Dr Tony Thomas BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD

Senior Research Associate

Swansea

E-mail: tony.thomas@uwtsd.ac.uk

silhouette

  • Undertaking coastal zone monitoring
  • Analysing data
  • Writing and producing scientific publications
  • Teaching Surveying procedures and practice.
  • PhD student dissertation supervision

Dr Thomas has extensive experience of construction, civil and coastal engineering project management, including expertise in shoreline monitoring techniques, participating in and managing more than 30 projects with a total value exceeding £40million.

Although working in positions outside academia, Dr Thomas has published research findings in high impact journals and made significant contributions to knowledge. Civil engineering expertise enabled me to integrate mathematical analyses of waves, tides and currents alongside geographical dimensions, including infrastructure. I have extensive field surveying expertise related to construction and coastal monitoring. Industrial experience enabled me keep abreast with modern technological developments in survey instrumentation as well as keeping a firm grasp of the basic principles behind many surveying techniques.  I am familiar with the latest surveying equipment such as DGPS and analysis software packages to produce ground models, etc. and knowledge of material specifications, common field sampling techniques and testing.

I have collaborated in coastal research projects and published joint papers with academics in Cadiz Spain, The Azores, Portugal and Jizan, Saudia Arabia. I have advised a number of PhD students with regard to coastal morphodynamics and computer simulated wave models.

My main academic interests revolve around coastal zone management, particularly morphological responses to variations in wind and wave regimes, Atmospheric pressure gradients and climate change such as sea level variation.

  • Rotation Phenomena in both embayed and open coast beach environments.
  • Sandy beach response to variations in environmental forcing
  • Wave and shoreline modelling within the Coastal Engineering Design and Analysis System (CEDAS)
  • Beach surface modelling techniques including
    • dGPS surveys
    • Terrestrial laser scanning
    • Traditional Total Station and Robotic surveys
  • Analysis of data in GIS 

Extensive knowledge has been developed of shoreline change in response to physical processes and the wider implications of climate impacts, including NAO influences. My major research interests include shoreline morphological responses to variations in teleconnection patterns, wind and wave conditions including sea level rise. With contributions to the academic literature, a significant number in the top quartile ranked journals in geoscience, environmental science and geography, major work includes:

2010: established links between macrotidal embayed beach evolution and variations in wind speed and directional change at centurial timescales.

2011: Demonstrated for the first time in the northern hemisphere, that timelagged relationships existed between short/medium timescale macrotidal embayed beach rotation and variations in teleconnection patterns that influenced wind and wave dynamics.

2011: Showed that multi-century alongshore migration and eventual destruction of a sandspit were linked to variations in teleconnection patterns and beach rotation phenomena.

2012: Established for the first time that beach rotation phenomena exist on open coast macrotidal beaches.

2014: Established links between environmental forcing, the location of offshore islands and the evolution of embayed beaches at both short and medium timescales.

2014: Demonstrated that long term sand spit evolution contributed to inland flooding.

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T., Duck, R.W., 2014. Relationships between sand spit evolution, environmental forcing and inland inundation. In Green, A.N. and Cooper, J.A.G. (eds) 13th International Symposium (Durban, South Africa). Journal of Coastal Research, SI 70, pp. 072-077.

Rangel- Buitrago, N., Anfuso, G., Alvarez, O., Phillips, M., Thomas, T., and Forero, M., 2014. Characterization of wave climate and extreme events into the SW Spanish and Wales Coasts as a first step to define their wave energy. In Green, A.N. and Cooper, J.A.G. (eds) 13th International Symposium (Durban, South Africa). Journal of Coastal Research, SI 70, pp. 314-319.

K, Ng., Phillips, M.R., Borges, P., Thomas, T., August, P., Calado, K., Veloso-Gomes, F., 2014. Maintaining a way of life for Sao Miguel Island (the Azores archipelago, Portugal): An assessment of coastal processes and protection. Science of the Total Environment. 481, 152-156.

Thomas, T., Lynch, S.L., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T. 2014.Long-term evolution of a sand spit, physical forcing and links to coastal flooding. Applied Geography, 53, 187-201.

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T., Jenkins, R.E., 2014. Links between environmental forcing, offshore islands and a macro-tidal Headland-Bound Bay Beach. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 39,143-155.

Phillips, M. R., Rees, E., Thomas, T., 2013. Winds, sea levels and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) influences: an evaluation. Global and Planetary Change.100, 145-152.

Thomas, T., Phillips, M. R., Williams, A. T., 2013. A Centurial Record of Beach Rotation. In Conley, D.C., Masselink, G., Russell, P.S. and O’hare, T.J., (eds) Proceedings 12th International Symposium (Plymouth, Devon, UK). Journal of Coastal Research, SI 65, pp. 594-599.

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T., Jenkins, R.E., 2012. Rotation on two open coast macrotidal beaches. Applied Geography, 335, 363-376.

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T., Jenkins, R.E., 2012. Medium time-scale behaviour of adjacent embayed beaches: influence of low energy external forcing. Applied Geography, 32, 265-280.

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T., Jenkins, R.E., 2011. Medium timescale beach rotation: Gale climate and offshore island influences. Geomorphology, 135, 97-107.

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T., 2011. Sheltering effects of an offshore island: short-term morphological response of a macro-tidal beach. In Furmananczyk, k., Giza, A. and Terefenko, P. (eds) Procedings of the 11th International Coastal Symposium (Szczecin, Poland). Journal of Coastal Research, SI64, 1204-1208.

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T., Jenkins, R.E., 2011. A Multi-century record of linked nearshore and coastal change. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 36, 995-1006.

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams, A.T., Jenkins, R.E., 2011. Short-term beach rotation, wave climate and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Progress in Physical Geography, 35(3), 333-352.

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Williams A.T., 2010. Mesoscale evolution of a headland bay: Beach rotation Process, Geomorphology, 123, 129-141.

Fairley, I.A., Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R. and Reeve, D. (In press) Terrestrial laser scanner techniques for enhancement in understanding of coastal environments. Springer Science + Business Media, Dordrecht

Oakley, J.A., Jenkins, R.E., Thomas, T., Williams, A.T. and Phillips, M.R. (2016). Assessing harbour porpoise populations in south-west Wales, data issues and implications for conservation and management. Ocean and Coastal Management. Vol 119: 45-57.

Denner, K., Phillips, M.R., Jenkins, R.E. and Thomas, T. (2015). A coastal vulnerability and environmental risk assessment of Loughor Estuary, South Wales. Ocean and Coastal Management. Vol 116: 478-490.

Thomas, T., Rangel-Buitrago, N., Phillips, M. R., Anfuso. G. and Williams, A.T. (2015). Mesoscale morphological change, beach rotation and storm climate influences along a macrotidal embayed beach. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (Open Access) Vol 3: 1006-1026.

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R. and Lock, G. (2015). An analysis of subaerial beach rotation and influences of environmental forcing adjacent to the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. Applied Geography. Vol 62: 276-293.

Ng, K., Thomas, T., Phillips M.R., Borges, P., Calado, H. and Veloso-Gomes, F. (2015). Multifunctional artificial reefs for small islands: An evaluation of amenity and opportunity for São Miguel Island, the Azores. Progress in Physical Geography. Vol. 39(2): 220–257.

Thomas, T., Williams, A., Rangel-Buitrago, N., Phillips, M. and Anfuso, G., 2016. Assessing Embayed Equilibrium State, Beach Rotation and Environmental Forcing Influences; Tenby Southwest Wales, UK. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 4(2), p.30.

Rangel-Buitrago, N.G., Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Anfuso, G. and Williams, A.T., 2016. Wave Climate, Storminess, and Northern Hemisphere Teleconnection Patterns Influences: The Outer Bristol Channel, South Wales, UK. Journal of Coastal Research.

Thomas, T., Rangel-Buitrago, N., Phillips, M.R., Anfuso, G., Williams, A.T. and A. Oakley, J., 2016. Subaerial Rotation on an Open Coast Beach: Pendine West Wales, UK. Journal of Coastal Research, pp.482-486.

Refereed Journal papers

Oakley, J.A., Jenkins, R.E., Thomas, T., Williams, A.T. and Phillips, M.R. (2016). Assessing harbour porpoise populations in south-west Wales, data issues and implications for conservation and management. Ocean and Coastal Management. Vol 119: 45-57.

Rangel-Buitrago, N.G., Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R., Anfuso, G. and Williams, A.T. (In press) Wave climate, storminess and northern hemisphere teleconnection patterns influences: the outer Bristol Channel, South Wales, UK. Journal of Coastal Research

Denner, K., Phillips, M.R., Jenkins, R.E. and Thomas, T. (2015). A coastal vulnerability and environmental risk assessment of Loughor Estuary, South Wales. Ocean and Coastal Management. Vol 116: 478-490.

Thomas, T., Rangel-Buitrago, N., Phillips, M. R., Anfuso. G. and Williams, A.T. (2015). Mesoscale morphological change, beach rotation and storm climate influences along a macrotidal embayed beach. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (Open Access) Vol 3: 1006-1026.

Thomas, T., Phillips, M.R. and Lock, G. (2015). An analysis of subaerial beach rotation and influences of environmental forcing adjacent to the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. Applied Geography. Vol 62: 276-293.

Ng, K., Thomas, T., Phillips M.R., Borges, P., Calado, H. and Veloso-Gomes, F. (2015). Multifunctional artificial reefs for small islands: An evaluation of amenity and opportunity for São Miguel Island, the Azores. Progress in Physical Geography. Vol. 39(2): 220–257.