About

 

Ebb has a BSc Honours from James Cook University (JCU) majoring in Marine Biology, and a PhD in Environmental Management & Ecology from La Trobe University. He has spent more than 25 years working at small regional laboratories for CSIRO, state agencies and universities, primarily researching fishes with emphasis on applied and pure aspects of the ecology of rare and threatened species. Elasmobranchs, semiaquatic reptiles and macrocrustacean are also within scope of his research. Ebb’s knowledge stems from substantial field experience and aquaria-based learning with habitat use, animal behaviour and biogeography being central themes of his research.

 

Postgraduate students with similar interests and especially those with a desire to communicate science broadly to society can contact Dr Ebner to discuss possible projects. Increasingly, Ebb is trying to understand the conservation interface between science and society and improving science communication, especially involving visual materials. Therefore those with non-scientific strengths (e.g. artists, film makers, tourism operators, indigenous rangers, economists) are welcome to get in contact to collaborate. Prospective honours and PhD students should have given some time to thinking about potential projects. As a guide, PhD candidates with a science background should usually have at least one first-author peer reviewed paper or equivalent experience, to demonstrate competence and compete for scholarships.

 

Research Disciplines
Publications

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU.

Journal Articles
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ResearchOnline@JCU stores 54+ research outputs authored by Dr Brendan Ebner from 2008 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Cairns Airport Pty Ltd - Contract Research

Fish Surveys Cairns Airport

Indicative Funding
$28,000
Summary
The Cairns Airport Pty Ltd is in the process of describing the aquatic food web at the airport and in the context of the Barron River and Saltwater Creek catchments. The purpose of this is to provide a basis from which to select appropriate taxa to serve as indicators of ecosystem health specifically in relation to the bioaccumulation of potentially harmful chemicals. Fish survey are to be performed in concert with literature review in developing a conceptual and empirical understanding of the food web.
Investigators
Brendan Ebner (TropWATER)
Keywords
Cairns Airport; Aquatic Food Webs

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Contract Research

Incursions of aquarium trade taxa

Indicative Funding
$30,000
Summary
This project will review existing and potential incursion pathways of freshwater aquarium trade taxa to tropical Australian systems.
Investigators
Brendan Ebner in collaboration with David Morgan (TropWATER and Murdoch University)
Keywords
Aquarium Trade Taxa; Exotic Species; Home Aquarium Release

Cape York Natural Resource Management Ltd - Contract Research

Fish Surveys of the Jardine River Catchment

Indicative Funding
$30,904 over 2 years
Summary
This project involves developing a rapid assessment of the fish fauna of freshwater habitats in the Jardine River catchment and nearby streams. A mix of survey methods including netting and observational approaches are used. Baited underwater cameras in dangerous waters (i.e. crocodiles) and snorkelling in small waterways provides a means of rapidly assessing the composition of the fish fauna at a range of sites. Netting is also used to verify records of species and to collect species unlikely to be seen by the visual techniques (e.g. nocturnal species).
Investigators
Brendan Ebner (TropWATER)
Keywords
Fish fauna; Freshwater habitats; Wetlands; River

Cape York Natural Resource Management Ltd - Contract Research

Violet Vale Station Wetland Surveys 2017

Indicative Funding
$13,570 over 2 years
Summary
This is the second survey of aquatic fauna of the expansive floodplain wetlands on Violet Vale Station. Typically wetlands are diverse ecosystems that support high levels of biodiversity and perform essential ecosystem services. Importantly, wetlands act as nursery grounds for a number of commercially important fish species such as Barramundi; sustaining natural recruitment and also recreational and commercial fishing industries. This aquatic ecosystems are vulnerable to degradation by feral herbivores such as cattle, pigs and horses as well as invasion by semi-aquatic and aquatic weeds. It is important to establish a baseline and ongoing inventory of species inhabiting the wetlands to monitor the effect of management actions such as destocking, exclusion fencing and weed removal. The project will document the aquatic fauna of the area and fill in knowledge gaps surrounding aquatic biodiversity in the northern section of the Normanby catchment. We will again use fyke nets plan to use a suite as the primary survey technique and seine netting, and frame netting and electrofishing where appropriate. Survey methods will be designed to maximise species detection and will be based on repeated deployment and effort as per the previous expedition to aid in before and after fencing comparisons of the aquatic fauna assemblages. The project will culminate in a short report complete with photos, maps and an inventory of species observed at each site surveyed.
Investigators
Brendan Ebner (TropWATER)
Keywords
Fishe fauna; Freshwater habitats; Wetlands; Rivers; Cattle; Pigs

CSIRO - Contract Research

NAWRA Project: Mitchell River Region

Indicative Funding
$142,200 over 3 years
Summary
This research will oversee ecological assessment within the Mitchell River Region in an overriding water resources integrated evaluation of the feasibility, economic viability and sustainability of water, agricultural development and regional industries for each of the three key regions of Northern Australia comprising the Mitchell River catchment (Queensland), West Kimberley Fitzroy River catchment (Western Australia) and the Darwin region (Northern Territory). The assessments will seek to support deliberation and decisions concerning sustainable regional economic development.
Investigators
Brendan Ebner (TropWATER)
Keywords
Mitchell River; Regional Development; Ecological Assessment; Northern Australia

Northern Gulf Resource Management Group - Contract Research

Cape York Aquatic Vertebrate Surveys

Indicative Funding
$30,000
Summary
This research will involve undertaking aquatic fauna surveys in Cape York wetland systems of the upper Annan, Normandy and Endeavour River and in spring fed creeks on the Dickson Plateau and Henderson Range. The objective is to ascertain what is living in these environments, in terms of fish, reptiles, tortoises etc. and to provide data analysis and conservation recommendations.
Investigators
Brendan Ebner in collaboration with Tim Hughes and Terry Vallance (TropWATER, South Endeavour Trust and Tropical River Consulting)
Keywords
Normandy River; Endeavour River Litter-skink; Cape York Fauna; Upper Annan; Freshwater Fauna; Fauna Survey

Cape York Natural Resource Management Ltd - Contract Research

Wetlands Survey for Aquatic Biodiversity at Violetvale Station

Indicative Funding
$19,802 over 2 years
Summary
This project aims to document the aquatic fauna and quantify the water quality of wetlands on Boiled Vale Station. These surveys will target fish, crustaceans and turtles and will provide an indication of the inherent biodiversity value of the wetlands and serve as baseline data to monitor future management actions.
Investigators
Brendan Ebner and James Donaldson (TropWATER)
Keywords
Wetlands; Water Quality; Recreational Species; Biodiversity; Management; Feral Herbivores

Department of Environment and Heritage Protection - Everyone's Environment Grants

Conservation planning for cling gobies and short-steep-coastal-streams in the Australian Wet Tropics

Indicative Funding
$99,650 over 2 years
Summary
In recent years, 10 species of colourful freshwater fish called cling gobies not previously recorded from Australia have been discovered in tropical north Queensland. Cling Gobies inhabit short-steep-coastal-streams (SSCS) characterised by very small rain forested catchments that drain directly to the ocean in high rainfall areas, and these ecosystems have only very recently been recognised as unique in the Australian landscape. This project aims to model the hydrology of short-steep-coastal-streams and the distribution of cling gobies in the wet tropics to identify priority areas for conservation.
Investigators
Brendan Ebner and James Donaldson in collaboration with Peter Ridd and Travis Sydes (TropWATER, College of Science & Engineering and Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils)
Keywords
Hydrology; short-steep-coastal-streams; Sicyiinae; Wet Tropics; water resource management; cling gobies

CSIRO - Contract Research

Bioregional Assessment Program (Technical Program)

Indicative Funding
$214,865 over 3 years
Summary
The Bioregional Assessment Program involves the Department of the Environment, CSIRO and GeoSciences Australia in providing information about the potential risks from coal seam gas and coal mining in Australia. The aquatic ecological advice this contract covers is central to this process. This includes information relating to fishes and macroinvertebrates and modelling the likely impacts of scenarios involving mining effects on ground and surface water hydrology and associated ecosystems.
Investigators
Brendan Ebner (TropWATER)
Keywords
Coal Seam Gas; Coal Mining; Aquatic Ecology; Ground Water; Surface Waters; Aquatic Ecosystems
Collaboration

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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