Dr Brooks is a Senior Research Fellow with the Australian Rivers Institute at Griffith University. He completed his PhD at Macquarie University in 1999 and subsequently led several research projects focusing on improving methods for undertaking river restoration, before shifting his focus to northern Australia. He has spent the best part of the last decade undertaking research on the geomorphology of Australia’s tropical rivers – particularly throughout the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York.
As part of the first phase of TRaCK research, along with colleagues John Spencer, Jeff Shellberg and Jon Knight at ARI, Dr Brooks has highlighted the significance of alluvial gully erosion as a key landscape denudation process and has led several research projects that have highlighted the sensitivity of the tropical savanna to erosion – be it associated with disturbances such as overgrazing, poorly designed roads or mining.
He has also undertaken research on sediment transport and channel dynamics in large tropical rivers, and as part of this work, along with Jeff Shellberg from ARI, undertook what is thought to be the first trip down the Mitchell River during a major wet season flood, to collect sediment transport data. Throughout the first phase of work and during the synthesis and adoption year, Dr Brooks was responsible for developing a universal river classification tool, which is now available online as the Australian Riverine Landscape Classifier (AURICL).