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).

  • BM5002: Professional Placement 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: Environmental Physics (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)
  • 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)
Research Disciplines

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 70+ 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 the Environment - 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

Western Australian Marine Science Institution - Contract Research

Deposition Sensor Development

Indicative Funding
$120,000 over 2 years
Developing a deposition sensor to define thresholds and indicators of coral response to dredge related pressures.
Peter Ridd and James Whinney (College of Science & Engineering)
Deposition; Sediment

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.

  • Kinetic Investigations of Struvite Crystallization in Poiseuille Flow Using Volume average Discretized Population Balance Methods (PhD, Secondary Advisor)
  • Beach Sediment Dynamics and Responses to Changing Conditions on High Islands of Torres Strait (Masters, Associate Advisor)
  • Long Records of Environmental Change from Sinkhole Sediments in the Northern Australian Semi-Arid Zone (PhD, Advsor Mentor)
  • On the Accuracy and Integrity of the HadCRUT4 Temperature Dataset (PhD, Primary Advisor)
  • Spatial and Temporal Water Quality Changes During a Large Scale Dredging Operation (PhD, Primary Advisor)
  • Automated Detection and Control of In-Field Lantana (PhD, Primary Advisor)
  • Diffussion Processes in the Coastal Region (PhD, Primary Advisor)
  • Characteristics of Envelope Flexibility and Openings on Internal Pressures in Industrial Buildings (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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