Academic Profile : Faculty

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Prof Adam Douglas Switzer
Director, Undergraduate Research Experience on Campus (URECA), Asian School of the Environment
Professor, Asian School of the Environment
Assistant Dean (Development), College of Science
Director of CIFAL@NTU, Asian School of the Environment
Director, Undergraduate Research Experience on Campus (URECA), Undergraduate Research Experience on Campus Programme Office
Adam Switzer holds concurrent positions as Professor of Coastal Science at the Asian School of the Environment; Assistant Dean (Development) at the College of Science; Director of Undergraduate Research Experience on Campus (URECA); Director of CIFAL Singapore and Principal Investigator at the Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS). He is a broadly trained coastal geoscientist and the overarching driver of his research is to apply interdisciplinary geoscience to solve contemporary coastal problems at local, regional and international scales.

His main research areas investigate catastrophic marine inundation events (tsunami or large storms), sea level changes, the evolution of coral reefs and tropical coastal systems. After obtaining a BSc and PhD in Geosciences from the University of Wollongong, Australia he accepted an Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong fellowship to study at The University of Hong Kong where he held positions as Post-Doctoral Fellow and Research Assistant Professor.

Adam is an internationally recognised expert in coastal science. In the field of coastal hazards Adam has pioneered the study of storm and tsunami deposits with studies in Australia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia. Here, he focuses on the use of geophysical techniques like Ground Penetrating Radar and the sedimentary study of sand and boulders deposited by extreme events. His Quaternary geology work focuses on the coastal evolution of tropical coastal systems in Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and China where he uses geological techniques to reconstruct past environmental change and investigate the role of sea level change, climate variability and human influence on the evolution of tropical and sub-tropical coastal systems. His work on coral reefs and tropical coasts focuses on coral records of environmental change including the study of past ocean changes, pollutants, storm and tsunami events and heavy metal sedimentation.

His research program at the Earth Observatory of Singapore aims to facilitate the development of safer and more sustainable communities in Asia. His research group focusses on Asia and currently involves collaborations with people from ten Asian nations. In 2022 he was awarded the Wing Ip medal by the Asia Oceania Geoscience Society for unselfish co-operation and leadership in Geoscience in the Asia Oceania region.

Adam he has been PI or Co-I on 20 grants in Singapore (worth >$18M) and he has authorship on >100 peer-review publications. He was a founding editorial board member of the journal Communications Earth and Environment from Nature. Adam is also passionate about science communication and has appeared in documentaries for Mediacorp (Singapore), Curiosity Channel (Discovery) and BBC (UK) and delivered invited talks a numerous international venues including the World Economic Forum.
Adam Switzer is an internationally recognized coastal scientist with research interests in :
* tsunamis
* tropical cyclones and large storms
* sea level changes
* coral reefs and tropical coasts
* tsunami and storm surge modelling
* climate change impacts in coastal systems
* Ground Penetrating Radar
  • An enhanced tsunami risk assessment for Singapore and Singapore waters
  • Asessing Extreme Sea Level Exposure for Singapore and the central Sunda Shelf Region
  • Baseline data collection and projections of the impacts of Climate Change on Singapore’s offshore water resources
  • Climate Transformation Programme
  • Climate Transformation Programme - Cluster 1 (Adam Switzer)
  • Climate Transformation Programme - Cluster 1 (Edward Park)
  • Climate Transformation Programme - Cluster 1 (Jingyu Wang)
  • Climate Transformation Programme - Cluster 1 (Wang Xianfeng)
  • Climate Transformation Programme - Cluster 1 (Winston Chow)
  • Developing multi-disciplinary observations and novel datasets across the humanities and geosciences to address cyclone risk in northeast India
  • GAIP Climate Impacts Initiative
  • Integrating Volcano and Earthquake Science and Technology (InVEST) in Southeast Asia
  • Monitoring and Forecasting of Land-Height Change, Coastline Retreat and Coastal Flooding around Southeast Asia using Geodesy and Remote Sensing
  • Southeast Asia SEA-Level Program (SEA2)
2022 Wing ip Medal : Asia Oceania Geoscience Society
2010 Teaching Excellence Award (School : SPMS)
2010 National Research Foundation (NRF) Fellowship.
2010 Nanyang Assistant Professorship.
2005 Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Research Fellowship
Fellowships & Other Recognition
2016 Research Highlight from American Geophysical Union
2013 Distinguished Presentation Award, International Estuaries Conference ECSA
Courses Taught
Sedimentary Geology ES2004
Climate Change ES1007/CY1007
Supervision of PhD Students
* Jun Yu Puah, 2021 - present : Investigating the nature and periodicity of dangerous currents in Singapore waters
* Elaine Tan, 2021 - present : Revisiting tsunami risk to Singapore and the Riau Islands
* Rahul Kumar, 2020 - present : Paleotempestology of the northeast Indian coast
* Jiamin Xu, 2020 - present : Storm surge assessments for East and Southeast Asia

* Yuting Yan, 2018-2023 : Quaternary environmental changes recorded in sediment records from the upper Kallang basin Singapore.
* Raquel Felix, 2018-2023 : The Sensitivity Of Tsunami Models And Tsunami Energy To Geologically Constrained Fault Sources And Shallow Bathymetry
* Wenshu Yap, 2016-2022 : Metagenomics of storm and tsunami deposits in coastal environments.
* Ahmad Taufiq Bin Mohamed Mohtar, 2016-2021 : Reconstruction of intensity and frequency of El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events over the past 400 years.
* Constance Chua, 2015-2021 : Considering port hazards through the reinsurance lens: What’s at risk and why?
* Stephen Chua, 2014-2019 : Quaternary Palaeoenvironments of the Kallang River Basin, Singapore.
* Kumar Anupam, 2013-2019, Modelling and Forecasting Northeasterly Cold Surges during the East Asian Winter Monsoon.
* Jedrzej Majewski, 2012-2017, Holocene relative sea-level records from coral microatolls in Western Borneo, South China Sea
* Lea Soria, 2011-2016 : Geomorphic and Sedimentologic Imprints of Typhoons Durian and Haiyan Storm Surges on the Philippine Coast
* Dat Tien Pham, 2011-2016 : Statistical treatments for coastal hazard datasets: case studies on over washover sedimentation from storms and tsunami and sea level records from tide gauges
* Lau Ai Yi Annie (NUS), 2011-2015 : Assessing coastal hazards with high-energy wave-deposited boulders: Case studies from three tropical Pacific Islands
* Chen Mengli, 2010-2015 : A study of the regional “sources” and “fluxes” of lead (Pb) using bulk Pb and Pb isotopes in corals
* Chiu Hon Chim, 2008-2011 : Sedimentology and geomorphology of modern and relict lake systems in Tibet