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Higher degree projects



Thai Uyen Chi Le: Causal modelling for socio-economic-ecological outcomes of various flow regimes in the Murray-Darling Basin River Basin, Australia

This proposed study intends to utilize causal modelling as a novel tool to model the causal effects of various water regimes on a river ecosystem, and explore how such a model could be used to establish reasonable ecological targets and sustainable diversion limits, taking into account existing economic and socioeconomic models in the Murray-Darling River Basin.

Daniel Svozil: Trait variation and adaptation of isolated fish populations

The aim of this project is to examine the relative contribution of flow velocity among other selective pressures, to differences in morphological, functional and reproductive traits between populations of Australian smelt (Retropinna semoni) and Eastern mosquito fish (Gambusia holbrooki) from reservoir and river habitats.

Luke McPhan: Carbon flux in Aquatic food webs: Investigating the influence of Basal carbon on the daily growth of larval fish and their dietary nutrition in the southern Murray-Darling basin

Understanding the flux of carbon in freshwater systems is of upmost importance when considering the persistence of native fish in Australian rivers. As anthropogenic flow regulation by dams and weirs continues to disrupt carbon flow along rivers, impacts of carbon supply to riverine food webs remain unknown with potential impacts on the growth, conservation and management of riverine taxa from riparian vegetation to aquatic vertebrates.

Georgia Dwyer: The nutritional ecology of two-spined blackfish (Gadopsis bispinosus) and the river blackfish (G. marmoratus)

This research is important because it will address fundamental issues in nutritional ecology and because it will shed a light on the role of dietary adjustment to the health and survival of native Australian freshwater fishes. The latter should assist ecosystem managers to sustain Two-spined and River blackfish populations.

Simon Mom: Investigate the effect of body size variation at the species level on resistance to various drought-induced stressors

Southern Australia is expected to experience more severe and more frequent droughts in the future. At present there is little understanding as to how the animals that live in wetlands will respond to such changes; especially, as some changes are likely to be too rapid to allow for evolutionary adaption.

Paul McInerney: The effect of Willows (Salix spp.) on freshwater ecosystem dynamics

The effects of willows and willow removal on river function and the rehabilitation process required to return willow removal sites to an ecologically and socially acceptable state need to be investigated if future willow removal works are to be conducted to their highest potential.

Annaleise Klein: Iron biogeochemistry in aquatic ecosystems.

The proposed research aims to further develop our understanding of the bioavailability of iron in aquatic (freshwater) ecosystems, focussing on iron speciation and geochemistry.

Clayton Harris: Dissolved organic nitrogen in rivers: sources, bioavailability and response to flow

Candidate Clayton Harris Supervisor/s Dr Ewen Silvester (La Trobe University) Dr Gavin Rees (MDFRC/CSIRO) Summary This project investigatesĀ the bioavailable portion of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) This will be studied in relation to longitudinal

Adrian Clements: Ecological response to water regime of the aquatic vegetation in Lake Brewster, NSW

This project will investigate the ecological response of aquatic vegetation to water regime at Lake Brewster, NSW.

Ann-Marie Rohlfs: The influence of river regulation on dissolved organic carbon in the Upper Snowy River

This project examines the influence of river regulation on dissolved organic carbon (DOC) quantity, quality, supply patterns and biological uptake in the Snowy River below Jindabyne Dam. This study will improve our understanding of the potential contribution of tributaries to the recovery of regulated rivers through supplying DOC.

Slade Allen-Ankins: Physiological mechanisms underlying fish distributions along altitudinal gradients; testing for thermal adaptation.

This project will meld descriptive studies in streams of NE Victoria with metabolic experiments in the MDFRC fish lab.