Paul Hesse

Associate Professor

  • 2853 Citations
  • 28 h-Index
1985 …2021
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Personal profile


I research and teach in the fields of geomorphology and Quaternary science.  I investigate how past climate changes have shaped earth surface processes, now and in the past. Much of my research has examined arid and semi-arid (dryland) regions of Australia. I am interested in how climate change has influenced desert sand dunes, dust storms, rivers, wetlands and vegetation cover and how those feed back into climate change.

I am Convenor of the Bachelor of Environment course and teach several units within the Environmental Earth Science major: ENVS266 Earth Surface Processes (convenor), ENVS340 Environmental Change, and ENVS341 Advanced Environmental Earth Science (field unit in New Zealand).

Recent and current reseasrch projects include: history of rivers in the Murray-Darling Basin over the last 100 000 years and how their discharge has decreased dramatically as global temperatures increased; how drought affects vegetation cover and wind erosion on sand dunes in the Simpson Desert; the global distribution of desert sand dunes, their activity and climatic sensitivity; the links between rivers, wetlands and dunefields in central Argentina (Mendoza province).

Education/Academic qualification

Quaternary Palaeoclimatology, PhD, Australian National University

1 Apr 19893 Apr 1993

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dune Earth & Environmental Sciences
floodplain Earth & Environmental Sciences
loess Earth & Environmental Sciences
river Earth & Environmental Sciences
wetland Earth & Environmental Sciences
dust Earth & Environmental Sciences
climate Earth & Environmental Sciences
desert Earth & Environmental Sciences

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Projects 2006 2021

Research Outputs 1985 2018

A nested hierarchical perspective to enhance interpretations and communication in fluvial geomorphology for use in water resources management: lessons from the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Fryirs, K. A., Ralph, T. J., Larkin, Z. T., Tooth, S., Humphries, M., Mccarthy, T., Hesse, P. P. & Mosimanyana, E., Jun 2018, In : Geographical Journal. 184, 2, p. 192-207 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

fluvial geomorphology

Assessing the geomorphic disturbance from fires on coastal dunes near Esperance, Western Australia: implications for dune de-stabilisation

Shumack, S. & Hesse, P., Apr 2018, In : Aeolian Research. 31, Part A, p. 29-49 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

eolian process

Assessment of channel expansion and contraction using cross-section data from repeated LiDAR acquisitions in the Macquarie Marshes, NSW

Yousefi, N., Ralph, T. J., Farebrother, W., Chang, H-C. & Hesse, P. P., 12 Aug 2018, Proceedings of the 9th Australian Stream Management Conference: 12–15 August 2018, Hobart, Tasmania. Vietz, G. J. & Rutherfurd, I. D. (eds.). Melbourne, Victoria: River Basin Management Society, p. 103-110 8 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionResearchpeer-review

cross section

Dramatic reduction in size of the lowland Macquarie River in response to Late Quaternary climate-driven hydrologic change

Hesse, P. P., Williams, R., Ralph, T. J., Larkin, Z. T., Fryirs, K. A., Westaway, K. E. & Yonge, D., Sep 2018, In : Quaternary Research (United States). 90, 2, p. 360-379 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Late quaternary fluvial incision and aggradation in the Lesser Himalaya, India

Dosseto, A., May, J-H., Choi, J-H., Swander, Z. J., Fink, D., Korup, O., Hesse, P., Singh, T., Mifsud, C. & Srivastava, P., 1 Oct 2018, In : Quaternary Science Reviews. 197, p. 112-128 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

beryllium isotope



River Basin Management Society Award for Best Paper

Timothy Ralph (Recipient), Tim Hosking (Recipient), Jordan Iles (Recipient) & Paul Hesse (Recipient), 6 Feb 2012