I study invertebrate biodiversity in a variety of temporary waters across the inland. One focus is on the taxonomy of large branchiopods (fairy shrimps, clam shrimps and shield shrimps) and over the last few years I have described 26 new species. Furthermore, in collaboration with overseas geneticists, the evolutionary relationships among species and genera are being elucidated.
Another aspect of my research concerns the biogeography and seasonality of the fauna of gnammas (rock holes) in Australia. These small specialised habitats often support a bewildering variety of microorganisms in southwest Western Australia, but few in eastern Australia. I am trying to build on knowledge of factors which influence diversity in gnammas, with the ultimate aim of explaining the difference in diversity across Australia.
I have authored a book on the geomorphology of lakes and am presently active researching the geomorphology of gnammas.
I have long been interested in inland salt lakes, Australia having more salt lakes than any other country. Presently I am studying the survival of normally freshwater fairy and clam shrimps, in hyposaline lakes, both in Western Australia and the Paroo in the Murray-Darling Basin.
Another aquatic habitat that interests me is the ubiquitous clay pan. The extreme turbidity of these wetlands could be thought of restricting diversity and productivity, but nevertheless they often support rich and somewhat regionalised communities. With a knowledge base of Paroo clay pans, I am now venturing further afield with studies in southwest Western Australia and inland central Queensland.
Level 5 East Biological Sciences South (E26)
UNSW, Kensington 2052