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

Pre-Conference Symposium

Sponsored by

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

Date: 1 December 2020
Time: 0830 – 1730 AWST
Venue: Esplanade Hotel Fremantle (WA participants), Live Streamed (non-WA participants)

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).

The Program for the one-day Symposium will include 4 Keynote presentations from prominent international speakers (delivered via live streaming) and 10 additional invited speakers. The program will provide participants with opportunities to network and ample time for discussion.

The final Program will be released in October. 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.


Early Bird
(Closes 18/10/20)
(19/10/20 onwards)
PIANC Member (Face-to-Face) $165 $275
PIANC Member (Virtual) $100 $160
PIANC Non-Member (Face-to-Face) $210 $320
PIANC Non-Member (Virtual) $125 $185
Developing Country (Virtual) $44 $60


Tuesday 1 December 2020

0830  -0840


Prof Ryan Lowe

0840 – 0910

Delivering on Nature-Based Solutions through Engineering With Nature

Dr Todd Bridges

0910 – 0940

Restoring Island Habitat using Engineering With Nature (EWN) Principles

Dr Burton Suedel

0940 – 1000

How economic frameworks can guide investment for nature-based solutions

Dr Abbie Rogers

1000 – 1030 Morning Tea
1030 – 1050

Nature Based Solutions in Urban Environments

Prof Catherine Lovelock

1050 – 1110

Eco-engineered shorelines for greater urban liveability

A/Prof Peter Todd

1110 – 1130

Developing a Nature-based Coastal Defence Strategy for Australia

Dr Rebecca Morris

1130 – 1150

Nature Based Solutions for Estuaries & Ports: Recreating Tidal Ecosystems using Ecosystem Service Analysis

A/Prof Will Glamore

1150 – 1230 Short overview presentations
1230 – 1330 Lunch
1330 – 1350

Blue Carbon as a Nature-Based Solution to Climate Change

A/Prof Peter Macreadie

1350 – 1410

Improving Predictions of the Processes Governing Performance of Nature Based Solutions

Prof Ryan Lowe & Dr Marco Ghisalberti

1410 – 1430

Keys to Successful Large Scale Delivery of Integrated Habitat Projects

Matt Allen

1430 – 1450

Leveraging Infrastructure Investment to Re-Build Ecosystem Resilience in Cockburn Sound, WA

Hans Kemps

1450 – 1520

Coastal hazards and the risk reduction benefits of nature-based solutions

Dr Borja Reguero

1520 – 1550 Afternoon Tea
1550 – 1620

Implementation of Nature-Based Solutions: Measuring their Performance Under Extremes

Dr Bregje van Wesenbeeck

1620 – 1730 Discussion
1730 Close


Matthew Allen

Matthew Allen
Founder, Director, Business Development Manager
Subcon International Pty Ltd

Matthew Allen is the Founder of Subcon.  He started his career with six years in the merchant navy.  Following which he studied a Bachelors of Engineering in Naval Architecture at the Australian Maritime college.  He subsequently built a successful career as an offshore construction manager for tier one construction companies including Clough, Technip and Saipem.  Later he worked for Woodside and Chevron as an Offshore Installation Manager for the 70,000Te NRB platform installation and later Thevenard Island Retirement Project. He holds an Executive MBA from UWA and Bachelors degrees in Engineering and Technology from the Australian Maritime College.

In 2011 Matthew and Dr Kervin Yeow cofounded Subcon to provide specialist Blue Solutions for Reef Restoration, Marine Foundations, Stabilisation, Scour and Erosion Control.  The business has grown internationally with offices in Delft, Singapore, Dongguan and Perth and employees over a dozen people full time.


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.


Associate Professor William Glamore
EcoEng Research Group Leader, Water Research Laboratory
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNSW Sydney

Associate Professor William Glamore is the Chair of PIANC ANZ and the leader of the EcoEng Research Group at the Water Research Laboratory, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNSW Sydney. For the past 20+ years, Dr Glamore has been undertaking large nature based solutions projects with several receiving prestigious awards including Engineer Australia’s Excellence Award, the Green Globe Award, the National Trust of Australia’s Natural Heritage Award and PIANC’s Working with Nature certificate. Dr Glamore will be presenting on applied projects related to intertidal wetlands, floating mangroves, oyster reef restoration and ecosystem services.


Dr Marco Ghisalberti
Senior Lecturer
Oceans Graduate School, The University of Western Australia

Dr. Marco Ghisalberti undertakes experimental, computational and field research in environmental fluid mechanics at the University of Western Australia. His specific research interests are around understanding flow-ecosystem interactions in seagrass meadows, coral reefs, kelp forests and permeable sediment beds, particularly the modified flows that govern the capacity of these systems to mitigate risks of coastal flooding and erosion. He is working on (or has recently worked on) multidisciplinary projects on biophysical coupling in these systems funded by the WA Water Corporation, Melbourne Water, the Western Australian Marine Science Institution and the Australian Research Council.


Hans Kemps
Functional Leader – Sustainability and Environment

Hans Kemps is responsible for the development and implementation of the Westport Environment and Social Program that is planning for Western Australia’s future container port. He has 20 years of experience in natural resource management in Western Australia, having spent nine years in government at several different departments and 11 years in the not-for-profit sector. Hans has a diverse work history, with experience in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), marine environmental policy development, marine monitoring, oil spill response, sustainable fisheries certification, marine and fisheries research and the development and production of educational resources on WA marine ecosystems.


Professor Ryan Lowe
Oceans Graduate School and UWA Oceans Institute

Dr Ryan Lowe’s research spans areas of coastal engineering and oceanography, with a focus on the physical processes that govern coastal flooding and erosion, including the role that various ecosystems play in mitigating coastal hazards. Ryan has nearly two decades of experience studying how ecosystems shape coastal processes, including work throughout Australia, Mauritius, Hawaii, Pacific Islands, and in the Caribbean. He is a Program Leader for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and is a member of Australia’s Surface Waves Working Group (Forum for Operational Oceanography). Ryan has contributed internationally to initiatives that advance applications nature-based solutions for coastal protection (especially along tropical reef coastlines), including as co-Lead author for the Reefs chapter of the forthcoming international guidelines manual developed within the Natural and Nature-Based Features International Guidelines Project (international consortium coordinated by the US Army Corps).


Associate Professor Peter Macreadie
Marine Scientist and Global Leader in Blue Carbon

Associate Professor Peter Macreadie is a marine scientist and global leader in blue carbon. His research focuses on understanding and responding to the impacts of global change on aquatic ecosystems (marine and freshwater). He has published 140 papers, including multiple ISI Highly Cited papers. His approach to research is multi-disciplinary, spanning the fields of chemistry, ecology, microbiology, economics, policy, and molecular biology. He is Head of Deakin University’s Blue Carbon Lab (www.bluecarbon.org) and Chairs the Independent Scientific Advisory Board for the National Decommissioning Initiative. Macreadie is actively involved in translating science into policy and sits on several industry and government advisory panels. He is a proud father of three.


Dr Abbie Rogers
Co-Director, Centre for Environmental Economics & Policy
The University of Western Australia

Dr Abbie Rogers is Co-Director of the UWA Centre for Environmental Economics & Policy, and part of the UWA Oceans Institute Leadership team. Her primary research interests are in the application of non-market valuation to estimate community values and preferences for environmental conservation and management, and the extension of this information into associated decision-support tools such as benefit-cost analyses. Many of her applications are focussed on marine and coastal environments, with the objective of improving coastal policy and management through making economic tools more accessible and applicable for decision makers.


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.


A/Prof Peter Todd
Dept. of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore

Associate Professor Peter Todd runs the Experimental Marine Ecology Lab at the National University of Singapore. His research encompasses a range of tropical nearshore organisms and communities, and includes the impacts of human activity and urbanisation. His research is interdisciplinary—synthesising elements of biology, geography, and engineering to answer ecological and environmental questions. He specialises in designing, fabricating, implementing, and analysing novel experiments and his studies generate large quantities of new data. Dr Todd’s findings have both local and international relevance and contribute towards fundamental scientific knowledge as well as providing technical input for conservation 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