Peter Ridd is a geophysicist with the following interests: coastal oceanography, the effects of sediments on coral reefs, instrument development, geophysical sensing of the earth, past and future climates, atmospheric modelling. In addition with his group in the Marine Geophysics Laboratory (http://www.marinegeophysics.com.au/) he works on the development of instruments including:  sediment deposition sensors, light sensors, tilt current meters, and Lagrangian drifters. He also works on applications to agriculture and weed control including an automated weed killing robot and non-invasively sensing defects in fruit.

Peter Ridd raises almost all of his research funds from the profits of consultancy work which is usually associated with monitoring of marine dredging operation (http://www.jcu.edu.au/marinephysics/services/JCU_103139.html) . Work has recently been done at Hay Point and Abbot Point as well as at Barrow Island in Western Australia. The general philosophy is to use the instruments and analysis methods which are developed by the Marine Geophysics Lab to give a competitive edge for tendering for contract work. Funds pay PhD scholarship and the staff of the MGL (usually  around 7 scientists and engineers).

  • BM1003: Biomedicine in the Tropics (Level 1; TSV)
  • BM5002: Professional Placement 2 Part 2 of 2 (Level 5; TSV)
  • MB1110: Introductory Marine Science (Level 1; TSV)
  • PH1005: Advanced Stream Physics 1 (Level 1; TSV)
  • PH1007: Advanced Stream Physics 2 (Level 1; TSV)
  • PH2006: Marine Physics (Level 2; TSV)
  • PH2222: Sensors and Sensing for Scientists (Level 2; TSV)
  • PH3006: Oceanography and Meteorology (Level 3; TSV)
  • PH5008: Physical Oceanography (Level 5; TSV)
  • PH5011: Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (Level 5; TSV)
  • SC1102: Modelling Natural Systems (Level 1; TSV)
  • SC1109: Modelling Natural Systems-Advanced (Level 1; TSV)
  • The teaching and assessment of Physics and Maths at high school
  • Oceanography Sediment Coral Reefs Instrument development climate mangrove swamps geophysics robotics equatorial trough simple climate models
  • 2008 to present - HOD Physics, JCU (Townsville)
  • 1992 to 2007 - Academic, JCU (townsville)
  • 1991 - Research Scientist, AIMS (townsville)
  • 1989 to 1991 - ARC Fellow, JCU (Townsville)
  • 1983 to 1988 - Experimental Scientist, AIMS (Townsville)
  • 1981 to 1982 - School Teacher, Blackhealth and Thornburgh College (Charters Towers)

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
Conference Papers

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 73+ research outputs authored by Prof Peter Ridd from 2000 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Control Tools and Technologies for Established Pest Animals and Weeds Programme

Improving the accuracy of weed killing robots with new image processing algorithms and near infra-red spectroscopy techniques

Indicative Funding
$271,772 over 3 years
Automated weed species recognition remains a major obstacle to the development and industry acceptance of robotic weed control technology. Particular problems occur in rangeland applications, including high light variability and weed-camera distance variability, which cause camera dynamic range problems, image blurring, and occlusion by other plants. This project aims to develop robust image recognition systems combined with Near Infra-Red spectroscopic methods for these complex rangeland environments with special emphasis on the broad-acre grazing pastures in North Queensland. The developed imaging systems will be suitable for all weed killing applications with particular emphasis given to foliar spot-spraying and Herbicide Ballistic Technologies.
Peter Ridd, Ron White, Bronson Philippa, Alex Olsen and Owen Kenny in collaboration with Brett Wedding, Michael Graham, Carole Wright and Stephen Grauf (College of Science & Engineering, QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Forestry)
Weed; Near-Infra-Red; Robotics; Image Analysis

Department of the Environment and Energy - National Environmental Science Program (NESP) - Tropical Water Quality Hub (TWQ Hub)

Risk assessing dredging activities

Indicative Funding
$89,374 over 3 years (administered by AIMS)
We will use novel analytical techniques/instrumentation to accurately quantify, for the first time, key proximal stressors associated with dredging/spoil disposal (ie sedimentation, light quantity/quality, suspended sediment concentrations) and will determine how these parameters vary with increasing distance from dredging. We will then test the response of corals, sponges, seagrass and algae to environmentally relevant/realistic conditions over appropriate time-frames. Matrices of hard data will be generated to derive water quality thresholds for key habitat forming organisms and for use as input parameters for pressure field modelling (including cumulative-impact modelling). This will dramatically improve risk assessment processes, provide greater surety for regulators and proponents, allow more informed decision-making and inform future dredging policy.
Ross Jones and Peter Ridd in collaboration with Andrew Negri, Rebecca Fisher, Nicole Webster, James Whinney, Catherine Collier and Alan Duckworth (Australian Institute of Marine Science, College of Science & Engineering and TropWATER)
Dredging; Sedimentation; spoil disposal; Coral; Seagrass; GBR

Australian Research Council - Linkage - Projects

Optimisation of internal pressure for designing industrial buildings

Indicative Funding
$185,000 over 4 years, in partnership with Australian Steel Institute Ltd ($60,000 over 3 yrs)
The internal pressure in a building is dependent on the sizes of openings in the envelope, and its volume and flexibility, and is a critical loading parameter in building design. Post windstorm damage investigations have shown that incorrect internal pressures are frequently used in building design leading to damage. This project will study the internal pressures generated in buildings with a range of volumes and openings in the envelope. A combination of model scale and full scale tests and theoretical analysis will e used to determine critical parameters for highly turbulent air-flow through openings. Results will be used to revise design data in codes and produce guidelines for consistent, optimal design of industrial type buildings.
John Ginger, Peter Ridd and David Henderson in collaboration with John Holmes and Scott Woolcock (College of Science & Engineering, JDH Consulting and Scott Woolcock Consulting Pty Ltd)
Wind Load; Internal Pressure; Standard Australian English; industrial building

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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.

  • Characteristics of Envelope Flexibility and Openings on Internal Pressures in Industrial Buildings (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Quaternary Environmental Change in Wet-dry Tropics of Northern Australia (PhD , Advisor Mentor)
  • Improving Weed Species Detection for Robotic Weed Control (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • An Extensive Investigation of the Ir92 Flexisource, TG186 Report and Collapsed Cone Convolution/Superposition Algorithm for Use Brachytherapy. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit the JCU Research Data Catalogue.


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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