Dr Sarah McDonald early career researcher, (one year post PhD), is a research officer with the Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystems Research (TropWATER) at James Cook University and published research scientist. Her expertise spans the fields of environmental chemistry, freshwater ecology, biological statistics and ecotoxicology.

Dr McDonald’s field of special competence is water and sediment quality assessment, focusing on the quantification of the form (speciation), behaviour (bioavailability) and ecotoxicological impact (bioaccumulation) of chemical contaminants and stressors, and the development of suitable ecological monitoring tools to measure and mitigate these impacts. She has a deep and varied understanding of the national water quality guidelines framework and the application of the guidelines in complex ephemeral systems such as dry streambeds of the wet-dry tropics and urban stormwater systems. Her additional capabilities include knowledge on the role of dissolved organic matter in aquatic ecosystems, it’s characteristics and effect on the speciation and toxicity of chemical contaminants.

Dr McDonald is specialised in a range of laboratory-, computer- and field-based techniques. Specifically, she has expertise conducting laboratory bioassays on a variety of aquatic biota to determine contaminant kinetics and threshold values, including the application of radiotracers and advanced imaging autoradiography. Dr McDonald has practical experience in environmental analytical chemistry and the development of statistical methods and models for ecotoxicological applications. Her field-based expertise directly relates to practical water, sediment and macroinvertebrate sampling spanning temperate to tropical environments and from highly urbanised to remote settings.

Research Disciplines
  • 2021 - Royal Society of Victoria Young Scientist Research Prize
  • 2021 - Albert Shimmins Post Graduate Writing Up Award
  • 2019 - Animal Welfare Excellence Award
  • 2018 - Drummond Travel Award
  • 2018 to 2021 - Australian Institude of Nuclear Science and Engineering Post Graduate Research Award
  • 2018 to 2020 - Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment Award
  • 2021 - Women in Nuclear (WiN)
  • 2021 - Royal Society of Victoria
  • 2020 - Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI)
  • 2017 - Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)

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.

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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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