Science & Engineering and Cairns City Council)
IoT infrastructure; Smart water sensors; Real-time water quality monitoring; Great Barrier Reef water quality; Urban water management

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

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.

  • Application of modelling tools to study role of water sensitive urban design (wsud) technology to mitigate flooding in tropical cities (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Investigation and assessment of groundwater quality and conditions for sustainable management in dry tropical coastal plain aquifer(s): Townsville, Queensland Australia (PhD , Primary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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