Faculty of Science and Technology


Group leader:

Dr Jessica Reeves

  • Dr Keely Mills (Hon)
  • Dr Lucy Nairn
  • Dr Peter Newall (Hon)
  • Dr Jonathan Tyler (Hon)


Andrew Barton has over 10 years' experience in the water and research industries where he's developed significant expertise and research skills across water resource planning, hydro-informatics and applied hydraulics. Andrew has a water industry reputation for pragmatic water resource management, particularly in the context of highly charged political environments and contests over water. He also has considerable experience with the design and administration of bulk entitlement and water allocation frameworks, and the operation of water supply systems during both extreme droughts and extreme floods. Andrew also undertakes consulting in his areas of expertise.

Stephen Carey is a geologist and palaeontologist with particular interests in trace fossils and the regolith. While formerly considered very rare, vertebrate trace fossils are sufficiently common in the Pleistocene of Australia to enable fruitful research into their significance for Pleistocene biodiversity and other aspects of palaeobiology.

Michelle Casanova has been working on water plants for twenty-five years, mostly in relation to water regime and environmental water requirements. She is a specialist researcher on family Characeae and seed banks.

Peter Dahlhaus has extensive knowledge of the groundwater flow systems and groundwater-surface water interactions of south west Victoria. He has made much of this information accessible through the interoperative web-GIS: "Visualising Victoria's Groundwater" (http://www.vvg.org.au/).

Peter Gell has undertaken paleoecological research for over 25 years, mostly in the use of fossil diatoms to infer climate change and past wetland condition. He convened OZPACS (human impact on Australian ecosystems) and is the Water theme leader of IGBP PAGES Focus IV (Human- Climate - Environment interactions).

Rosie Grundell is a palaeolimnologist with an interest in the investigation of diatom-inferred water quality histories from wetland sediments. Diatoms are particularly sensitive to water quality and so are important bio-indicators of the condition of streams and other wetlands. They also preserve as fossils in sediments and changes in assemblages of species down a sediment core can reflect changes in the condition of a wetland over time.

Birgita Hansen is an ecologist with research interests in improving the science and practice of riparian restoration. She is currently investigating the relationship between riparian condition and woodland bird breeding success in the highly modified landscapes of northern Victoria. She also has a strong background in waterbird ecology in coastal, estuarine and freshwater systems

Giri Kattel uses cladoceran zooplankton as a model organism to understand ecosystem processes of lakes, reservoirs and large river floodplain lakes. He has used both modern and subfossil assemblages of cladocerans as an important indicator of past climate change and anthropogenic impacts on lakes and rivers of both hemispheres including the UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and China.

Keely Mills is a palaeolimnologist whose research interests centre on trying to understand how lake ecosystems have responded to past climate changes from a multi-disciplinary perspective and to understand how resilient vulnerable but ecologically important freshwater resources may be to future climate changes, especially under increasing pressure from human activity, pollution and modification.

Lucy Nairn investigates the effects of changing flow regimes on aquatic and floodplain vegetation, ranging from stream macroalgae and bryophytes to river red gums. Recent projects have included assessing the health of river red gums and associated vegetation in relation to flood history; identifying the restoration potential of floodplain vegetation communities with different land-use histories and documenting the location and effects of floodplain structures on ecosystems.

Peter Newall is an aquatic ecologist who focuses on the science-management interface, exploring the effects of local and regional influences on the condition of aquatic ecosystems. He is interested in the use of biological, physical and chemical indicators in the assessment of ecosystems, the concept of reference condition and the approach to setting targets for ecosystem management. His skills include ecological risk assessments; ecological character descriptions; and monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

Jessica Reeves uses ostracod assemblages, taphonomy and shell chemistry to determine past climates in aquatic environments. She is most interested in long-term climate change, particularly throughout the last glacial cycle (~125 ka). Jessica is the Australian co-ordinator for SHAPE (Southern Hemisphere Assessment of PalaeoEnvironments) and the President of the Australasian Quaternary Association. Jessica is also interested in the impact of contaminants in wetlands and estuaries and groundwater fauna (stygofauna).

Jonathon Tyler is an isotope geochemist and palaeoclimatologist, with interests in both the development and validation of geochemical proxies and their application in reconstructing past climates from lake sediments. Much of his work involves investigation of the contemporary geochemistry of lakes and the sedimenting algal remains within. He is a lecturer in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Adelaide, and is a data manager for the PAGES 2K project.