Professor Brander is a beach safety researcher who combines elements of coastal geomorphology and hazards with an understanding of social and demographic aspects of beachgoers. The overall goal of his research is to understand the physical-social interaction of beach hazards in order to reduce the incidence of drowning and injury on beaches and other coastal environments. His research interests can be divided into 3 areas:
Much of his research has focussed on the rip current hazard. Rip currents are strong, narrow seaward flowing currents that extend from close to the shoreline, through the surf zone, and out past the line of breaking waves. They are common features on many of the world’s beaches and represent the main hazard to recreational swimmers. His research also examines surf zone injuries and their relationship to beach morphology and wave characteristics.
Brander has conducted numerous studies focussing on beachgoer' understanding and behaviour in relation to beach safety interventions and hazards.
Brander's research involves examining the effectiveness of various means of public safety intervention in relation to coastal hazards. His Science of the Surf Program (SOS) is an educational program aimed at providing a basic understanding of the scientific principles of beaches and surf zones to the Australian and international community. The goal is to reduce the incidence of drowning and injury on beaches. The program has led to a new field of research which focuses on examining the demographics, knowledge, and behavior of beachgoers to common beach hazards. More information on the program can be found at: www.scienceofthesurf.com