My research broadly focuses on catchment water quality in northern Australia, particularly the role of anthropogenic stressors in aquatic communities. One key area of interest is in identification of progressive agricultural practices that offer improvements from a natural resource management perspective to industry, while also ensuring the long-term social and economic viability of farming enterprises. I am also interested in better quantifying the temporal and spatial extent of water quality contamination in coastal freshwater and estuarine wetlands, particularly with regard to chronic, sub-lethal exposure to pollutants.

Other areas of research interest broadly include fish ecology, particularly size-related trophic ecology and the evolutionary processes influencing the present-day Australasian fish fauna. This includes the biogeographic, phylogenetic and paleoecological drivers that have shaped the unique contemporary fish assemblage structure evident in Australian freshwaters. Other research interests include landscape ecology in relation to wetland connectivity, and the identification of primary production sources for aquatic communities and relationships to flow regime (i.e. dietary and isotopic ecology).


Research Disciplines
  • 2013 - Dean's List for Higher Research Degree Excellence
  • 2014 - Queensland Smithsonian Fellowship

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Conference Papers

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 49+ research outputs authored by Aaron Davis from 2007 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Sugar Research Australia - Research Grant

Keeping our chemicals in their place - in the field

Indicative Funding
$55,602 over 5 years (administered by Sugar Research Australia)
The study assesses on-farm management practices in relation to minimising off-farm losses of pesticides in the Australian sugar industry. The study will involve a series of integrated short-term and long-term paddock-scale studies of pesticide movement in runoff to identify best management practices for pesticide management.
Aaron Davis (TropWATER)
Great Barrier Reef; Water Quality; Sugarcane; Pesticides

Department of the Environment and Energy - National Environmental Science Program (NESP) - Tropical Water Quality Hub (TWQ Hub)

'Project 25' - farmers, water quality and on-farm decision-making

Indicative Funding
$400,000 over 3 years
Landholder concerns surrounding the credibility of broad-scale water quality monitoring and modelling initiatives in the GBR catchment area are one of the key cane industry engagement challenges for promoting significant farming practice change, and water quality improvements. Based around small, sub-catchment water quality monitoring in a key GBR cane growing region, Project 25 utilises a bottom-up approach to integrated sub-catchment monitoring and intervention to identify 'hot spot' sub-catchments through localised water quality monitoring. The Project emphasises industry ownership and control of monitoring design, and delivery of locally targeted water quality data and extension effort to facilitate practice change.
Aaron Davis in collaboration with Bruce Taylor, Tony Webster and Simon Fielke (TropWATER and Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation)
Farming; Great Barrier Reef; Stakeholder; sugarcane; Monitoring; Nutrient

Sugar Research Australia - Contract Research

Project 2016002 - Protecting our chemicals for the future through accelerated adoption of best management practice

Indicative Funding
$39,000 over 2 years
A collaborative project with Sugar Research Australia to identify appropriate management strategies for pesticides to maximise efficacy while minimising pesticide losses off-farm. Key JCU-TropWATER roles in project include: 1. Expert interpretation of water quality data sets generated through rainfall simulation and other water quality monitoring activities. 2. Advice on experimental design and planning 3. Assistance in running rainfall simulation and water quality monitoring activities as required. 4. Assistance in communication of results and water quality issues, including presentation and discussion with growers.
Aaron Davis (TropWATER)
Pesticides; Water Quality; Sugarcane; Herbicides; Great Barrier Reef

Territory Iron Pty Ltd - Contract Research

Environmental Monitoring & Assessment of Frances Creek Operations

Indicative Funding
$421,554 over 3 years
Review of historic data and site visit for development of a receiving environment monitoring program for the Frances Creek Iron Ore Mine, Northern Territory.
Aaron Davis in collaboration with Barry Butler and Christopher Williams (TropWATER)
Biological Monitoring; Receiving Environment; Aquatic Ecology; Iron; Mining

Department of the Environment and Energy - National Environmental Science Program (NESP) - Tropical Water Quality Hub (TWQ Hub)

Engaging with farmers and demonstrating water quality outcomes to create confidence in on-farm decision-making ("Project 25")

Indicative Funding
$460,000 over 3 years, in partnership with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection ($21,500)
Recent global experiences suggest that spatially identifying and prioritizing landscape `hotspots? of pollutant generation for management intervention, and small catchment-scale water quality monitoring in collaboration with landholders linking water quality with specific management practices, are among the most promising strategies for reducing water quality pollution. This project will combine recent hotspot identification in GBR sugarcane catchment of the Russel/Mulgrave with targeted cane farmer interaction activities (related to sub-catchment and localized monitoring activities), focusing on emerging monitoring technologies (real-time water quality monitoring) to link farmer on-farm practices with feedback from sub-catchment water quality measurements. The use of both scientific and citizen science monitoring approaches will deliver robust feedback loops to enable farmers to directly link their activities with water quality conditions. The project will focus on on-farm practice improvements in highest priority catchments to achieve maximum benefits to GBR health from catchment management actions.
Aaron Davis in collaboration with Dom Henderson, Chris Johnson and Chris Turner (TropWATER, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, QLD Department of Science and Information Technology and Innovation)
Water Quality; Monitoring; nutrients; Sugarcane; Pesticides; Great Barrier Reef

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit the JCU Research Data Catalogue.


The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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