Nik Callow

Mr, PhD W.Aust.

  • The University of Western Australia (M004), 35 Stirling Highway, Rm 1.08, Geology and Geography Building, Perth campus

    6009 Crawley


  • 354 Citations
  • 10 h-Index
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Personal profile


Dr Callow’s research focuses is physical geography - the interaction of people and environment processes. His research is across the impacts of land management on hydrology, river geomorphology and ecohydrology in the Australian landscape. His applied research with government, industry and land managers/growers is focused on identifying management options and using emerging technologies to make better decisions in landscapes with changing land use, condition and climate.

Roles and responsibilities

• Field hydrology: establishment, calibration and maintenance of surface and groundwater monitoring networks.
• Field geomorphology: field reconnaissance, detailed investigations and monitoring, field and laboratory analysis, environmental flows assessment.
• Operation of rotary-wing (• Numerical hydrological modelling: MIKE, SHE/MIKE-11, HEC-RAS, SRM (Snow Runoff Model), XP Storm, SWIM, eWater Runoff Library suite, LEACHM.
• Surveying and use of total stations, GPS, DGPS and RTK-DGPS, RPAS Structure-from-Motion (SfM) photographic scientific topographic surveying and point cloud processing.
• Geographic Information Systems (GIS): acquisition, manipulation, editing, analysis and maintenance of spatial datasets using a range of software products: ESRI ArcGIS Suite, MapINFO, spatial modelling using Digital Elevation Models, remote sensing data analysis, programming in AML, Avenue, Python and VB.
• Accredited drillers offside (with Department of Agriculture and Food (WA)), some supervised driller training.
• Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEMs), Environmental SEM, Wavelength Dispersive Spectrometry analysis.
• Trained and Experiences in remote-area field work: Advanced Four-Wheel-Drive and recovery training, Remote Area First Aid Certificate, Senior First Aid Certificate.
• Qualified PADI SCUBA diver (Open Water & Boat Diver).
• UAV Controllers Certificate - • UOC Chief Controller UWA-Geography CASA-certified UOC operations.

Funding overview

• 2015: Spatial temperature measurement and mapping tools to assist growers, advisors and extension specialists manage frost risk at farm scale. Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC). $1,999k (total), UWA Budget $374K. Flower, K., Callow, J.N. Buroff, B (plus 24 other Cis as part of larger project)
• 2014: Distributed Temperature Sensor (DTS) – Sllixia Ultima XT-DTS Faculty of Science’s 2014 Small Equipment Fund. $50k Callow, J.N., Hipsey, M., Lowe,R., McGrath, G., Vogwill, R., Beringer, J., Hansen, J.
• 2014: Managing ecosystem change requires the integration of above and below-ground hydrological processes at relevant scales. ARC-Linkage. $555K. Veneklaas, E., Dixon, K., Miller, B., McGrath, G., Callow, J.N. Aitken, A., Malcolm, A.
• 2012: Technical Development and Capture of High Resolution Thermal Imagery using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) UWA-UQ Bilateral Research Collaboration Award $19.7K Smettem, K. Phinn, S. Callow, J.N., Johansen, K. Davies, P
• 2012: Developing an Enhanced Medium Term Inflow Forecasting Capability for the Snowy Mountains Scheme. Snowy Hydro. $730K, plus $577K. McGowan, H. Callow, J.N.
2011. Investigate the environmental fate of Silver Iodine and Indium (III) Oxide used for cloud seeding operations in the Snowy Mountains Snowy Hydro. $95.5K, plus $150K in-kind. McGowan, H. Callow, J.N.
• 2011: Developing Remotely-Sensed Data Approaches to Predicting Land Cover and Condition Impacts on Hydrological Processes in Data-Poor Dryland Landscapes. UQ & CSIRO. $51K Callow, J.N. Jarihani, A. Thew, P., Johanssen, K.
• 2010: Testing the potential of integrated vegetation bands to increase water retention, buffer climate extremes and enhance production (LP100100356) ARC-Linkage. $259.5K Ryan, J. Dargusch, P. Callow, J.N. Lawrence, P.

Previous positions

Lecturer in Hydrology & Geomorphology,
School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management
The University of Queensland

Industrial relevance

My research is with a range of industry and government partners, including:
• Snowy Hydro Limited,
• Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC)
• Kings Park - Botanical Parks & Gardens Authority
• Specterra Systems
• Rio Tinto Iron Ore
• Department of Parks and Wildlife
• Department of Water
• Department of Agriculture and Food
• Wheatbelt NRM
• SciAero (UAV)
• Sensorem
• AgriEye (UAV)

Teaching overview

• ENVT4406 - Catchment and River Processes
• GEOG3302 - Geographical and Planning Field Studies
• GEOG2202 - Reading Landscapes: People and Processes
• EART1105 - The Dynamic Planet


My research is focused on two themes, and a number of active research projects within these areas:

THEME 1 - Geomorphology, hydrology and ecohydrology of wetlands and catchments under pressure from climate, humans and land degradation. This theme focuses on processes and dynamics of river systems, riparian zones and wetlands, but also includes work on broader hillslopes, catchments and atmospheric processes and their interaction with landscape components. Projects include:
• Understanding palaeoclimates of the Snowy Mountains and environmental impacts of using silver for cloud seeding to enhance snow precipitation.
• Vegetation-based river management and biogeomorphology in salt-affected landscapes.
• Hydrological processes in low-gradient and data-sparse landscapes.
• Impact of climate change on hydrological, ecohydrological and geomorphological processes and landscapes, with a focus on biodiverse ecosystems of southwestern Australia.

THEME 2: Emerging and novel field techniques in Physical Geography. Research in this theme is focused on developing new approaches and novel use of existing and emerging methods and technology for field-based measurement and remote sensing to improve understanding of environmental processes.
• Use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS, also known as "drones" or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)) for studying environmental processes. Dr Callow is the Chief Controller and lead-researcher for the UWA-Geography CASA-certified UOC RPAS operations.
• GIS and spatial analysis of hydrological and landscape processes.
• Satellite and remote sensing methods to study data-poor landscapes.
• Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) - high resolution spatio-temporal measurement of temperature as an environmental process proxy.


  • Geomorphology
  • Earth surface processes
  • GIS, remote sensing and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)
  • Hydrology
  • Landscape analysis
  • Physical geography
  • Environmental science

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  • 3 Similar Profiles
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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2011 2022

Research Output 2007 2018

  • 354 Citations
  • 10 h-Index
  • 28 Article
  • 2 Conference paper
  • 2 Doctoral Thesis

Changing water system vulnerability in Western Australia's Wheatbelt region

Boruff, B., Biggs, E., Pauli, N., Callow, N. & Clifton, J. 1 Feb 2018 In : Applied Geography. 91, p. 131-143 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Western Australia
water supply
supply balance

Chenier-type ridges in Giralia Bay (Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia) - Processes, chronostratigraphy, and significance for recording past tropical cyclones

May, S. M., Gelhausen, H., Brill, D., Callow, J. N., Engel, M., Opitz, S., Scheffers, A., Joannes-Boyau, R., Leopold, M. & Brückner, H. 1 Feb 2018 In : Marine Geology. 396, p. 186-204

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

tropical cyclone

Co-authorship analysis of the speleothem proxy-climate community: working together to tackle the big problems

Campbell, M., Callow, J. N., McGrath, G. & McGowan, H. 1 May 2018 In : International Journal of Speleology. 47, 2, p. 165-172 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

network analysis
social network

Global warming in the context of 2000 years of Australian alpine temperature and snow cover

McGowan, H., Callow, J. N., Soderholm, J., McGrath, G., Campbell, M. & Zhao, J. 1 Dec 2018 In : Scientific Reports. 8, 1, 4394

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Global Warming
Carbon Isotopes
El Nino
sea level