Flow-MER Fridays — Autumn 2024

Our Flow-MER Fridays line-up this Autumn includes:

This series of Flow-MER Fridays has now concluded. Recordings of each session are available below. Please enjoy, and subscribe to Flow-MER updates for the next series.

Session 1: Recording available

Environmental Water: Supporting the right plants in the right places

An important part of the Flow Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Program is the evaluation of outcomes from the use of environmental water. In this series of Flow MER Friday’s we will showcase our evaluation work. The vegetation that occurs along floodplains and wetlands is highly valued for the ecological and cultural benefits it provides. A combination of land use changes and flow modification has had a detrimental effect on the condition of vegetation across many of the world’s large river systems. Environmental flows are used across the Basin to improve the condition and diversity of floodplain and wetland vegetation. Our evaluation investigates the vegetation outcomes from the use of Commonwealth environmental water over the past 9 years in the Murray Darling Basin. We demonstrate a relationship between inundation regimes and the plants that we see in wetlands and floodplains and in doing so, show how environmental water is being used to maintain a diversity of important plant species across the Murray-Darling Basin.

Professor Fiona Dyer

Fiona Dyer is a freshwater scientist interested in understanding the way freshwater systems respond to natural and man-made variations in flow so that she can inform decision making in water resource management. Fiona leads the evaluation of the outcomes from using environmental water to support the diversity and condition of non-woody vegetation.

Session 2: Recording available

Flows, fish and connectivity

This talk will explore work undertaken through Flow-MER examining basin-scale flow regimes and hydrological connectivity.  This will set the context for a discussion about fish outcomes from the use of environmental water over nine survey years (2014–23).  Current findings and learnings about flows, fish and connectivity from the Basin-scale evaluation will also be shared.

Dr Ashmita Sengupta

Ashmita is a Senior Research Scientist at Land and Water CSIRO and ecohydrologist with expertise in optimization, adaptive management of water resources geared to protect ecosystem health, sustainable low impact development design, and system vulnerabilities under climate change and other pressures.

Dr Sally Hladyz

Sally is a community and ecosystem freshwater ecologist based at the Arthur Rylah Institute. Her research focus is on linking biodiversity, ecosystem function and Food webs in an applied context to help improve the management of freshwater ecosystems. She has expertise in determining environmental flow benefits for rivers and wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Session 3: Recording available

Species conservation in the age of uncertainty

Contributors: Rupert Mathwin, Andrew Hall.

Globally, freshwater vertebrates are declining rapidly, four times faster than their terrestrial counterparts, due to threats like habitat loss and invasive species. This presentation will discuss the challenges faced by threatened species in managed floodplains and explore the potential of environmental water management in conservation efforts.

Professor Skye Wassens

Skye is the Principal Scientist and an internationally recognised ecologist at Charles Sturt University specialising in aquatic ecology and the conservation of wetland dependant amphibians.

Dr Shane Brooks

Shane is an aquatic ecologist with over 30 years of experience, and a passion for robust science, sustainable management and restoration. He seeks to ensure environmental water management is underpinned by the best available science, while simultaneously creating new knowledge.


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