PIANC APAC 2020 is a biennial conference series focusing on harbours, ports and recreational boating in the Asia Pacific region.

Pre-Conference Symposium

Pre-Conference Symposium: Nature-based Solutions for Coasts, Ports and Estuaries

Date: 30 November – 1 December 2020
Venue: Esplanade Hotel Fremantle

Early Bird
(Closes 18/09/20)
(19/09/20 onwards)
PIANC Member $495 $570
PIANC Non-Member $748 $823

Protecting populations and infrastructure within our ports, coasts and estuaries is a major challenge in this era of rapid environmental change.  To address this challenge, in recent years there has been growing focus on adopting “nature-based solutions” in flooding and erosion risk management projects.  These solutions use natural processes and ecosystems (i.e. “green infrastructure”) to provide an alternative form of protection. Such ecosystems include, reefs, wetlands, submerged aquatic vegetation, mangroves, and “hybrid” approaches that integrate both traditional and nature-based approaches.

This Symposium will bring together a range of multi-disciplinary groups, including engineering, planning, restoration ecology, resource economics, and policy experts, to discuss recent international developments in nature-based solutions for coastal, port and estuary applications. The Symposium will highlight the latest innovations worldwide, lessons learnt, and implementation challenges from users across a spectrum of backgrounds (from researchers to practitioners to end users).

Note that the Symposium is part of PIANC’s APAC Conference and attendees are encouraged to register for the Symposium and the full conference.

For any enquires about the content of the Symposium, please contact Prof. Ryan Lowe on ryan.lowe@uwa.edu.au.



Dr. Todd S. Bridges
Senior Research Scientist for Environmental Science
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center

Dr. Todd S. Bridges is the U.S. Army’s Senior Research Scientist for Environmental Science.  He leads research, technology development and environmental initiatives for the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in the areas of sustainable development, natural infrastructure, and environmental management.   Dr. Bridges is the National Lead for the USACE Engineering with Nature® initiative, which includes a network of research projects, field demonstrations, and communication activities to promote sustainable, resilient infrastructure systems.  He also serves as Chairman of PIANC’s Environmental Commission.


Dr. Bregje van Wesenbeeck
Expert Advisor on Nature-Based Solutions And Ecosystem-Based Adaptation

Dr. Bregje van Wesenbeeck is an expert advisor on nature-based solutions and ecosystem-based adaptation at Deltares. She has provided advice on flood risk reduction, erosion mitigation and climate change adaptation to nations such as Indonesia, Tonga, Kiribati, the Philippines, the Netherlands and USA.  She possesses unique knowledge of both green and grey intervention strategies with an affinity for working across both ecology and civil engineering. She initiated and led the writing process for the implementation guidelines for nature-based solutions together with the World Bank and a broad panel of writers with distinct backgrounds, as well as guidelines related to nature-based solutions and mitigation of flooding in urban setting for the Asian Development Bank. She teaches at the Technical University of Delft and Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Her work broadly aims to strengthen the scientific foundations and furthering practical application of Building with Nature or nature-based solutions.


Dr. Borja Reguero
Associate Researcher and Adjunct Professor on Coastal Adaptation and Policy
The University of California – Santa Cruz

Dr. Borja Reguero is an interdisciplinary scientist who studies climate risk and adaptation solutions for coastal communities and economies. He is an Associate Researcher and Adjunct Professor on coastal adaptation and policy at the University of California, Santa Cruz; and a Research Fellow with The Natural Capital Project at Stanford. With a background in civil engineering, an MSc in port and coastal engineering, an MSc in Applied Economics, and a Phd in Environmental Hydraulics, Borja has over 11 years of work experience in climate change and climate hazards, climate resilient engineering, coastal management, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and nature-based solutions. His work has informed policy and solutions in Latin American and the Caribbean, West and North Africa, Europe, USA and Small Island States. He has consulted for NGOs and development agencies like the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the UN Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean. His work is developed in close partnership with the US Geological Survey and The Nature Conservancy.


Professor Catherine Lovelock
Professor, School of Biological Sciences
The University of Queensland

Dr. Catherine Lovelock is Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at The University of Queensland. Her research focuses on climate change and its impacts on coastal plant communities as well as the role of coastal wetlands in adaptation and climate change mitigation or Blue Carbon. She is a member of the International Scientific Blue Carbon Working Group of The Blue Carbon Initiative. She leads projects in Australia and internationally focused on climate change adaptation, carbon sequestration and restoration of mangroves. She is lead author for the Wetlands chapter for the 2019 refinement of the IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.


Dr. Burton Suedel
Research Biologist
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Environmental Laboratory, Vicksburg, Mississippi

Dr. Burton Suedel is a research biologist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), Environmental Laboratory in Vicksburg, Mississippi.  Dr. Suedel’s research interests include investigating ways in which environmental enhancements can be incorporated into navigation and port infrastructure planning.  He has received international recognition for applying the Engineering With Nature initiative in practice at multiple USACE navigation and coastal projects.  He is the Principle U.S. representative to the PIANC Environmental Commission and currently mentors EnviCom Working Group 214 on sediment beneficial use, and is the U.S. representative to InCom WG 203 on sustainable inland navigation.


Rebecca Morris
Marine Scientist
National Centre for Coasts and Climate, The University of Melbourne

Dr. Rebecca Morris is a marine scientist at the National Centre for Coasts and Climate at the University of Melbourne. Rebecca has a background in ecological engineering, and is specifically interested in the interaction between ecology and engineering to provide novel solutions for shoreline protection from erosion and flooding. She works on a range of coastal habitats that provide natural coastal defence that include saltmarsh, mangroves and shellfish reefs. Rebecca works in interdisciplinary teams of ecologists, engineers and social scientists in close collaboration with end users to produce stakeholder-focussed science for coastal management.

Additional speakers to be confirmed shortly.


Additional enquiries should be directed to the Conference Secretariat: Encanta Event Management T: +61 3 9863 7609 E: lexie.duncan@encanta.com.au