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.
More Waterway Ecosystem Research
- Assoc. Prof. Chris Walsh, Chris studies interactions between land use and the ecological structure and function of stream ecosystems, and the management actions required for ecologically successful stream protection or restoration.
- Prof. Tim Fletcher, Tim is a hydrologist who works on the interactions between flow regimes, water quality and stream ecosystems, focusing on the management of urban stormwater – both as a threat to streams and as a potential resource.
- Dr Nick Bond, Nick studies the ecology and management of streams and rivers, including ecological responses to altered flow regimes.
- Dr Fiona Ede, Fiona is an ecologist focusing on the restoration of plant communities in riparian areas, with research interests in revegetation techniques and invasive species management in both urban and non-urban settings.
- Dr Joe Greet, Joe is an riparian ecologist with a penchant for plants and a particular interest in relations between water regime and plant life-histories.
- Dr Yung En Chee, Yung is an ecologist who uses ecological and decision theory, models and methods to provide evidence-based solutions to conservation and ecosystem management problems.
- Dr Samantha Imberger, Samantha is a freshwater ecologist, currently studying ways to improve the structure and function of an urban stream (Little Stringybark Creek) through the application of catchment-scale water sensitive urban design.
- Dr Matthew Burns, Matt is a hydrologist and environmental engineer who studies the modelling and management of flow regimes from site- to catchment-scale.
- Dr Darren Bos, Darren is an ecologist who leads the WERG’s knowledge exchange initiatives and whose research focuses on methods of community engagement. Darren coordinates the Little Stringybark Creek project.
- Dr Chris Szota, Chris is a plant ecophysiologist who studies how plants and soils can be used to improve urban landscapes and the management of the urban water cycle.
- Mr Hugh Duncan, Hugh is seconded from Melbourne Water. He is a hydrologist with expertise across both forested and urban catchments, being the developer of several rainfall-runoff models.
- Dr Geoff Vietz, is a geomorphologist who studies environmental flows, stream sediment dynamics and ecohydraulics, in both rural and urban streams.
- Dr Joshpar (Jasper) Kunapo, a spatial hydrologist whose work focuses on distributed rainfall-runoff modelling, methods of quantifying imperviousness, and prediction of urban flooding.
- Jeremie Bonneau (PhD candidate), studying the relationship between urban stormwater and groundwater.
- David Fuller (PhD candidate), studying factors affecting the maintenance of water sensitive urban design elements.
- Andrew Thomas (PhD candidate), studying methods for enhancing the operation and maintenance of stormwater control measures.
- Kathy Russell (PhD candidate), PhD focuses on the geomorphology of headwater streams.
- Julia White (PhD candidate), studying the relationship between urbanization and stream macroinvertebrate communities.
- Tony Lovell (PhD candidate), Tony’s PhD is examining the phylogenetic structure of shrimp communities in urban streams.
- Fahmida Khanom (PhD candidate), studying the potential for rainwater harvesting is Dhaka.
- Congying Li (PhD candidate), Congying's PhD focuses on the relationship between stream hydrology and ecological health.
- Joerg Werdin (PhD candidate), studying the role of substrates in the performance of green roofs.
- Ms Genevieve Hehir, Gen is WERG’s ecological research officer, coordinating all stream ecological sampling and analysis, including macroinvertebrate identificaton.
- Mr Peter Poelsma, Peter is a hydrographer responsible for the installation, operation, maintenance and quality control of hydrologic and water quality monitoring.
- Mr Rob James, Peter is a monitoring technician responsible for the installation, operation, maintenance and quality control of hydrologic and water quality monitoring.
- Mr Mike Sammonds, Mike is WERG's data manager, responsible for the curation and quality control over all collected data. Mike's work supports all data analyses conducted by the group.
- Ms. Ruth Robinson, Ruth is the finance and administration officer within WERG.