Professor Xiao Hua Wang

My Expertise

Physical oceanography in bays and estuaries. Numerical modelling in shallow seas. Bottom boundary layer and sediment transport dynamics. Coastal Integrated Management Systems.

Fields of Research (FoR)

Physical Oceanography, Economic Development Policy, Environmental Management, Ecological Impacts of Climate Change, Natural Resource Management, Environmental Impact Assessment, Climate Change Processes


Professor Xiao (Hua) Wang graduated from Ocean University of China, and holds a PhD in Physical Oceanography from James Cook University in Australia. He is a Co-leader of the Sino-Australian Research Consortium for Coastal Management (SARCCM), University of New South Wales, Australia, and an Associate Editor for Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science (IF= 3.229 Q1) and Limnology and Oceanography: Methods (2.634 Q1), respectively. He has over...view more

Professor Xiao (Hua) Wang graduated from Ocean University of China, and holds a PhD in Physical Oceanography from James Cook University in Australia. He is a Co-leader of the Sino-Australian Research Consortium for Coastal Management (SARCCM), University of New South Wales, Australia, and an Associate Editor for Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science (IF= 3.229 Q1) and Limnology and Oceanography: Methods (2.634 Q1), respectively. He has over 30 years experience in both undergraduate teaching and postgraduate supervision. His research concerns the modelling of ocean circulation, sediment transport dynamics, and understanding coastal management issues. He has over 170 publications including peer-reviewed journal papers, 7 book chapters and one book. His publication rate is 14.6 journal papers per year over the last five years (2017-2021), 90% of which belong to 1st quartile SJR Journals. His SciVal indexed research outputs in this period are ranked the highest among top international peers in the field. Google Scholar consistently ranks him in top 15 researchers in ‘coastal oceanography’, ‘sediment dynamics’ and ‘coastal management’. His work has been funded by a variety sources including the Australia Research Council and the EU Framework. He has been awarded a total of 11 competitive grants in the last five years (2017-2021) with a total cash income of $1.82M (including co-lead Chief Investigator for an industry grant of $1.25M).

Prof. Wang is the Coordinator for China Scholarship Council (CSC) Scholarship program at UNSW Canberra. He initiated and subsequently managed the MOU for academic exchange and research collaboration between UNSW and OUC since 2008. This agreement has resulted in more than 50 OUC HDRs enrolled at UNSW and numerous academics visits between two institutions.

Prof. Wang has been involved in several international collaborative projects with both European and US scientists. He was a Visiting Scientist at Princeton University USA in 1995; a Visiting Scientist in the Institute of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences-CNR, Italy in 1999; a Visiting Professor at the University of Bologna Italy in 2001; and a guest investigator in Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 2005. From 1999-2004, he has spent approximately one month per year in Bolonga, Italy to conduct his study of the Adriatic Sea. Since 2005, he has spent one month per year in China to study the sediment dynamics in the Yellow and East China Seas.

Current and Graduated Postgraduate Students

Name of Student

Thesis Title


Year  Completed

Do-Seong Byun The effects of tidally-driven sediment resuspension on the ecosystem dynamics in the Southwest coast of Korea (UNSW@ADFA) PhD 2004
Lulu Qiao The shear front and sediment transport in the Yellow River estuary (Ocean University of China, China) PhD 2008
Vihang Bhatt The effect of the fluid-mud layer on ocean dynamics in coastal seas (UNSW@ADFA) PhD 2010
Donghui Jiang An operational sea state and circulation forecast system for Jervis Bay, NSW PhD 2012
Fan Zhang Management of Australia Defence Force activities in Australian Marine Protected Areas, by analysing the Environmental Management Systems of Jervis Bay and Shoalwater Bay training areas PhD 2012
Wen Wu To compare the legislative frameworks, management characteristics and impact of the ecosystems of the marine protected areas in Australia and in China PhD 2012
Qun Liang Estimating benefits of IMOS in managing Marine Protected Areas MSc 2010
Dehai Song A Skewness-based Analysis and Numerical Simulations on Tidal Asymmetries, Dynamics, and Suspended Sediment Transport PhD 2013
Li Li Modelling the Sediment Dynamics in Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory PhD 2013
Zhibing Li Modelling sediment transport in Port of Abbot Point and its adjacent Great Barrie Reef waters PhD 2017
Shengnan Chen Comparative Research on Legal and Regulatory Frameworks Related to Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Australia and China PhD 2015
Guan Dong Gao Land reclamation and its impact on hydrodynamics and sediment transport in Jiaozhou Bay, Qingdao PhD 2017
Fatemeh Ziaeyan Bahri Correlation between East Australian Current and Sea Level Rise along the east coast of Australia PhD 2018
Amanda Xiao Modelling hydrodynamics and sediment transport in Sydney Harbour PhD 2018
Haifeng Zhang Investigating sea surface temperature diurnal variation over the Tropical Warm Pool using MTSAT-1R PhD 2017
Zhixin Cheng Hydrodynamic Study of Sediment Transport Patterns in Estuary and Coastal Area --- Case Study on Yalu River Estuary MPhil 2016
Wenyun Guo Numerical study of sediment dynamics in Shanghai Port ECNU Joint Training PhD 2017
Maozeng Jiang Legal and Governance Frameworks for Scientific Research Risk Management in Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Areas PhD 2018
Fanglou Liao Coastally trapped wave observations and modelling in Jervis Bay and its adjacent shelf PhD 2019
Bo Dong Analysis of the drivers and impacts of governments’ biofuel research investment policy: a comparison between Australia and China PhD 2017
Saiful Marbun Impacts of marine and fisheries industrialisation and the Blue Economy Policy in Indonesia on the local communities and the environment in Indonesia MPhil 2015
Yuanchi Xiao Using eReefs data to analyze sediment transport dynamics in the Burdekin River Estuary in the GBR region MPhil 2018
Gang Yang Research on the Sediment Transport Patterns in the Area of Wei Fang Harbor using the Satellite Remote Sensing Method MPhil 2018
Zhixin Cheng Modelling sediment dynamics in Darwin Harbour under the Australian monsoon PhD 2020
Yuan Yuan Dynamics response to human interventions in a small embayment: thermohaline circulation, waves and sea ice formation PhD  2020
Senyang Xie Land reclamation and its impact on hydrodynamics and substance transport in the Jiulong Estuary-Xiamen Bay, China PhD  2021
Md Wasif E Elahi  Estuarine circulation and sediment transport during cyclone induced storm surge in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta  PhD  2021 
Yuwei Hu Studies of Australian Coastal Extreme Events Based on Satellite Sea Surface  Temperature (SST) and Sea Surface Height (SSH) Datasets PhD 2023 
Anna Maggiorano Study of the effects of the Indo-Australian monsoon on the Australian North-Western shelf dynamics  PhD  2021  
Gang Yang  Study of the effects of storms on the sediment dynamics and erosion in estuaries and coastal seas  PhD  2022 
Wan Liu  Climate change impacts and management of algal blooms in coastal rivers  MPhil 2020


Wenjun Zhu

Determining and understanding the impact of sea level change on estuarine physics under the influence of climate change in South-east Australia



 Sanzida Murshed Understanding interconnected processes for the assessment of contemporary vulnerability- A reconnaissance study in the coastal region of Bangladesh PhD On-going

Shaoyu Li

Water depth retrieval using satellite remote sensed data supported by airborne LiDAR



Nguyen Thi Thuy Dung

Evaluation of potential wave energy in the South China Sea



Nazeat Ameen Iqra

Impacts of sediment dynamic of coastal embayment due to human activities






My Research Activities

SARCCM Research Themes

Program 1: Coastal Oceanography

Program Leader: Prof. Xiao Hua Wang
Prof. Peter SteinbergProf. Emma JohnstonProf. Moninya RoughanA/Prof Barbara RobsonA/Prof. Erick FredjDr Andrew Kiss, Mr Chris Lane, Ms Zhibing LiMr Guan Dong GaoMs Amanda XiaoMs Zhixin ChengMr Fanglou LiaoProf. Charles Lemckert


  • To develop and apply hydrodynamics and sediment transport models in estuaries, ports, and turbid coastal environments;
  • To explore the structure, function, dynamics and interactions of marine ecosystems and their relationships with common environmental stressors within estuarine and coastal waters;
  • To develop regional coastal ocean observing and forecasting system.


Program 2: Coastal and marine natural resource management, people, policy, practice

Program Leader: A/Prof. Stuart Pearson
MA YingjieSONG N’igerA/Prof. Stuart PearsonDr Jo BanksDr David LearyMrs Amanda PutriMr Saiful Marbun, Dr Shengnan Chen, Ms Bo DongMr Maozeng Jiang


  • Fostering excellence in comparative research on natural resource management in China, Australia and with other international partners.
  • Sharing of research knowledge and development of new insights and capacity to contribute to marine and coastal natural resource management.


Program 3: Remote sensing/GIS

Program Leader: A/Prof. Yue Ma
Prof. Linlin GeA/Prof. Xiuping Jia, Dr Zhi Huang, Dr Chunhui Zhou, Dr Qianguo Xing, Mr Haifeng ZhangMiss Meng Xu


In this task, we will examine and assess to which extent the routine measurements from spaceborne sensors are combined and used together with model-based forecasting systems. The outcome shall form the basis of a series of recommendations concerning bridging the gap of Chinese/Australian capacity for utilizing spaceborne measurements in the framework of an operational ocean forecasting system.


  • Collect the data from current satellites and the information of future satellites which will be launched in the near future for coastal ocean observation (SST, wind, waves, sea ice, ocean colour and surface current).
  • Investigate multi-temporal data processing techniques for retrieving the ocean environmental parameters as a time series to match the goals of ocean applications in the China Seas and Australia waters. Develop cloud removal techniques to generate frequent optical images.
  • Investigate data fusion approach to integrate big data including multi/hyperspectral, SAR, and LiDAR from both optical and microwave sensors.
  • Collect remote sensed and field data for ground truthing and validation.


Building Resilience of Coastal Communities project

Program Leaders: Prof Xiao Hua Wang (Science), A/Prof Minako Sakai (Social science) and A/Prof Jianfeng Xue (Engineering)

This project aims to build a network/consortium of Australian-international academics and stakeholders to exchange knowledge and ideas to build coastal resilience in the Indo-Pacific. In this project, we conduct inter-disciplinary research such as community disaster relief and resilience building against coastal hazards and climate change (sea level rise, land subsidence, coastal erosion, flooding etc.).  The green energy transition to reduce CO2 emissions necessitates the mining of critical minerals and causes environmental destruction and risks livelihood losses in the downstream community. This project runs in partnership with HASS, Science, Business and Engineering at UNSW Canberra.

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Room G21 PEMS South (Bldg 26) School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, PO Box 7916, Canberra BC ACT 2610, AUSTRALIA


+61 2 5114 5044
+61 2 6268 8786

Research Activities