Understanding the degradation and recovery of aquatic systems

Across both developed and developing nations, aquatic systems are relied upon for provision of services to humanity and most have experienced a fundamental shift in their biogeochemical function. Understanding the resilience of aquatic ecosystem function and thresholds of change is critical to support our ongoing restoration efforts.

The long- term sustainable management of our water resources requires a quantitative assessment of how patterns of water, carbon and nutrients move through diverse and spatially heterogeneous aquatic landscapes, yet this remains poorly understood. Professor Hipsey’s research aims to bring together data from advanced ecological sensing networks with inter-disciplinary aquatic models to resolve the multi-scale dynamics of resource pathways through aquatic systems. The approach will be used to characterise resilience of our river basins and what level of disturbance leads to regime shifts and loss of amenity. This information can be used to help focus restoration efforts.


  • Professor Paul Hanson, University of Wisconsin
  • Professor David Hamilton, University of Waikato