Associate Professor Christopher Fulton & Ms Mae Noble ‘Murray crayfish as icons of healthy streams’

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Thursday, 19 October 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Chris and Mae, aquatic ecologists at ANU, will explain why this iconic species can be an effective indicator of riverine health, and be a flagship for community efforts to conserve freshwater streams in south-east Australia.

Chris Fulton, an Associate Professor at an Australian National University, is an aquatic ecologist who combines lab and field-based approaches to find solutions to the environmental issues that threaten our aquatic biodiversity and wellbeing. When Chris is not teaching here in Canberra, his is often underwater in the cold streams of the Snowy Mountains, or in warmer climates like the Daintree, Ningaloo reef, Papua New Guinea, and French Polynesia. Chris is President of the Australian Society for Fish Biology.

Mae Noble is a PhD student studying aquatic conservation at The Australian National University. Mae’s early career involved coral reef research in the Caribbean, Saudi Arabia and Australia. Having developed a love for the Murray crayfish, she has now turned her attention to freshwater ecosystems, where she is examining how spatial mapping approaches can be used to integrate social and environmental values into aquatic conservation and management.

Measuring the outcomes of a management intervention can be challenging in freshwater ecosystems. For instance, the removal of an abundant invasive species (e.g. European carp) can produce a cascade of complex effects that range from profound shifts in food webs and the relative abundance of other species, to complex alterations in water quality and habitat condition. Using Murray crayfish (Euastacus armatus) as an example, Chris and Mae will explain some of the reasons why this iconic species can provide an effective indicator of riverine health, and a flagship for community participation and public awareness of efforts to conserve freshwater streams in south-east Australia.