A/Professor David McCarthy


  • Urban hydrology; environmental microbiology; civil engineering
  • Surveillance & significance of AMR microbes in water systems

A/Prof David McCarthy studies the movement of pollutants within urban water systems and the subsequent treatment of storm- and waste-waters for the protection of downstream ecosystems and human health. His PhD used the collection and uncertainty analysis of urban stormwater microorganism datasets, to develop a new model to predict microbes in urban stormwater. He is a project leader in the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, with a focus on how to effectively remove pathogens from various water sources using passive (or natural) treatment technologies. David currently studies the sources, sinks and processes of pathogens in the Yarra River estuary.

David is in Water Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University. He obtained Bachelors in Science and Engineering (Hons) with a major in Civil Engineering (Water). He completed his PhD in 2009 “Modelling microorganisms in Urban Stormwater”. He is a member of the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR). He is a Churchill Fellow (2009), FASIC Fellow (2012) and a Victoria Fellow (2014), and also won a 2014 Young Tall Poppy Science Award.


  • Assessing exposure pathways for pathogens causing gastrointestinal infection and antimicrobial resistance acquisition among children living in informal coastal settlements.
  • Development of water treatment technologies including biofiltration, solar-induced, dark-active photocatalytic membranes for water disinfection.
  • Hazard identification to risk management.
  • Sources, sinks and processes of faecal contamination in urban estuaries.


  • Biological engineering to decontaminate waste streams and reduce microbial loads and AMR, including plant derived antimicrobials, biofilters and enhanced urban water design.