Joanne Clapcott

Joanne Clapcott

Team Leader – Freshwater Ecosystems

Role at Cawthron

Joanne is a senior scientist and team leader within the Coastal and Freshwater Group. Her research focuses on quantifying the effects of varying land uses on river health. It requires expertise in both structural and functional indicators of river health (not just what is there, but what it is doing), and a strong conceptual knowledge of lotic ecosystems from small streams to large rivers. 

Joanne is interested in how rivers vary in space and time and uses flexible modelling techniques to show this. She has helped develop ecosystem health monitoring programs as well as standardised functional indicators, macroinvertebrate and stream habitat assessment methods for rivers and streams.

Robust indicators mean that we can measure impacts but also measure recovery. Joanne enjoys working with industry, government and iwi/community to maintain and improve environmental outcomes for freshwaters.

Technical skills, experience and interests

  • Development of novel techniques for assessing river health
  • Effects of land use on in-stream processes
  • Metabolism and organic matter dynamics
  • Food web ecology
  • River restoration

Professional affiliations

  • New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society
  • Australian Society for Limnology
  • Society for Freshwater Science

Iwi affiliation

  • Ngāti Porou


  • PhD. University of Tasmania, 2007
  • MESc. Griffith University, 2001
  • BSc. Massey University, 1995



Joanne Clapcott