Jonathan Nott

Executive Committee (Adjunct Professor, College of Science and Engineering)

Professor Jon Nott came to the JCU Cairns, Nguma-bada campus, Smithfield, at its opening in June 1995. Before that he was based at the Australian National University, Canberra and prior to that at what was then known as the Northern Territory University (now CDU) Darwin. He obtained his PhD from the University of Wollongong in 1991.

Professor Nott’s research focuses on the reconstruction of environmental change and long-term records of extreme events such as tropical cyclones, tsunamis and river floods. He has made several world first contributions in the area of palaeohazards research. He has been the first to develop a long-term, high resolution record of tropical cyclones using isotopes of past cyclone rains in a calcite stalagmite. Such records allow identification of a range of different intensity events at annual, decadal to centennial scale. He also uses coastal sedimentary deposits to reconstruct long-term tropical cyclone histories. As part of this research he pioneered a method to determine palaeo-cyclone intensities (central pressures) so that we can now understand the frequency and magnitude of the most intense cyclone events over periods of thousands of years. Professor Nott was also the first to develop hydrodynamic equations of boulder movement by coastal waves (tropical cyclone and tsunami) so that it is possible to reconstruct extreme past wave events at the coast. He has also been instrumental in understanding the long-term behaviour of many different natural hazards (tsunamis, terrestrial floods and storm tides and waves) and applying this to hazard risk assessments. He has written the first book on reconstructing long-term records of natural hazards titled ‘Extreme Events – Physical Reconstruction and Risk assessment’ published in 2006 by Cambridge University Press (UK).

Professor Nott has undertaken numerous post-hazard event surveys around northern Australia, the Pacific and Asia. He has examined the impact of the majority of the severe tropical cyclone impacts across the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland over the past 20 years. He has also examined the impacts of large tsunamis in Asia and Papua New Guinea and the Pacific.

Professor Nott has published 90 articles in fully refereed journals and book chapters. He senior authored ~90% of these articles. He was also the sole author of 52% of these articles and 70% of these articles are published in international journals.