EnvironmentalWaterScienceGroup

The Environmental Water Science Group comprises a number of research active academics primarily within the School of Environmental and Life Sciences who have an underlying interest in all aspects of water science.

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Transgenic Fish

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Oysters

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Invertebrate Sorting

EXPERTISE

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

To understand research on the quantity and quality of water and wastewater systems with specific focus on environmental impacts of:

  • Decentralised infrastructure planning such as rainwater tank systems, on-site wastewater treatment systems (e.g. constructed wetlands);
  • Health of natural wetland habitats;
  • Catchment runoff and urban water quality;
  • Transport of contaminants through soils and the unsaturated zone;
  • Monitoring strategies to further evaluate the impacts of contaminants in rivers, estuarine and lake systems.

To examine the effects of pollutants on freshwater, estuarine and marine biota.

KEY RESEARCH AREAS

  • The impact of pollutants on organisms in the environment (ecotoxicology).
  • Remediation of aquatic contamination.
  • Physiology of aquatic organisms.
  • The ecology of freshwater, estuarine and marine environments.
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Projects range from cellular to microbial to whole organism to ecosystem

CURRENT PROJECTS

  • The use of fluorescent whitening compounds as indicators of human faecal contamination in environmental waters.
  • Molluscan/fish biomonitors for quantification and impact assessment of endocrine disrupting chemicals in marine and freshwater ecosystems.
  • Enhancing the bioremediation of hydrocarbon contaminants in soil.
  • Source tracking using alternative faecal indicators in water.
  • Evaluation of nurtient/microbial exports from unsewered areas.
  • The metabolic response of Staphytococci to environmental stressors.
  • Characterisation of microbial and chemical contaminants, bioreaction and water quantity dynamics in rainwater harvesting systems to optimise design.
  • Response of aquatic invertebrates to long-term contaminant exposure.
  • Current status of invertebrates in the upper Hunter River catchment.

GROUP MEMBERS

A/Prof Phillip Geary
A/Prof Hugh Dunstan
Dr Geoff MacFarlane
Dr Richard Yu
Prof Tim Roberts
Dr Craig Evans
Dr Charles Lee
Dr Steven Lucas
Dr Margaret Platell

EXTERNAL COLLABORATORS

  • Australian Research Council (Linkage and Discovery)
  • Hunter Water Corporation
  • NSW Government Departments (Industry and Investment; Environment; Climate Change and Water; Food Authority)
  • Port Stephens, Great Lakes and Lake Macquarie Councils
  • Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment
  • Bluescope Steel
  • Veolia Environment
  • Enviropacific Services
  • Newcastle Innovation