Inland waters and catchment ecology

The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) Inland Waters and Catchment Ecology Science Program addresses the management, conservation and rehabilitation issues of:

  • inland waters
  • estuaries
  • catchment ecosystems.

We provide scientific and technical advice to government, industry and the community.

Our diverse research and expertise includes:

  • ecology and population dynamics of freshwater and estuarine fishes
  • ecology of aquatic and riparian vegetation
  • environmental water requirements
  • inland fisheries management and threatened species protection
  • ecology and management of invasive species.

Associate Professor Qifeng Ye leads this program, which has 4 interacting subprograms:

  • Fish Ecology
  • Plant Ecology
  • Invasive Species
  • Climate and Catchment.

Subprograms and research focus

Fish Ecology

This subprogram conducts applied ecological research into freshwater and estuarine fishes relevant to natural resource management. Our research includes:

  • flow-related ecology and habitat requirements of freshwater and estuarine fishes
  • fish movement, migration and passage.

Subprogram contact

Mr Brenton Zampatti (PDF 397.6 KB)
Phone: (08) 8429 0966

Plant Ecology

This subprogram conducts research into the ecology of aquatic and riparian vegetation, including:

  • impacts of altered hydraulic regimes
  • environmental water requirements
  • impacts of increased salinity
  • effects of engineered flooding
  • impacts of drought
  • baseline vegetation surveys
  • environmental health monitoring and intervention strategies.

We work closely with:

  • State and Federal Government agencies, such as:
    • Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA)
    • Department of Environment and Water (DEW)
    • natural resources management (NRM) boards
    • the Australian Government Department of Environment
    • Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

We aim to conserve and restore the long-term balance of aquatic ecosystems in the rivers and estuaries of:

  • southern Australia, including Chowilla and the Coorong
  • Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth
  • other important natural resources.

Subprogram contact

Dr Jason Nicol (PDF 393.0 KB)
Phone: (08) 8429 0955

Invasive Species

Our team conducts research into invasive freshwater fishes, such as common carp, and examines their:

  • distribution
  • abundance
  • ecological impact
  • management.

Our research provides the scientific basis for advice given to river managers and other key stakeholders.

Researchers have conducted work for:

  • the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre
  • federal, state and local government agencies
  • The University of Adelaide.

Subprogram contact

Dr Leigh Thwaites
Phone: (08) 8429 0963

Climate and Catchment

This subprogram:

  • researches drought and climate impacts on freshwater and estuarine biodiversity
  • supports natural resource management through scientific expertise and research.

Our team provides research and advice across government, non-government organisations and the community, covering areas such as:

  • ecosystem resilience to drought
  • environmental water requirements
  • flow-related fish ecology
  • environmental monitoring.

Subprogram contact

Associate Professor Qifeng Ye (PDF 148.4 KB)
Phone: (08) 8429 0774


We have collaborative relationships with:

  • State and Federal agencies
  • local universities
  • The Murray–Darling Basin Authority
  • CSIRO Land and Water.

We are a research partner with the Goyder Institute for Water Research.

Program leader

Associate Professor Qifeng Ye (PDF 148.4 KB)
Science Leader, Inland Waters and Catchment Ecology
SARDI Aquatic Sciences
PO Box 120 Henley Beach SA 5022

Phone: (08) 8429 0774
Fax: (08) 8207 5415

Page Last Reviewed: 06 Feb 2015
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