Prof Michael Douglas

Prof Michael Douglas
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Adjunct - Freshwater ecology & management
Primary research group: 
Aquatic Ecology and Management
08 8946 7261


Professor Michael Douglas leads RIEL’s Freshwater Ecology and Management Theme.

Director, NERP Northern Australia Hub

Director, Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge Research Program (TRaCK)

Michael came to northern Australia in 1991 to do 2 years of field work for his PhD. Like many others intending to stay for a short time, he has been living in Darwin ever since!

During this period has been doing research on the ecology and management of tropical ecosystems. Most of his research has focussed on understanding the effects of catchment management practices including fire, weed, forestry and water management on freshwater ecosystems in Australia and overseas. He has studied a variety of freshwater ecosystems including tropical rivers, floodplains and riparian zones and has worked on aquatic invertebrate, fish, and plant communities and on the ecosystem processes that connect them, particularly food webs. In collaboration with Samantha Setterfield, he has also worked on the ecological impacts and management of exotic grasses in savanna ecosystems with a particular focus on Gamba grass.

Most of his research has been collaborative and he has had long-running partnerships with Monash University, Griffith University, the University of Western Australia and CSIRO. Much of his research has been focussed on management outcomes and has been done in collaboration with the Australian, Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australian Governments and regional NRM groups across northern Australia. Recent research has also focussed on combining Indigenous knowledge and western science and has been done in collaboration with Traditional Owners from the Daly, Mitchell and Fitzroy Rivers.

He has been based at Charles Darwin University (CDU) since 1995 and was lecturing in ecology and environmental science until 2005. More recently he has focussed primarily on research and has played a key role in establishing and leading large collaborative research initiatives. Since 2006 he has been the Director of TRaCK - the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge program and in 2011 he became the Director of the NERP Northern Australia Hub - one of only five research hubs established under the National Environmental Research Program.

My projects

NAWFA Project 1 will focus on the adaptive water management planning cycle and examine practical

This project will synthesise information developed from TRaCK other research initiatives (eg TRAI

The key objective of NERP is to improve our capacity to understand manage and conserve Australia'

Northern Australia has the world's most significant concentration of river catchments which still

People I work with

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Dr. Erica A. Garcia
Lecturer & Senior Research Fellow's picture
Dr Peter Kyne
Senior Research Fellow's picture
Assoc Prof Alison King
Principle Research Fellow - Aquatic Ecology
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Assoc Prof David Crook
Principal Research fellow
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Pierre Feutry
Alumni - Research Fellow
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Duncan Buckle
Alumni - Research Associate
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Laura Taillebois
Postdoctoral Fellow (NAMRA)
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Kyle Tyler
PhD Candidate
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Bryan Baker
PhD Student
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Prof Jenny Davis
Head, School of Environment
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Dion Wedd
Senior Research Assistant-Aquatic Ecology
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Dr Krystle Keller
Research Fellow - Aquatic Ecology

My Places