Funding for NT freshwater fish research

09-Jul-2015

The team has secured funding to forecast the resilience of freshwater fish species in Northern Australia

The team has secured funding to forecast the resilience of freshwater fish species in Northern Australia


Research aiming to forecast the resilience of freshwater fish species in Northern Australia has been funded as part of the latest round of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Linkage Projects scheme.

Minister for Education and Training, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, announced the $900,000 project, funded in conjunction with Charles Darwin University and the Northern Territory Government.

CDU Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods principle research fellow Associate Professor Alison King said that while North Australian rivers were among the most pristine and productive on earth, they faced profound change due to human activity.

“A critical challenge for scientists and managers in Northern Australia is to understand whether riverine fish will persist in a changing environment,” Dr King said. “This project aims to provide decision-makers with essential information and new tools to underpin future planning and resource management.”

Dr King said the project built on 10 years of relevant work in the region.

“It will build on research by the team into how flow regimes influence riverine fish.”

She said that emerging evidence suggested that flexibility in functional traits such as life history, physiology, behaviour and diet may result in resilience to environmental change.

“Life history trait models for fish have proven a powerful and useful template for predicting the resilience, robustness and vulnerability of fishes to environmental change,” she said.

“This project aims to use a traits-based modelling framework to forecast the resilience of freshwater fish in Northern Australia to impending environmental change.”

Dr King said the work would be conducted across six river systems throughout the Northern Territory.

Charles Darwin University researchers will work in collaboration with the Northern Territory Government Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries, and Department of Land Resource Management; and researchers from Griffith University, Queensland and the University of Washington, Seattle.  

For further information visit: W: www.arc.gov.au/rms-funding-announcements-web-page

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