14th Annual Summit, May 3-4, 2017

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2014 Sustainability Summit and Exposition

Principal Speakers
Neil Coles

Neil Coles

Director, Centre for Hydrology, University of Western Australia

PLENARY SESSION 3: Freshwater Challenges: Global and Local
March 26, 2014, 11:00 a.m.
Professor Coles has over twenty five years experience in the agricultural, water resources and mining sectors in Queensland, Western Australia, France and the UK. He obtained a degree in geology and hydrology at James Cook University (1985), and after a three year stint as an exploration geologist, he undertook a PhD in catchment hydrology (completed 1993) at UWA. He lectured at Queen Mary & Westfield College, University of London as a post-doc (1993-94) before returning to Australia to work as a principle consulting hydro-geologist in the mining industry. In 1996 he accepted a post-doc research fellowship at the Institute National Reschere Agronomique, Science du Sol et Hydrologie, Avignon. France. On returning to Australia, Professor Coles accepted a position with the Department of Agriculture WA, in 1998, and where he continued his research in farm water resources, soil conservation and drainage, catchment hydrology and landscape dynamics. He has a strong background in catchment rainfall-runoff modelling, soil water dynamics and water resource assessment and design. Professor Coles continued to develop career critical skills during this time and was awarded a Diploma in Computer Studies from Murdoch University (2005), and completed a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne (2009). Professor Coles was employed with the Department of Agriculture and Food WA for over a decade before being appointed as the Director for the WA State Centre of Excellence for Ecohydrology based at the Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics (FECM), UWA in 2009. The Centre has a wide range of projects and research areas that link water with agriculture, ecosystems, landscape functionality, climate change and sustainability within a catchment context. His current research focus is on applying this multidisciplinary approach to the management of multifunctional catchments through an improved understanding of integrated catchment dynamics and processes at multiple scales. This approach will harmonize the different and varied uses of water in catchments by industry, the environment and the community by integrating science with, decision support systems for land and water managers; and more effective policy and governance frameworks.
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