Professor Gibb and her team are interested in developing and evaluating efficient tools and protocols for mapping and monitoring environmental values relating to biodiversity and water. This will involve remote sensing and direct terrestrial biodiversity and water research to underpin metrics for biodiversity market development. At demonstration sites, Professor Gibb’s team aim to quantify existing biodiversity and water-related environmental values on country under different land uses and evaluate gains resulting from management interventions. What land management activities provide greatest biodiversity return on investment?
The team will analyse site-level assessment to track signatures of different inputs from various sources such as land runoff, creeks, or wetlands into a river. The signatures are based on microbial DNA and how changes in management practises such as reduced stocking and fencing of riparian zones can result in a measurable reduction in signatures from a source,which can result in a management gain.
A PhD project linked to this project would involve developing bacterial indicators specific for different faecal sources such as cattle, feral animals and wildlife which allow the differentiation and semi-quantification of faecal matter in the river,compromising water quality.
In a second project, the team is interested in site-level assessments of fish species diversity—baseline data with an option for more detailed assessment if further funding is sourced. The rationale is that fish species diversity is an important metric for water quality and alternative income opportunities such as ecotourism or fishing.