FEIT Research Project Database

How does habitat-network structure drive ecology in riverine landscapes?

Project Leader: Angus Webb
Primary Contact: Angus Webb (angus.webb@unimelb.edu.au)
Keywords: bioinformatics; ecohydrology; environmental hydrology and water resources; network science; spatial analysis
Disciplines: Infrastructure Engineering

River systems are among the most diverse and productive ecosystems worldwide; they are also the most threatened by human activities. Rivers networks have a unique dendritic (ie, branch-like) structure compared to better-understood terrestrial networks. While we have a good understanding of the biology of many river species, we have little knowledge of how the dendritic structure of river systems affects these organisms.

This project aims to undertake coordinated and complementary theoretical, empirical and experimental work to better understand the ecological implications of river network structure. There is the potential to appoint two PhD students to different aspects of the project. This will greatly improve our understanding of these most important of ecosystems, providing a sounder basis for management of human impacts.