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Associate Professor Richard Silberstein

Richard is an Associate Professor in the Centre for Ecosystem Management, studying the inter-relationships between hydrology and vegetation communities. He runs an atmospheric flux and groundwater monitoring station in Banksia woodland north of Perth, as part of the national OzFlux and international FluxNet communities.

Current Teaching

  • Not currently teaching


Associate Professor Silberstein was previously with CSIRO Land and Water for 19 years, as a Principal Research Scientist. He has 25 years of experience studying catchment and groundwater hydrology and the responses of hydrological and vegetation systems to land use and climate change. He runs field experiments as well as being one of the developers of the sophisticated Topog catchment model that simulates the physical hydrology and the dynamics of vegetation response in natural and managed systems.

Prior to this he has worked for the WA Departments of Agriculture, Environment, and Environmental Protection.

Professional Memberships

  • Member of the American Geophysical Union

Research Areas and Interests

  • 25 years’ experience in hydrology, micrometeorology and environmental science
  • Delivering simulation models for groundwater and surface water management, forests and catchments
  • Simulating and observing impacts of climate and land use on catchment water balance for water resources, ecosystem health and salinity management
  • Off-site impacts of mining, post-mining pit water balance
  • Multi-disciplinary project management


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Western Australia, 1999.
  • Bachelor of Science with Second Class Honours in Physics, The University of Western Australia, 1979.


Recent Research Grants

  • TERN OzFlux - Ecosystem Processes - carbon, water and energy balances of Banksia woodland,  Department of Education and Training,  National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) Project,  2019 - 2023,  $373,928.
  • TERN Gingin Banksia Woodland SuperSite,  Department of Education and Training,  National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) Project,  2017 - 2019,  $66,658.
  • OzFlux - measurement of atmospheric fluxes over a native vegetation at Gingin,  Department of Education and Training,  National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) Project,  2015 - 2019,  $328,870.
  • Off-site impacts of mining on the hydrology of Yamba catchment,  Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO),  CSIRO - Grant,  2015 - 2016,  $32,400.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Journal Articles

  • Macfarlane, C., Grigg, A., McGregor, R., Ogden, G., Silberstein, R., (2018), Overstorey evapotranspiration in a seasonally dry Mediterranean eucalypt forest: Response to groundwater and mining. Ecohydrology, 11(5), Article number e1971, John Wiley and Sons Ltd, DOI: 10.1002/eco.1971.
  • Van Gorsel, E., Wolf, S., Cleverly, J., Isaac, P., Haverd, V., Ewenz, C., Arndt, S., Beringer, J., De Dios, V., Evans, B., Griebel, A., Hutley, L., Keenan, T., Kljun, N., Macfarlane, C., Meyer, W., McHugh, I., Pendall, E., Prober, S., Silberstein, R., (2016), Carbon uptake and water use in woodlands and forests in southern Australia during an extreme heat wave event in the "angry Summer" of 2012/2013. Biogeosciences, 13(21), 5947-5964, Copernicus GmbH, DOI: 10.5194/bg-13-5947-2016.
  • Beringer, J., Hutley, L., McHugh, I., Arndt, S., Campbell, D., Cleugh, H., Cleverly, J., De Dios, V., Eamus, D., Evans, B., Ewenz, C., Grace, P., Griebel, A., Haverd, V., Hinko-Najera, N., Huete, A., Isaac, P., Kanniah, K., Leuning, R., Liddell, M., Macfarlane, C., Meyer, W., Moore, C., Pendall, E., Phillips, A., Phillips, R., Prober, S., Restrepo-Coupe, N., Rutledge, S., Schroder, I., Silberstein, R., Southall, P., Yee, MS., Tapper, N., Van Gorsel, E., Vote, C., Walker, J., Wardlaw, T., (2016), An introduction to the Australian and New Zealand flux tower network - OzFlux. Biogeosciences, 13(21), 5895-5916, Copernicus GmbH, DOI: 10.5194/bg-13-5895-2016.
  • McJannet, D., Franz, T., Hawdon, A., Boadle, D., Baker, B., Almeida, A., Silberstein, R., Lambert, T., Desilets, D., (2014), Field testing of the universal calibration function for determination of soil moisture with cosmic-ray neutrons. Water Resources Research, 50(6), 5235-5248, New Jersey, USA, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd., DOI: 10.1002/2014WR015513.

Conference Publications

  • Silberstein, R., Macfarlane, C., Lambert, T., Hawdon, A., McJannet, D., (2014), Innovative ways to estimate recharge to Perth's groundwater mound. Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium 2014 /​ Engineers Australia and National Committee on Water Engineering, 986-993, Barton, A.C.T, Engineers Australia.
  • Bennett, D., George, R., Silberstein, R., Ryder, A., Lambert, T., (2014), Changes in run-off and groundwater conditions under saltbush grazing systems: Results of a ten year paired catchment study. Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium 2014, 1064-1071, Barton, A.C.T, Engineers Australia.
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