AINSE research student makes good

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

Description

Tim Ralph is an early-career environmental scientist whose research is focussed on channel and floodplain geomorphology, evolutionary pathways and tipping points in rivers and wetlands in dryland settings. His research interests also include ecohydrology and inundation response in rivers and wetlands, Late Quaternary environmental and hydrological variability, impacts of climate change, and applications of geochronology and environmental radionuclide tracers in fluvial systems. Tim was first introduced to AINSE and ANSTO when he was a third-year Bachelor of Environmental Science student in 2000. At that time he represented Macquarie University at the AINSE Winter School for Applications of Nuclear Techniques. This led Tim into a BEnvSc Honours year in 2001, with a research project focussed on the geomorphology and sedimentology of a small wetland in the Macquarie Marshes, New South Wales. As part of this project, Tim made the first attempt to use environmental radionuclides (e.g. Pb-210 and Cs-137) to investigate patterns and rates of sedimentation in this type of dynamic floodplain system. This Honours research was supported through an AINSE grant to his principal supervisor, Dr Paul Hesse. Tim then progressed to a PhD project focussed on geomorphic processes responsible for channel change and floodplain wetland evolution in the Macquarie Marshes, with implications for other large and dynamic wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin and in drylands around the world. A multifaceted research approach was required to identify and understand the processes and patterns of landscape evolution in the Marshes, and fallout radionuclides were utilised in conjunction with radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating. Tim was awarded an AINSE Postgraduate Research Scholarship top-up for his Australian Postgraduate Award through Macquarie University. During his PhD, Tim attended Science meets Parliament in Canberra with sponsorship from the Australasian Quaternary Association, which led to him guiding the then Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson and the National Water Commission chair Ken Matthews on an aerial tour of the Macquarie Marshes. Following the completion of his PhD, Tim worked as an environmental scientist in the Rivers and Wetlands Unit of the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (now the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage). There he continued his research on rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin through projects related to water requirements of aquatic biota and impacts of climate change, and geomorphological effects of in-channel and floodplain structures in floodplain wetlands. The role also required widespread consultation with landholders and environmental managers, as well as collaboration with scientists from numerous Government departments and research institutions. As a senior environmental scientist, Tim coordinated a state-wide rapid assessment project for acid sulfate soil risk in the NSW portion of the Murray-Darling Basin, overseen and funded by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. Tim is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Environment and Geography at Macquarie University, where he pursues his research and teaches in several environmental science and management courses. Tim’s work with AINSE and ANSTO still continues in the form of collaborative projects investigating catchment and river response to hydrological change, the sensitivity to climate and mechanisms of change in major rivers and wetlands, and sources of sediment entering floodplain wetlands.

Period20 Mar 2013

Media contributions

1

Media contributions

  • TitleAINSE research student makes good
    Media name/outletAustralian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering
    Media typeWeb
    Date20/03/13
    DescriptionTim Ralph is an early-career environmental scientist whose research is focussed on channel and floodplain geomorphology, evolutionary pathways and tipping points in rivers and wetlands in dryland settings. His research interests also include ecohydrology and inundation response in rivers and wetlands, Late Quaternary environmental and hydrological variability, impacts of climate change, and applications of geochronology and environmental radionuclide tracers in fluvial systems. Tim was first introduced to AINSE and ANSTO when he was a third-year Bachelor of Environmental Science student in 2000. At that time he represented Macquarie University at the AINSE Winter School for Applications of Nuclear Techniques. This led Tim into a BEnvSc Honours year in 2001, with a research project focussed on the geomorphology and sedimentology of a small wetland in the Macquarie Marshes, New South Wales. As part of this project, Tim made the first attempt to use environmental radionuclides (e.g. Pb-210 and Cs-137) to investigate patterns and rates of sedimentation in this type of dynamic floodplain system. This Honours research was supported through an AINSE grant to his principal supervisor, Dr Paul Hesse. Tim then progressed to a PhD project focussed on geomorphic processes responsible for channel change and floodplain wetland evolution in the Macquarie Marshes, with implications for other large and dynamic wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin and in drylands around the world. A multifaceted research approach was required to identify and understand the processes and patterns of landscape evolution in the Marshes, and fallout radionuclides were utilised in conjunction with radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating. Tim was awarded an AINSE Postgraduate Research Scholarship top-up for his Australian Postgraduate Award through Macquarie University. During his PhD, Tim attended Science meets Parliament in Canberra with sponsorship from the Australasian Quaternary Association, which led to him guiding the then Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson and the National Water Commission chair Ken Matthews on an aerial tour of the Macquarie Marshes. Following the completion of his PhD, Tim worked as an environmental scientist in the Rivers and Wetlands Unit of the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (now the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage). There he continued his research on rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin through projects related to water requirements of aquatic biota and impacts of climate change, and geomorphological effects of in-channel and floodplain structures in floodplain wetlands. The role also required widespread consultation with landholders and environmental managers, as well as collaboration with scientists from numerous Government departments and research institutions. As a senior environmental scientist, Tim coordinated a state-wide rapid assessment project for acid sulfate soil risk in the NSW portion of the Murray-Darling Basin, overseen and funded by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority. Tim is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Environment and Geography at Macquarie University, where he pursues his research and teaches in several environmental science and management courses. Tim’s work with AINSE and ANSTO still continues in the form of collaborative projects investigating catchment and river response to hydrological change, the sensitivity to climate and mechanisms of change in major rivers and wetlands, and sources of sediment entering floodplain wetlands.
    URLwww.ainse.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/51502/AINSE_research_student_makes_good_-_Tim_Ralph.pdf
    PersonsTim Ralph