Sam Capon
Griffith University

Sam CaponAssociate Professor Sam Capon

Associate professor of ecology, Griffith University

See Associate Professor Capon’s full research profile here.

Research outputs linked to policy change and decision-making

  • Associate Professor Capon has recently led the development of a long-term ecological monitoring framework for the Australian Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s Regional Land Partnerships, contributing significantly to shaping the department’s emerging approach to monitoring and evaluation of natural resource management interventions addressing outcomes for threatened species, threatened ecological communities, Ramsar sites and World Heritage Areas. In particular, this project included the development of systematic and innovative approaches to data collection, management, analysis and reporting to capitalise on our growing national infrastructure (e.g. the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network) and technological capacity. Additionally, this project has resulted in an initiative to establish a national monitoring, evaluation and research network for Regional Land Partnerships.
  • As leader of Basin Matter – Vegetation for the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office’s Long-term Intervention Monitoring project (2015–2019), Associate Professor Capon has been instrumental in evaluating vegetation outcomes of environmental watering in the Murray–Darling basin over the past 5 years and informing relevant adaptive management in relation to policy and management of environmental water holdings and riparian, floodplain and wetland ecosystems.
  • As coordinator of the National Adaptation Research Network for Water Resources and Freshwater Biodiversity under the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF: 2009–2014), Associate Professor Capon was strongly involved in the very early days of climate-adaptation research in Australia and globally, influencing approaches to generating, synthesising and applying knowledge to policy and management challenges. More recently (2017), Associate Professor Capon led a collaborative team to develop a revision of the national adaptation research plan for freshwater biodiversity under NCCARF’s natural ecosystems network.

Current academic employment and positions

  • 2019–present: associate professor of ecology, Griffith University
  • 2019–present: director, Griffith Sciences Partnerships Office, Griffith University
  • 2009–present: coordinator, national adaptation research network for water resources and freshwater biodiversity, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility
  • 2017–2018 & 2019–2020: project leader, development of long-term monitoring and evaluation program for Regional Land Partnerships, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
  • 2015–2020: project leader, Basin Matter – Vegetation, Long-term Intervention Monitoring project, Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.

Highest qualification

  • 2004: PhD (Ecology), Griffith University.

Major prizes, medals and honours

  • 2018: Top 20 most-read paper in Ecological Management & Restoration journal
  • 2017: Australian Society for Limnology Medal for Early Career Excellence
  • 2015: Second most highly-cited paper in Springer Ecology journals (2014, 2015)
  • 2011: Griffith University Research Fellowship.

Roles on government or regional organisation committees

Associate Professor Capon has many ongoing links with government and regional organisation committees including membership of:

  • scientific expert committee for south-east Queensland’s Healthy Land and Water
  • Murray–Darling Basin Authority’s vegetation community-of-practice member and Joint Venture Advisory Group (Vegetation)
  • Commonwealth Environmental Water Office’s Learning by Doing Forum.

Links with non-government groups or networks

Associate Professor Capon also has many links with relevant non-government groups or networks including membership of:

  • scientific advisory panels for the Moreton Bay Foundation
  • Australian Landscape Science Institute.

My Projects

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