Research output per year

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Personal profile


I have over 17 years’ experience in hydrological and hydrogeological research and consulting. After completing an applied maths degrees and environmental degree at Monash, I spent 5 years working at SKM Consulting within the catchment planning group, working on both surface water and groundwater projects within the Melbourne and regional Victorian offices. Following a year in Hanoi, Vitenam, with AusAID I commenced a PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2005. My PhD (completed 2009) presented pioneering work on catchment resilience and multiple steady states (http://hdl.handle.net/11343/35439) and I was subsequently awarded an Australian Research Council Post-doctoral Fellowship to continue this research at the University of Melbourne.

From 2010-2019, I was a research fellow/senior research fellow at the University of Melbourne, Department of Infrastructure Engineering. During this time I have attracted multiple Australian Research Council Linkage projects and industry research funding, including the hydrology component of the Victorian Government Water and Climate Initiative, and worked closely with state and federal government agencies.

From October 2019, I moved to Monash to take up a senior lecturer position.

Research interests

I focus on detecting long-term change in catchment hydrological processes and drivers early enough so that society can act. Central to this is understanding when and where catchments do and do not recovery from disturbances, such as droughts or land cover change. To achieve these insights, I generally use numerical models to frame the questions and statistical analysis of long-term observation data to answer the questions - an approach with provides insights and requires few assumptions.

All of my research is focused on social-outcomes and I strive to place my research within Pasteur's quadrant; that is, advancing both fundamental understanding and applied outcomes. To achieve this, I work closely with state and federal governments and engineering consultancies and in collaboration with them I have developed the following industry-adopted open-source packages:

  • HydroSight is a highly flexible statistical package (with a graphical interface) for deriving quantitative insights value from groundwater monitoring data. HydroSight has been adopted by the Bureau of Meteorology and state government agencies and many consultants and has been downloaded >765 times from many countries.
  • HydroMap is a powerful R package for kriging interpolation of sparse groundwater level observations - that is, groundwater potentiometry. HydroMap has been adopted by the Bureau of Meteorology for the National Water Accounts.
  • AWAPer is an R package for the efficient extraction of daily catchment average precipitation, Tmin, Tmax, vapour pressure, solar radiation and estimation of areal potential evaporation anywhere within Australia.
  • Catchment Resilience Model is hillslope Boussinesq semi-distributed hydrological model for quantitively understanding hydrological positive feedbacks, resilience and attractors.

Currently, I am developing time-series statistical approaches for understanding when and where rainfall runoff has not recovered from droughts. This project is heavily supported by the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), and get some insights into this work see my presentation at the DELWP Science Day.

Education/Academic qualification

Catchment hydrology, PhD, University of Melbourne

Catchment hydrology, Bachelor of Environmental Engineering (Honours, 1st Class), MONASH UNIVERSITY

Aapplied mathematics, Bachelor of Science, MONASH UNIVERSITY

External positions

Honourary senior research fellow, University of Melbourne

7 Oct 20197 Oct 2022

Research area keywords

  • Hydrolological resilience
  • groundwater hydrology
  • Time series analysis
  • Geostatistics
  • Environmental management
  • Environmental modelling

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output

AWAPer: an R package for area weighted catchment daily meteorological data anywhere within Australia

Peterson, T. J., Wasko, C., Saft, M. & Peel, M. C., 1 Dec 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Hydrological Processes. 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Do groundwater management plans work? Modelling the effectiveness of groundwater management scenarios

White, E. K., Costelloe, J., Peterson, T. J., Western, A. W. & Carrara, E., 1 Nov 2019, In : Hydrogeology Journal. 27, 7, p. 2447-2470 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Equifinality and flux mapping: a new approach to model evaluation and process representation under uncertainty

Khatami, S., Peel, M. C., Peterson, T. J. & Western, A. W., Nov 2019, In : Water Resources Research. 55, 11, p. 8922-8941 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Joint estimation of gross recharge, groundwater usage, and hydraulic properties within HydroSight

Peterson, T. J. & Fulton, S., Nov 2019, In : Groundwater. 57, 6, p. 860-876 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Error propagation in computer models: analytic approaches, advantages, disadvantages and constraints

Benke, K. K., Norng, S., Robinson, N. J., Benke, L. R. & Peterson, T. J., Oct 2018, In : Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment. 32, 10, p. 2971-2985 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship (Industry)

Tim Peterson (Recipient), 1 Mar 2010

Prize: Competitive Fellowships

Early Career Research Excellence Award

Tim Peterson (Recipient), 3 Dec 2015

Prize: National/international honour