Coastal Oceanographer within Sustainable Coastal Ecosystems and Industries in Tropical Australia research program. Manages the physical oceanography and estuarine programs from the AIMS Arafura Timor Research Facility in Darwin, Northern Territory.
I have been working in the tropical macro tidal environment of northern Australia for over 25 years. During this time I have worked in many aspects of river, estuarine and coastal process understanding and management. My main research interests are in the use of acoustics to measure and describe macro tidal flows in estuaries and the coastal environment and to describe the links between hydrodynamics and geomorphology. I have a keen interest in sediment transport and working collaboratively with scientists and engineers in using field observations to improve numerical models.
  • 2000 Graduate Certificate in Management
  • 1995 Bachelor of Science (Earth Sciences)
  • 1983 Hydrography Certificate
Current Research Activities
My current research interests are within the broad topics of estuarine and coastal processes incorporating physical-biological interactions. Incorporated in all of my research is the development and application of validated models of hydrodynamic circulation and materials transport and the development of acoustic techniques for the determination of sediment transport fluxes.
Current projects include:
  • sediment transport near marine infrastructure in Darwin Harbour.
  • hydrodynamics, sediment transport and the effects on the distribution of benthic biodiversity in macro tidal estuaries.
  • physical and numerical modelling techniques.
Expert Committees and Boards
  • Permanent Committee on Tides and Mean Sea Level
  • Kakadu Research Advisory Committee
  • Darwin Harbour Dredging Technical Advisory Group
Over 50 science papers, conference proceedings and client reports. The following are a selection of recent publications.

Williams D (2013) The Lower Mary River and flood plains. Chapter 16. In: Wolanski E (Ed) Estuaries of Australia 2050 and Beyond. Springer.

Andutta FP, Wang XH, Li Li, Williams D (2013) Hydrodynamics and sediment transport in a macro-tidal estuary: Darwin Harbour, Australia. Chapter 7. In: Wolanski, E (Ed) Estuaries of Australia 2050 and Beyond. Springer.

Williams D, Steinberg C, Rigby P, Brinkman R, Spagnol S (2013) Observations in support of port activities: recent developments and future opportunities for Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Coasts and Ports 2013, Sydney, NSW.

Li Li, Wang XH, Williams DK, Sidhu H, Song D (2012) Numerical Study on the Effects of Mangrove Areas and Tidal Flats on tides: A Case Study of Darwin Harbour, Australia. Journal of Geophysical Research, Oceans. 117, C06011, doi:10.1029/2011 JC007494, 2012.

Li Li, Wang X, Sidhu H, Williams D (2010) Modelling of Three Dimensional Tidal Dynamics in Darwin Harbour, Australia. Journal of Australian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ANZIAM).

Williams D (2010) Changes to Estuarine dynamics in the Northern Territory: macro tides and cyclones. Paper and presentation for the Engineers Australia Practical Response to Climate Change conference, Melbourne, September 29-October 1 2010.

Williams D (2009) Using vertical and horizontal ADCP profilers for the measurement of bed load transport in macro tidal tropical estuaries in Northern Australia. ADCP in Action conference, San Diego USA, October 2009.

Williams D (2008) Stationary and mobile ADCP techniques for the measurement of bed load transport in the Daly River NT. Engineers Australia Hydraulics Conference Darwin, May 2008.

Williams D, Wolanski E, Spagnol S (2006) Hydrodynamics of Darwin Harbour. pp 461-476. In: Wolanski E (Ed) The Environment in Asia Pacific Harbours. Springer.

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