Research Interests

​Prof. McCabe’s research focuses on issues related to water and food security, climate change impacts, precision agriculture, water resources monitoring and modeling, and the novel use of technologies for enhanced Earth system observation. The research undertaken in his group combines models and observations to answer questions on the distribution, variability and exchanges of water at local, regional and global scales, as well as the interactions with vegetation. CubeSats, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and in-situ monitoring techniques are all employed to monitor terrestrial processes, while a range of modeling and statistical approaches are used to understand and predict system behavior. Improved description and understanding of the water-food nexus is a key objective of his research.​​​​

Selected Publications

Education Profile

  • ​Ph.D., Engineering, University of Newcastle, Australia, 2003
  • B.E. (Hons), University of Newcastle, Australia, 1998

Professional Profile

  • 2018-Present: Full Professor, Remote Sensing and Water Security, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • 2017-Present: Associate Director, WDRC, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • 2012-2018: Associate Professor, KAUST, Saudi Arabia
  • 2012: Associate Professor, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • 2008-2011: Senior Lecturer, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • 2006-2007: Postdoctoral Researcher, Los Alamos National Laboratory, ​New Mexico, USA
  • 2003-2005: Postdoctoral Researcher, Princet​​on University, New Jersey, USA

Scientific and Professional Memberships

  • ​American Geophysical Union
  • European Geophysical Union
  • International Association of Hydrological Sciences
  • Editor MDPI Hydrology Journal
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Hydrology
  • Associate Editor, Frontiers in Earth Science and Frontiers in Built Environment


  • ​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

KAUST Affiliations

  • ​​Water Desalination & Reuse Centre (WDRC)
  • Biological & Environmental Sciences & Engineering (BESE)​​​