Professor Michael Stewardson

  • Room: Level: 03 Room: 353.13
  • Building: 333 Exhibition St
  • Campus: Other

Research interests

  • Freshwater ecosystem management (environmental flows, river restoration, environmental monitoring)
  • River science (ecohydrology, ecohydraulics, hydromorphology)
  • Water resources (environmental water, water sharing, river basin management)


Michael Stewardson is a Professor in the Department of Infrastructure Engineering at The University of Melbourne. He is Discipline Leader for Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources

Research interests
- ecohydraulics
- hydromorphology
- freshwater ecosystem management

Current projects
- understanding hyporheic exchange and its role in stream ecosystems
- monitoring and evaluation of environmental flows
- improving evidence-based practice in environmental management of rivers
- understanding benefits of urban stormwater harvesting on stream health

Recent publications

  1. Kaur, S.; Horne, AC.; Nathan, R.; Szemis, JM.; Gibson, L.; Costa, AM.; Webb, JA.; Stewardson, M. Examining Trade-Offs in Piggybacking Flow Events while Making Environmental Release Decisions in a River System. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management. American Society of Civil Engineers. 2019, Vol. 145, Issue 6. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0001048
  2. Morris, CR.; Stewardson, MJ.; Finlayson, BL.; Godden, L. Managing Cumulative Effects of Farm Dams in Southeastern Australia. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management. American Society of Civil Engineers. 2019, Vol. 145, Issue 3, pp. 1-11. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0001041
  3. Gawne, B.; Hale, J.; Stewardson, MJ.; Webb, JA.; Ryder, DS.; Brooks, SS.; Campbell, CJ.; Capon, SJ.; Everingham, P.; Grace, MR.; Guarino, F.; Stoffels, RJ. Monitoring of environmental flow outcomes in a large river basin: The Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder's long-term intervention in the Murray–Darling Basin, Australia. River Research and Applications. Wiley. 2019. DOI: 10.1002/rra.3504
  4. Meempatta, L.; Webb, AJ.; Horne, AC.; Keogh, LA.; Loch, A.; Stewardson, MJ. Reviewing the decision-making behavior of irrigators. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water. WILEY. 2019, Vol. 6, Issue 5. DOI: 10.1002/wat2.1366
  5. Horne, AC.; Kaur, S.; Szemis, JM.; Costa, AM.; Nathan, R.; Webb, JA.; Stewardson, MJ.; Boland, N. Active Management of Environmental Water to Improve Ecological Outcomes. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management. ASCE-AMER SOC CIVIL ENGINEERS. 2018, Vol. 144, Issue 12. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000991
  6. Stewardson, MJ.; Guarino, F. Basin-scale environmental water delivery in the Murray-Darling, Australia: A hydrological perspective. Freshwater Biology. WILEY. 2018, Vol. 63, Issue 8, pp. 969-985. DOI: 10.1111/fwb.13102
  7. Miller, KA.; Casas-mulet, R.; De Little, SC.; Stewardson, MJ.; Koster, WM.; Webb, JA. Deficiencies in our understanding of the hydro-ecology of several native Australian fish: a rapid evidence synthesis. Marine and Freshwater Research. CSIRO PUBLISHING. 2018, Vol. 69, Issue 8, pp. 1208-1221. DOI: 10.1071/MF17241
  8. Gawne, B.; Capon, SJ.; Hale, J.; Brooks, SS.; Campbell, C.; Stewardson, MJ.; Grace, MR.; Stoffels, RJ.; Guarino, F.; Everingham, P. Different Conceptualizations of River Basins to Inform Management of Environmental Flows. FRONTIERS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE. FRONTIERS MEDIA SA. 2018, Vol. 6, Issue OCT. DOI: 10.3389/fenvs.2018.00111
  9. Shang, W.; Gong, Y.; Wang, Z.; Stewardson, MJ. Eco-compensation in China: Theory, practices and suggestions for the future. Journal of Environmental Management. ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD. 2018, Vol. 210, pp. 162-170. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.12.077
  10. Stewardson, MJ.; Skinner, D. Evaluating Use of Environmental Flows to Aerate Streams by Modelling the Counterfactual Case. Environmental Management. SPRINGER. 2018, Vol. 61, Issue 3, pp. 390-397. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-017-0955-8
  11. Horne, AC.; Szemis, JM.; Webb, JA.; Kaur, S.; Stewardson, MJ.; Bond, N.; Nathan, R. Informing Environmental Water Management Decisions: Using Conditional Probability Networks to Address the Information Needs of Planning and Implementation Cycles. Environmental Management. SPRINGER. 2018, Vol. 61, Issue 3, pp. 347-357. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-017-0874-8
  12. Webb, JA.; Koster, WM.; Stuart, IG.; Reich, P.; Stewardson, MJ. Make the Most of the Data You've Got: Bayesian Models and a Surrogate Species Approach to Assessing Benefits of Upstream Migration Flows for the Endangered Australian Grayling. Environmental Management. SPRINGER. 2018, Vol. 61, Issue 3, pp. 398-407. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-017-0822-7
  13. De Little, SC.; Casas-mulet, R.; Patulny, L.; Wand, J.; Miller, KA.; Fidler, F.; Stewardson, MJ.; Webb, JA. Minimising biases in expert elicitations to inform environmental management: Case studies from environmental flows in Australia. Environmental Modelling & Software. ELSEVIER SCI LTD. 2018, Vol. 100, pp. 146-158. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2017.11.020
  14. Webb, JA.; De Little, SC.; Miller, KA.; Stewardson, MJ. Quantifying and predicting the benefits of environmental flows: Combining large-scale monitoring data and expert knowledge within hierarchical Bayesian models. Freshwater Biology. WILEY. 2018, Vol. 63, Issue 8, pp. 831-843. DOI: 10.1111/fwb.13069
  15. Chu, L.; Grafton, RQ.; Stewardson, M. Resilience, Decision-making, and Environmental Water Releases. Earth's Future. AMER GEOPHYSICAL UNION. 2018, Vol. 6, Issue 6, pp. 777-792. DOI: 10.1029/2018EF000879
  16. Casas-mulet, R.; Lakhanpal, G.; Stewardson, MJ. The relative contribution of near-bed vs. intragravel horizontal transport to fine sediment accumulation processes in river gravel beds. Geomorphology. ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV. 2018, Vol. 303, pp. 299-308. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2017.12.013
  17. Farquharson, RJ.; Freebairn, JW.; Webb, JA.; Stewardson, MJ.; Ramilan, T. An Economic Framework for Sharing Water Within a River Catchment. Water Economics and Policy. WORLD SCIENTIFIC PUBL CO PTE LTD. 2017, Vol. 3, Issue 3. DOI: 10.1142/S2382624X16500399
  18. Kaur, S.; Horne, A.; Stewardson, MJ.; Nathan, R.; Costa, AM.; Szemis, JM.; Webb, JA. Challenges for determining frequency of high flow spells for varying thresholds in environmental flows programmes. Journal Ecohydraulics. Informa UK Limited. 2017, Vol. 2, Issue 1, pp. 28-37. DOI: 10.1080/24705357.2016.1276418
  19. Horne, A.; O'donnell, E.; Webb, JA.; Stewardson, M.; Acreman, M.; Richter, B. Chapter 1 - The Environmental Water Management Cycle. . Elsevier. 2017, pp. 3-16. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-803907-6.00001-2
  20. Mehran, A.; Aghakouchak, A.; Nakhjiri, N.; Stewardson, MJ.; Peel, MC.; Phillips, TJ.; Wada, Y.; Ravalico, JK. Compounding Impacts of Human-Induced Water Stress and Climate Change on Water Availability. Scientific Reports. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP. 2017, Vol. 7, Issue 1. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-06765-0

View a full list of publications on the University of Melbourne’s ‘Find An Expert’ profile