Nik Callow
University of Western Australia

Nik Callow bio photoAssociate Professor Nik Callow

Associate professor of geography, The University of Western Australia

See Associate Professor Callow’s full research profile here.

Research outputs linked to policy change and decision-making

A highlight of Associate Professor Callow’s work is leading partnerships with stakeholders, to deliver science-led solutions and to leverage research outputs to achieve actual impact. His research program has included partners across industry, government, regulators and not-for-profits: Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), Rio Tinto, Snowy Hydro, Kimberly Foundation Australia, Western Australian Government (Departments of Water and Environmental Regulation [DWER], Primary Industries and Regional Development [DPIRD], and Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions [DBCA]), Australian Research Council. In the last 5 years, Associate Professor Callow has been awarded nine grants as chief investigator, worth $3.888 million in research income, with $3.621 million as category-1 competitive income.

  • Conducting peer-reviewed science into the environmental fate of silver used in cloud-seeding by Snowy Hydro, independently commissioned by Snowy Hydro as required by the NSW Natural Resources Commission and the Environmental Protection Authority under the Snowy Mountains Cloud Seeding Act 2004 (ACT, NSW). Their work forms the scientific basis for the ongoing operational cloud-seeding program and the environmental management plan under the Snowy Mountains Cloud Seeding Trial Amendment Bill 2012 (NSW), enabling the generation of an additional 36 gigawatts of green power offsetting 28,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions (12,000 tonnes of black coal), and providing an extra 20 gigalitres of water (approximately $20 million of water) for the scheme supporting 5,500 irrigators on the Murray and Murrumbidgee schemes and other downstream users including Adelaide. Direct and indirect benefits included more and a longer snow season for Snowy Hydro, Kosciuszko National Park managers (Office of Environment and Heritage, National Parks and Wildlife Service), and three ski resorts.
  • Partnership with the Western Australian Government (DBCA) to design, implement and evaluate interventions that led to a 20% reduction in salt reaching the Toolibin Lake Ramsar-listed wetland, and applied research with DBCA, DWER and DPIRD on salinity and water resource challenges in a drying climate.
  • Developing new tools to map frost damage using drones, satellite and on-ground remote sensing in wheat crops to address problems that costs Australian growers $300 million per year in lost income with the GRDC.

Current academic employment and positions

  • 2012–present: associate professor of geography, The University of Western Australia.

Highest qualification

  • 2007, PhD, The University of Western Australia.

Roles on government or regional organisation committees

  • Associate Professor Callow is the chief remote pilot and licence holder for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operators Certificate (ReOC) licence for drone operations at The University of Western Australia. He has developed and currently manages the remotely piloted sensing platform within the Faculty of Science.

My Projects

Current projectCompleted project
NESP RLH, 2021-2027NESP, 2015-2021NERP, 2012-2015TRaCK, 2005-present