Stephen Parkes, PhD

Research Scientists

Research Engineer, Environmental Sciences and Engineering



Dr. Stephen Parkes studied for his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in chemistry at the University of Wollongong in Australia. He spent 6 years at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), working as an Atmospheric Isotope Scientist with Dr. Alastair Williams. Dr. Parkes research interests include land-atmosphere exchange in agricultural systems, the distribution and transport of atmospheric moisture, and using stable isotopic tracers to better understand the transport of water between the land surface and atmosphere. He joined the Earth System Modelling and Observation team at KAUST in October 2014 and will work with Prof McCabe as a research scientist and a Technical Specialist. ​

Research Interests

Dr. Parkes is interested in utilizing stable isotope tracers to study biogeochemical cycles. His research focusses on developing novel methodologies based on in-situ measurement technology that can probe the hydrological cycle. He has investigated the added information that stable isotope tracers can provide in hydrological systems over more conventional methodologies. At KAUST Dr. Parkes is focusing on using stable isotope observations to study water use efficiency and pathways for water transport in desert agricultural systems. 

Selected Publications

  • Cai, M. Y., Wang, L., Parkes, S. D., Strauss, J., McCabe, M. F., Evans, J. P., Griffiths, A. D. (2015). Stable water isotope and surface heat flux simulation using ISOLSM: evaluation against in-situ measurements. Journal of Hydrology, accepted.
  • Crawford, J., Hughes, C. E., Parkes, S.D. (2013). Is the isotopic composition of event based precipitation driven by moisture source or synoptic scale weather in the Sydney Basin, Australia? Journal of Hydrology, 507, 213-226

  • Griffiths, A. D., Parkes, S. D., Chambers, S. D., McCabe, M. F., & Williams, A. G. (2013). Improved mixing height monitoring through a combination of lidar and radon measurements. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques6(2), 207–218 


  • ​2008: Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Wollongong, Australia
  • 2002: B.S. Hons in Chemistry, University of Wollongong in Physical Geography and Atmospheric Sciences

Professional Profile

  • ​2013-Present: Research Scientist, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • 2008-2013: Research Scientist, Institute of Environmental Research, Australian Nuclear Science and technology Organization (ANSTO).

Scientific and Professional Membership

American Geophysical Union
European Geophysical Union

Research Interests Keywords

Land-Atmosphere Interactions Environmental Monitoring Water and Energy Cycle Isotope Hydrology Instrumentation Stable water isotopes