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Professor Damien Burrows

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Director of TropWATER and Team Leader of the Freshwater Ecology Group

Phone: +61 7 4781 4262

Damien Burrows is the founding Director of TropWATER and the Hub leader for the National Environment Science Programme Tropical Water Quality hub – a 6-year $32M research program focusing on improving water quality of the Great Barrier Reef and its catchments. Damien is also a member of the federal government Independent Expert Panel for the Great Barrier Reef.  Previously, he was Director of the Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research (ACTFR).  He is a Senior Research Scientist specialising in freshwater, estuarine and coastal aquatic ecosystems and catchment management. He has BSc and PhD degrees from James Cook University. Damien has 25 years research experience in the tropics. He majored in Zoology and Marine Biology for his degree. Damien’s PhD studies focused on mangrove ecology and he has spent most of his professional life studying freshwater ecosystems.  His professional experience began conducting research into the plants and insect faunas of aquatic systems and forested freshwater wetlands, particularly mangroves. His subsequent experience has been more varied in the ecology of wetlands, water quality, biological control of weeds, the ecology of fish and invertebrates, grazing management in riparian ecosystems, wetland management in cropping catchments, planning for water resource developments, fisheries management, catchment planning and management.  He has recently focused on developing the coastal ecosystems side of TropWATER, especially mangrove, seagrass and estuarine habitats.

Recent projects

  • Fish biodiversity of northern Australia
  • Pest fish management and control
  • Wetland restoration projects in the Burdekin catchment
  • Water quality and aquatic habitat assessment of the Northern Gulf of Carpentaria
  • Assessment and analysis of development of Australia's tropical rivers
  • Managing for riparian health in Australia's tropical savannas
  • Historical landscape change
  • Tolerance of fishes to low dissolved oxygen
  • Improved usage of dissolved oxygen guidelines in water monitoring programs


Full list of publications on ResearchOnline@JCU

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