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Mike Hilton

Position:

Associate Professor

Qualifications:MA PhD(Auck)

Office Hours:

by email appointment

 

Teaching

GEOG397 Environmental Management
GEOG474 Coastal Management


Research Interests

My research occurs within geomorphology with connections to ecology and conservation management. It is primarily concerned with the aeolian geomorphology, ecology and restoration of sandy coasts, with a particular focus on coastal dune systems. Within these systems I am particularly interested in the geomorphology of foredunes, since the dynamics and stability of this type of coastal dune is important to society because of their coastal hazard defence function, and because they are functionally connected to the development of hinterland dune systems.

Key research questions:-

  1. What processes determine rates and patterns of sand deposition and erosion in foredunes. I am currently examining the impact changing wind directionality will have on foredune/dune system development?
  2. What impact do alien sand-binding species have on dune morphology, dune ecology and dune system development in temperate dune systems? And what are the consequences of releasing this sand when restoration involves devegetation?
  3. How will natural and modified dune systems respond to future environmental change, particularly eustatic sea-level rise and increased storm frequency/severity due to global warming?
  4. How can dune systems on developed (metropolitan) coasts be engineered to maximize ecosystem services, including hazard management, amenity value and biodiversity?

These questions are of fundamental importance in Geography and Geomorphology, but they are also germane to a range of contemporary resource management issues.

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Current Research Projects

Patterns and processes of Ammophila arenaria (marram grass) dispersal and invasion in New Zealand
Marram grass has degraded the geomorphology and flora of most New Zealand dune systems. It was planted throughout New Zealand in the late 1800s and through the 1900s, but has clearly become naturalised and dispersed beyond intentional plantings. This research is particularly concerned with how marram grass is dispersed, as sea-rafted rhizome and wind-blown seed. Work during 2004 established that marram rhizome is commonly washed into the sea during episodes of foredune scarping and can float, strand and establish new colonies after at least 30 days in seawater. This work is concerned with the probability of marram grass colonising isolated and relatively pristine dune systems and the likelihood of it re-infesting recently restored dune systems in Fiordland and on Stewart Island. see more...

Click here to view recent Research Grants

Professional Affiliations and Membership

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Postgraduate Supervision

PhD

  • Buckley, E. Sedimentation and dune development following foredune restoration, Mason Bay, Stewart Island. Master of Science, University of Otago (June 2015).
  • W. Pattanapol (2010), ‘Wind Flow over Complex Topography’, Doctor of Philosophy, University of Otago.
  • Hetherington, J. Dune vegetation restoration following Lupinus arboreus eradication. Doctor of Philosophy, University of Otago.
  • Konlechner, T. Marine dispersal of Ammophila arenaria. Doctor of Philosophy, University of Otago.
  • Chen, B. Beach gravel abrasion. Department of Geography, Doctor of Philosophy, University of Otago.

Master of Science

  • Lyttle, K. The perception of dune restoration programmes. Master of Science Communication, University of Otago (2014).
  • MacLachlan, K. Temporal and spatial dynamics of the seed bank of Ammophila arenaria (marram grass). Master of Science, University of Otago (2014).
  • Fordyce, E. Sea-level rise and groundwater levels in South Dunedin. Master of Applied Science, University of Otago (2014).
  • Kelly, M. Marram-forced foredune progradation in southern New Zealand. Master of Science, University of Otago (2012).
  • Lim, D. The importance of seed in the invasion of active dune systems by marram grass (Ammophila arenaia). Master of Applied Science (Distinction), University of Otago (2010).
  • Hart, A. Plant-Geomorphology Interactions in an Active Long-Walled Parabolic Dune System, Stewart Island. Master of Science (Distinction), University of Otago (2004).
  • Pope, P. A Comparison of the Seed Ecology of Desmoschoenus spiralis and Ammophila arenaria. Master of Science (Distinction), University of Otago (2004).
  • Woodley, D. Secondary Dune Development and Vegetation Change Following Marram Grass Eradication, Doughboy Bay, Stewart Island. Master of Science (Distinction), University of Otago (2003).
  • Dixon, P. Mechanisms of Secondary Dune Development, Tahakopa Bay, Southern New Zealand. Master of Science (Distinction), University of Otago (2003).
  • Sibbmark, T. A Processed-based Classification of a Duneland Ecosystem, Mason Bay, Stewart Island. Master of Science, Uppsala University, Sweden (2000).
  • Duncan, M. The Impact of Marram Grass (Ammophila arenaria) on Indigenous Dune Plant Diversity. Master of Science (Credit), University of Otago (2000).

Master of Planning

  • Cummins, J. The decision to armor or move low-lying coastal roads. Master of Planning, University of Otago (November 2015).
  • Scouller, A. An Evaluation of Coastal Setback Methodologies in New Zealand.. Master of Planning (Credit), University of Otago (2010).
  • Earle, M. Evaluation of Fisheries Management models, Marlborough Sounds. Master of Planning (Credit), University of Otago (2009).
  • Moore, C. Local Authority Coastal MonitoringMaster of Planning (Credit), University of Otago (2008).
  • Speedy, J. Changing Patterns of Public Access to the Coast, Papamoa, Bay of Plenty. Master of Planning (Distinction), University of Otago (2007).
  • James, K. Planning for Wetland Conservation Under Rising Sea Levels. Master of Planning (Distinction), University of Otago (2000).
  • Day, R. Community-Based Environmental Monitoring. Master of Planning (Credit), University of Otago (1999).
  • Kolff, T. Management Implications of Extending National Parks Across the Coastline. Master of Planning (Credit), University of Otago (1999).
  • Moran, A. An Evaluation of Planning Methods Used to Manage Cumulative Environmental Change. Master of Planning (Distinction), University of Otago (1997).
  • Ingle, C. Monitoring Indigenous Ecosystems: The Role of Local Authorities Under the Resource Management Act 1991. Master of Planning (Credit), University of Otago (1996).
  • Russel, C. Environmental Impact Assessment and Development Planning: A Bahamas Perspective. Master of Planning (Credit), University of Otago (1995).

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Publications

Hilton, M., Nickling, B., Wakes, S., Sherman, D., Konlechner, T., Jermy, M., & Geoghegan, P. (2017). An efficient, self-orienting, vertical-array, sand trap. Aeolian Research, 25, 11-21. doi: 10.1016/j.aeolia.2017.01.003

Konlechner, T. M., Orlovich, D. A., & Hilton, M. J. (2016). Restrictions in the sprouting ability of an invasive coastal plant, Ammophila arenaria, from fragmented rhizomes. Plant Ecology, 217(5), 521-532. doi: 10.1007/s11258-016-0597-6

Wakes, S. J., Hilton, M. J., & Konlechner, T. (2016). Topographic steering of oblique incident winds across a foredune-parabolic topography, Mason Bay, Stewart Island, New Zealand. Journal of Coastal Research, 75(Spec. Iss.), 343-347. doi: 10.2112/SI75-069.1

Hilton, M. J., Hatcher, S. V., Wakes, S. J., & Konlechner, T. M. (2016). Flow deflection and deceleration across a simple foredune. Journal of Coastal Research, (Spec. Iss. 75), (pp. 293-297). doi: 10.2112/SI75-059.1

Konlechner, T. M., Buckley, E. E. C. B., Hilton, M. J., & Wakes, S. J. (2016). Downwind dune dynamics following Ammophila arenaria invasion. Journal of Coastal Research, 1(Spec. Iss. 75), (pp. 298-302). doi: 10.2112/SI75-60.1

Authored Book - Research

Hilton, M. J. (2000). The Sand Dunes of Kawakaputa Bay and Haldane Bay, Southland. Department of Conservation, Wellington: Conservation Advisory Science Notes NO. 275, 12p.

Hilton, M., Macauley, U., & Henderson, R. (2000). Inventory of New Zealand's active dunelands: Science for Conservation 157. Wellington, New Zealand: Department of Conservation, 29p.

Ingle, C., & Hilton, M. J. (1997). Indigenous Habitat Monitoring Under the Resource Management Act 1991. (Publication / Environmental Policy and Management Research Centre, no.9). Dunedin: Environmental Policy and Management Research Centr, 93p.

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Authored Book - Other

Hilton, M., & Konlechner, T. (2005). A report on the sand dunes of Hakapureirei (Sandhill Point) for the Department of Conservation (Southland) & Te Runaka o Oraka-Aparima. Dunedin, New Zealand: Southern Dune Research Group, University of Otago, 14p.

Hilton, M., Woodley, D., Hart, A., & Arbuckle, C. (2003). The impact of marram grass eradication in the southern dunes of Doughboy Bay, Rakiura National Park, Stewart Island: A report to the Department of Conservation (Southland). Dunedin, New Zealand: Department of Geography, University of Otago, 66p.

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Chapter in Book - Research

Hesp, P. A., & Hilton, M. J. (2013). Restoration of foredunes and transgressive dunefields: Case studies from New Zealand. In L. M. Martinez, J. B. Gallego-Fernández & P. A. Hesp (Eds.), Restoration of coastal dunes. (pp. 67-92). Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-33445-0

Harvey, N., & Hilton, M. (2006). Coastal management in the Asia-Pacific region. In N. Harvey (Ed.), Global change and integrated coastal management: The Asia-Pacific region. (pp. 39-66). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. doi: 10.1007/1-4020-3628-0

Hilton, M., Nichol, S., & Goff, J. (2003). Offshore sand systems: Geomorphology annd management. In J. R. Goff, S. L. Nichol & H. L. Rouse (Eds.), The New Zealand coast: Te tai o Aotearoa. (pp. 97-118). Palmerston North: Dunmore Press.

Hilton, M. J. (2000). Regional coastal plans. In A. Memon & H. Perkins (Eds.), Environmental Planning in New Zealand, 2nd Edition. (pp. 223-227). Christchurch: Dunmore Press.

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Chapter in Book - Other

Hilton, M. (2004). APN Global Change Coastal Management Workshop, Kobe, Japan, November, 2004. In N. Harvey, M. Rice & L. Stevenson (Eds.), APN: Global change coastal zone management synthesis report. (pp. 1-37). Japan: APN.

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Journal - Research Article

Hilton, M., Nickling, B., Wakes, S., Sherman, D., Konlechner, T., Jermy, M., & Geoghegan, P. (2017). An efficient, self-orienting, vertical-array, sand trap. Aeolian Research, 25, 11-21. doi: 10.1016/j.aeolia.2017.01.003

Konlechner, T. M., Orlovich, D. A., & Hilton, M. J. (2016). Restrictions in the sprouting ability of an invasive coastal plant, Ammophila arenaria, from fragmented rhizomes. Plant Ecology, 217(5), 521-532. doi: 10.1007/s11258-016-0597-6

Wakes, S. J., Hilton, M. J., & Konlechner, T. (2016). Topographic steering of oblique incident winds across a foredune-parabolic topography, Mason Bay, Stewart Island, New Zealand. Journal of Coastal Research, 75(Spec. Iss.), 343-347. doi: 10.2112/SI75-069.1

Lai, S., Loke, L. H. L., Hilton, M. J., Bouma, T. J., & Todd, P. A. (2015). The effects of urbanisation on coastal habitats and the potential for ecological engineering: A Singapore case study. Ocean & Coastal Management, 103, 78-85. doi: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2014.11.006

Konlechner, T. M., Ryu, W., Hilton, M. J., & Sherman, D. J. (2015). Evolution of foredune texture following dynamic restoration, Doughboy Bay, Stewart Island, New Zealand. Aeolian Research, 19, 203-214. doi: 10.1016/j.aeolia.2015.06.003

Konlechner, T. M., Hilton, M. J., & Lord, J. M. (2015). Plant community response following the removal of the invasive Lupinus arboreus in a coastal dune system. Restoration Ecology, 23(5), 607-614. doi: 10.1111/rec.12234

Konlechner, T. M., Hilton, M. J., & Orlovich, D. A. (2013). Accommodation space limits plant invasion: Ammophila arenaria survival on New Zealand beaches. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 17(3), 463-472. doi: 10.1007/s11852-013-0244-5

Hart, A. T., Hilton, M. J., Wakes, S. J., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2012). The impact of Ammophila arenaria foredune development on downwind aerodynamics and parabolic dune development. Journal of Coastal Research, 28(1), 112-122. doi: 10.2112/jcoastres-d-10-00058.1

Petersen, P. S., Hilton, M. J., & Wakes, S. J. (2011). Evidence of aeolian sediment transport across an Ammophila arenaria-dominated foredune, Mason Bay, Stewart Island. New Zealand Geographer, 67(3), 174-189. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-7939.2011.01210.x

Wakes, S. J., Maegli, T., Dickinson, K. J., & Hilton, M. J. (2010). Numerical modelling of wind flow over a complex topography. Environmental Modelling & Software, 25(2), 237-247. doi: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2009.08.003

Spronken-Smith, R., & Hilton, M. (2009). Recapturing quality field experiences and strengthening teaching-research links. New Zealand Geographer, 65(2), 139-146. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-7939.2009.01156.x

Pattanapol, W., Wakes, S. J., Hilton, M. J., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2008). Modeling of surface roughness for flow over a complex vegetated surface. International Journal of Mathematical, Physical & Engineering Sciences, 2(1), 18-26.

Kench, P. S., Bryan, K. R., Hart, D. E., Kennedy, D. M., & Hilton, M. J. (2008). A commentary on coastal research in New Zealand universities. New Zealand Geographer, 64(2), 93-104.

Pattanapol, W., Wakes, S. J., Hilton, M. J., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2007). Modeling of surface roughness for flow over a complex vegetated surface. Proceedings of World Academy of Science, Engineering & Technology, 32, 273-281.

Hilton, M., Harvey, N., & James, K. (2007). The impact and management of exotic dune grasses near the mouth of the Murray River, South Australia. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 14(4), 220-230.

More publications...