My interests lie in investigating nature-based solutions to have a productive agricultural landscape within ecological healthy catchments that support high water security.

I have experience using networks to model the flow of nutrients through ecosystems, species distribution modelling, in sports fish and game bird management, and working at the interface between freshwater science and policy/planning.

Most recently, I have been working on how wetlands can be incorporated into our landscapes to increase food production, improve water quality or buffer against climate change.

  • Freshwater ecosystem health
  • Agroecology and regenerative agricultural practices
  • Modelling nutrient flows through human and natural ecosystems
  • Agricultural spatial planning
  • The impact of water quality on freshwater ecosystems
  • Using wetlands to improve catchment water quality
  • Using wetlands (including mangroves) to sequester 'blue carbon'
  • The sustainability of food production throughout its lifecycle
  • Nature based solutions
Research Disciplines

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 25+ research outputs authored by Dr Adam Canning from 2017 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Gladstone Ports Corporation Ltd - Contract Research

Mangrove & Saltmarsh monitoring program of the Northern Land Expansion Project (NLEP)

Indicative Funding
$276,560 over 8 years
This monitoring program provides an effective and responsive methodology for monitoring and assessment of the condition of mangroves and saltmarsh habitat in the vicinity of construction works associated with the Northern Land Expansion Project (NLEP). The mangrove research hub at James Cook University (JCU)?s Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER) will develop and trial this monitoring and `Alert-to-Action? management program for the Gladstone Ports Corporation Limited (GPC).
Norman Duke and Adam Canning in collaboration with Angela Huston (TropWater and Gidarjil Development Corporation)
Shorelines; Estuaries; Tidal Wetlands; Mangroves; Coastline; Evaluation

Fitzroy Basin Association - Contract Research

Using compost from aquatic weeds to improve soil health and reduce nutrient pollution

Indicative Funding
$75,500 over 1 year
Excessive nutrient pollution can cause explosive aquatic weed growth, preventing fish migration, and causing mass fish kills. Weed management via herbicide spraying and removal is costly and detrimental to waterways. If the harvested weeds could be composted and used on crops, then aquatic weed management can shift from being a problem to an agricultural solution that reduces synthetic fertiliser use, while improving soil moisture, nutrient retention (reducing pollution), and soil microbial health (potentially reducing pathogens). This project examines the influence of aquatic-weed compost on the soil health and nutrient retention in tree crops near Rockhampton.
Adam Canning (TropWater)
Aquatic weeds; Compost; Soil Health; Tree crops; Soil nutrients; Pollution

Greening Australia Limited - Contract Research

2023 Southern GBR Coastal Wetland Feasibility Assessment

Indicative Funding
$100,000 over 1 year
To identify locations and activities between Cairns and Gladstone where coastal protection and restoration could occur to increase carbon sequestration and storage. Climate change is threatening the health of all ecosystems globally, including Australia?s Great Barrier Reef. The restoration of coastal ecosystems presents a substantial opportunity to not only sequester carbon, necessary for reducing climate change, with mangrove forests estimated to store approximately five times more carbon per hectare than tropical rainforests. In addition, carbon sequestration, coastal ecosystems can protect from storm surges and erosion, provide habitat for fisheries, improve water quality from runoff, and support immense biodiversity. This project aims to survey the health of the coastal ecosystems between Cairns and Gladstone and identify opportunities for the restoration of mangroves and salt marsh.
Norman Duke and Adam Canning (TropWater)
Shorelines; Mangroves; Estuaries; Coastline; Tidal Wetlands; Evaluation

Wellington Fish and Game Council - Contract Research

Advancing the science supporting New Zealand?s freshwater sports fisheries and game bird hunting.

Indicative Funding
$64,480 over 1 year
This project provides a package of scientific works to support the management of freshwater sports fisheries and game bird hunting in New Zealand. Scientific works will aim to inform several areas including, the interactions between sports fish and native fish, the climatic influences on sports fish populations, the effectiveness of ecological monitoring, and the drivers of mallard/?greylard? populations. The works will allow managers to better support and regulate freshwater fisheries and game birds to ensure populations remain healthy and available for fishers and hunters in the long term while reducing the impacts on native fauna.
Adam Canning (TropWater)
Freshwater fisheries; Game bird; Salmo trutta (Salmonidae); Oncorhynchus mykiss (Salmonidae); Anas gracilis (Anatidae); Anas platyrhynchos (Anatidae)

Greening Australia Limited - Contract Research

Determining nitrogen removal from floodplain restoration with Melaleuca

Indicative Funding
$85,000 over 1 year
Tree swamps, such as those with Melaleuca, have the potential to remove nitrogen from agricultural runoff. This project aims to: (i) assess the effectiveness of a Melaleuca planting integrated within a Wet Tropics cane-dominated catchment to remove nitrogen from floodwaters before it flows to the Great Barrier Reef; and (ii) scope locations for future tree swamp integration across the Great Barrier Reef catchment.
Adam Canning in collaboration with Nathan Waltham (TropWater)
Tree swamp; Nitrogen; Sustainable Agriculture; Restoration; Water Quality; Carbon

Great Barrier Reef Foundation - Contract Research

Coastal wetland restoration options investigation.

Indicative Funding
$118,388 over 1 year
Coastal restoration aims to improve and protect sensitive and important wetland areas. While restoration projects are underway most are small scale, and to achieve targets that will help government deliver on the Reef 2050 plan objectives we need to initiate large scale project sites. This project site is set to become the largest restoration site in north Queensland, and our team will be responsible for the collection of background science to support this project site. The data generated will be used to support the development of an options report outlining the full potential of restoration outcomes.
Nathan Waltham and Adam Canning (TropWater)
Coastal Wetlands; Water quality; Blue Carbon; Fisheries; Restoration

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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