Keynote SpeakerS


Abbas Taheri | Queen's University, Canada

Abbas Taheri is a Tenured Associate Professor at the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, where he holds the Chair in Mine Design.
Abbas has over 20 years of industry, research, and teaching experience in geotechnical engineering, rock mechanics, and mining engineering. In 1999 he earned a BASc in Mining Engineering and in 2002 an MASc in Rock Mechanics from Amir Kabir University of Technology, Iran. He worked for over four years in the industry in civil and mining engineering projects before moving to Japan in 2005 to a PhD in geotechnical engineering at Yokohama National University. His PhD thesis has been internationally acknowledged as outstanding research work and has been awarded a runner-up certificate (Proxime Accessit) of "ISRM Rocha Medal 2010" from the International Society for Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering (ISRM). In 2008 he was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and joined Tokyo University of Science. In 2011 he was appointed as a lecturer and then a senior lecturer at the University of Adelaide, Australia, until 2021, when he moved to Queen’s University, Canada, as an Associate Professor.
Abbas is the president of the Commission on Deep Mining of the ISRM. Dr Taheri is/was a member of the Editorial Board of several scientific journals, including “Soils and Foundations”, “Bulletin of Engineering Geology and Environment”, “International Journal of Mining Science and Technology,” “Minerals” etc. Abbas is/was the chair, organizer, and member of the organization committee of many international symposiums and workshops. He has produced more than 160 refereed publications. Dr Taheri has developed and toughed several courses in geotechnical engineering and mining operation.


Speech title"New Innovations in Experimental Rock Mechanics"

Abstract-This keynote speech will present cutting-edge in-situ and laboratory testing methods and technologies, focusing on characterizing both rock masses and intact rocks. A highlight of the presentation is introducing an in-situ triaxial compression test method capable of measuring the stress-strain relation of rock masses in deep ground conditions. This method proves reliable and accurate, offering a single in-situ test that mirrors the effectiveness of a laboratory triaxial compression test.

The lecture will also showcase recent advancements in understanding rock failure mechanisms under diverse stress conditions. Notably, comprehensive stress-strain behavior analysis of rocks in uniaxial compression will be explored through sophisticated laboratory testing, incorporating the application of Digital Image Correlation to investigate localized rock behavior under monotonic and cyclic loading. Additionally, novel techniques for measuring post-failure behavior under cyclic loading will be introduced. A groundbreaking experimental advancement will be unveiled, allowing control over the dynamics associated with the sudden cracking of disc samples under diametrical compression. This innovation enables the accurate determination of intrinsic fracture properties in a simple compression test, effectively excluding or minimizing dynamic effects.

The developed experimental methodology finds applications across various domains, including Civil, Mining, and Petroleum engineering.





Eric Wolanski | James Cook University, Australia

Dr. Eric Wolanski is a coastal oceanographer and ecohydrologist. He is linking physics and biology in estuarine, coastal, reef and savannah ecosystems. He has 430 publications, including six recent books:

Wolanski, E., Kingsford, M.J. (2024). Oceanographic Processes of Coral Reef. Physical and Biological Links in the Great Barrier Reef. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla., USA (in press).
Paris, C. B., Wolanski, E., eds. (2020). The Importance of Behavior in the Recruitment of Marine Fauna and Flora. Lausanne: Frontiers Media SA. doi: 10.3389/978-2-88963-501-6
Wolanski, E., Day, J., Elliott, M., Ramesh, Ramachandran (2019). Coasts and Estuaries. The Future. Elsevier, Amsterdam. 701 pp.
Perillo, G.M.E., Wolanski, E., Cahoon, D.R., Hopkinson, C.S. (2019). Coastal Wetlands. An Integrated Ecosystem Approach. Springer 2nd ed., Dordrecht, 1097 pp.
E. Wolanski & M. Elliott (2015). Estuarine Ecohydrology - An Introduction. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 310 pp.
E. Wolanski (2014). Estuaries of Australia in 2050 and Beyond. Springer, Dordrecht, 292 pp.

Eric launched in 2020, in collaboration with Professors Michael Elliott at the University of Hull (UK) and Ellen Wohl at the State University of Colorado (USA), a new Elsevier book series "Ecohydrology from catchment to coast" to provide an analysis for key rivers worldwide of the next set of policy and institutional reforms (environmental, social, cultural and economic) needed to ensure that the river basin is managed as an integrated system (including its land use, water resources and estuary) capable to adapt to the human impact and future changes including climate change. The first book has just been published,it is about the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia. Being written now are books about the Mekong in SE Asia, the Nile in Africa, and the Scheldt in Belgium/The Netherlands.

Eric is a member of the Scientific and Policy Committee of Japan's EMECS (Environmental Management of Enclosed Seas, focusing on the Seto Inland Sea) and of the European Union DANUBIUS-PP Scientific and Technical Advisory Board (STAB; see;, which will be a pan-European distributed research infrastructure dedicated to interdisciplinary studies of large river–sea systems throughout Europe.

Eric is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Institution of Engineers Australia (ret.), and l'Academie Royale des Sciences d'Outre-Mer (Belgium). He was awarded an Australian Centenary medal for services in estuarine and coastal oceanography, a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, a 2nd Doctorate Honoris Causa by the University of Hull in the UK, a Queensland Information Technology and Telecommunication award for excellence, and the first LifeTime Achievement Award of the Estuarine & Coastal Science Association (ECSA).

Eric is Honourary Editor of Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, a Chief Editor of Wetlands Ecology and Management and of the Elsevier book series Ecohydrology from catchment to coast.

Since 1994 he has been running in Tanzania for Tanzania National Parks Authority yearly ecohydrology field training workshops with ecologists of the Serengeti, Katavi, Arusha, Nkomazi, Ruaha, Tarangire and Saadani National Parks, which are all either suffering or threatened by a water crisis. This is summarised in the recent paper: Mnaya, B., Elisa, M., Kihwele, E., Kiwango, H., Kiwango, Y., Ng’umbi, G., Wolanski, E. (2021). Are Tanzanian National Parks affected by the water crisis? Findings and ecohydrology solutions.Ecohydrology and Hydrobiology 21, 425-442.





James T. Anderson | Clemson University, USA

Dr. James T. (Jim) Anderson is a professor of wildlife ecology and management and the Davis-Michael Professor of Forestry and Natural Resources at West Virginia University. He earned a B.S. in wildlife from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, an M.S. in range and wildlife management through the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and a Ph.D. in wildlife science from Texas Tech University. Jim has published over 160 scientific research articles on wetland ecology and management, wildlife-habitat relationships, and restoration ecology. He has mentored more than 50 graduate students and has garnered more than $20 million in competitive external funding to support his research. He has been an invited keynote speaker at over 15 international conferences, serves on numerous committees, and has served on the editorial board of 6 international journals. He teaches over 1,000 students annually in a number of courses including Restoration Ecology, Applied Wetlands Ecology and Management, Introduction to Wildlife and Fisheries Resources, Big Game Ecology and Management, and Waterfowl Ecology.