The Waterway Ecosystem Research Group studies the interactions between landscapes and running waters. It aims to develop tools for achieving healthy streams and rivers in urban and rural landscapes.
The group is made up of ecologists, hydrologists, chemists, geomorphologists and works in collaboration with social scientists and environmental economists. Combined, these skills allow us to undertake novel interdisciplinary research, as well as fundamental and applied research within each of our own disciplines.
Our research spans laboratory studies (e.g. development and testing of stormwater management technologies), modelling (e.g. development and application of hydrologic, hydraulic and ecological models), and field-based research (e.g. examination of drivers of ecological and geomorphic condition of running waters, at whole-of-catchment scale).
We place great importance on the communication of our research and its adoption by natural resource managers. Our formal partnership with Melbourne Water, the Melbourne Waterway Research-Practice Partnership, ensures that our research activities are conceived, conducted and adopted in collaboration with the practitioners in Melbourne Water who use the research findings.
Our research has been a driver of policy change in urban planning, stormwater management, and river management, in Melbourne and beyond. For example, the Little Stringybark Creek project has been identified as an exemplar of urban catchment management for stream protection both in the academic literature and in Victorian Government policy documents.
Our ongoing research is actively solving problems in: the design, construction and maintenance of stormwater control measures to protect streams; prioritization and implementation of riparian revegetation for stream protection; flow management in rural streams.