Aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity

Aquatic biodiversity is the rich and wonderful variety of plants and animals that live in watery habitats. Sustaining this biodiversity is essential to the health of our environment and the quality of human life but is coming under increasing pressure, all over the world, from a variety of human activities. Our work in this area focuses on the following capabilities:

River and wetland management:

In river and wetland management our experts are primarily concerned with:

  • Identifying and reducing risks to the biodiversity of wetlands, rivers, estuaries and groundwater systems
  • Linking hydrological patterns to floodplains and wetlands to restore environmental flows and rivers
  • Understanding anthropogenic drivers of aquatic ecosystems including river regulation and the protection of minimally impacted biodiversity hotspots

Conservation practice:

We are thought leaders in aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity conservation practice, offering practical advice and research expertise in:

  • Practices and processes of rigorous adaptive management
  • Identification of ecological values of rivers
  • Policy, conservation tools and strategies

Marine bio-innovation:

Since its establishment in 1994, UNSW’s Centre for Marine Bio-Innovation has been a leader in both fundamental and applied research in the areas of microbiology and ecology. Areas of specialist knowledge include:

  • Disease in marine seaweeds
  • Microbial process in aquaculture, ecology and function of biofilms
  • Restoration of underwater forests
  • Ecology of invasive species
  • Microbial symbiosis
  • Biogenic habitats and biodiversity
  • Bio-prospecting marine microbial diversity for new drugs and bioactives
  • Microbial interactions with biochar