Matthew F McCabe, PhD


Full Professor, Remote Sensing and Water Security



Prof McCabe studied Civil and Environmental Engineering at the  University of Newcastle in Australia, where he received his undergraduate and post-graduate degrees. ​He then spent 5 years in the United States, working with  Prof Eric Wood at Princeton University and then at  Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Matthew returned to Australia in 2008 to take up a faculty position at the  University of New South Wales. In late 2012, he joined the Faculty at KAUST. 

Research Interests

Prof. McCabe's research interests encompass the modeling and observation of the Earth system, with a focus on the water cycle and its interlinked processes and interactions. We combine models and observations to answer questions on the distribution, variability, and exchanges of water at local, regional and global scales. Earth observation techniques, such as traditional satellite platforms as well as CubeSats, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and in-situ monitoring are used to observe terrestrial processes, while a range of modeling and statistical approaches are employed to understand and predict system behavior. We examine issues related to water security, climate change impacts, precision agriculture, agricultural water use, water resources monitoring and modeling and the novel use of technologies for enhanced Earth system observation.

Selected Publications

For a full listing of publications, please refer to my Google Scholar page:


  • 2003: Ph.D. Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Newcastle, Australia
  • 1998: B.E. (Hons), Environmental Engineering, University of Newcastle, Australia

Professional Profile

  • 2018: Full Professor, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia​
  • 2013: Associate Professor, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • 2012: Associate Professor, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  • 2008-2012: Senior Lecturer, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  • 2006-2008: Post-doctoral Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, USA
  • 2003-2006: Post-doctoral Scientist, Princeton University, New Jersey, USA

Scientific and Professional Membership

Section Chief Editor, Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence (

Editor, MDPI Hydrology​

Chair of the Global Energy and Water Exchanges LandFlux Project 

Member, American Geophysical Union (AGU) (


  • 2019: Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher (Cross-Field)
  • 2016: Inaugural Planet Ambassador (
  • 2009: Australian Institute of Policy and Sciences NSW/ACT Tall Poppy Award
  • 2009: Chinese Academy of Sciences Foreign Visiting Expert Scholarship
  • 2009: Guest Professor, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • 1998: Tony Herzog Prize (Best Honours Thesis), University of Newcastle, Australia
  • 1998: Institute of Engineers Civil & Structural Branch Prize (Top Final Year Student), Newcastle University

KAUST Affiliations

KAUST Academic Council (BESE Representative)

Dean's Advisory Group (BESE)

Faculty and Staff Conflict of Interest Review Committee (FSCOIRC)

Research Interests Keywords

Water Resources Evapotranspiration Land surface modelling Regional climate modeling Hydrology Remote Sensing Crop health and productivity Water and Energy Cycle Precision agriculture CubeSat Water Security