• 3196 Citations
  • 33 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile


Climate change is altering the distribution of organisms and the structure of ecosystems across the globe, and one of the most dramatically effected biomes are wetlands. My research has explored the impact of climate change across different types of wetlands- from coastal wetlands impacted by sea-level rise, to freshwater wetlands subject to the dual stressors of altered climatic conditions and water extraction. Our team has identified new approaches to wetland management, drawing attention to the benefits of carbon sequestration (“blue carbon”) in coastal wetlands, and pioneering tools helping river managers better accommodate the needs of wetlands when planning water allocations. This work has proceeded in partnership with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, ANSTO, the University of Wollongong, the US Geological Survey, and Beijing Forestry University.

Research interests

Response of wetlands to climate change, including sea-level rise, elevated atmospheric CO2, temperature, hydrological modification. Geomorphology and landscape evolution in the coastal zone. 


Link through to Saintilan et al. (2020) Thresholds of mangrove response to rapid sea-level rise. Science. 368(6495) 1118-1121


Education/Academic qualification

Biogeography, PhD, University of Sydney

External positions

Senior Principal Research Science and Senior Team Leader, Water and Wetlands, Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW

1 Jan 201217 Feb 2015

Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO

1 Jul 201130 Jun 2012

Head, Rivers and Wetlands Unit, Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW

1 Feb 20071 Jan 2012

Associate Professor and Director, Centre for Environmental Restoration and Stewardship, Australian Catholic University

1 Jan 200431 Jan 2006

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Australian Catholic University

21 Feb 199431 Dec 2003

Lecturer , University of Sydney

1 Jan 199331 Dec 1993

Lecturer, The University of New South Wales

1 Jan 198731 Dec 1987

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Research Outputs

Thirty-year repeat measures of mangrove above- and below-ground biomass reveals unexpectedly high carbon sequestration

Lamont, K., Saintilan, N., Kelleway, J. J., Mazumder, D. & Zawadzki, A., Mar 2020, In : Ecosystems. 23, 2, p. 370-382 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • Application of machine learning to model wetland inundation patterns across a aarge semiarid floodplain

    Shaeri Karimi, S., Saintilan, N., Wen, L. & Valavi, R., Nov 2019, In : Water Resources Research. 55, 11, p. 8765-8778 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Behavioural plasticity and trophic niche shift: how wintering geese respond to habitat alteration

    Lei, J., Jia, Y., Wang, Y., Lei, G., Lu, C., Saintilan, N. & Wen, L., Jun 2019, In : Freshwater Biology. 64, 6, p. 1183-1195 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    Blue carbon in coastal landscapes: a spatial framework for assessment of stocks and additionality

    Rogers, K., Macreadie, P. I., Kelleway, J. J. & Saintilan, N., Mar 2019, In : Sustainability Science. 14, 2, p. 453-467 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 7 Citations (Scopus)