Projects for graduate students

Dr Valentina Colombo

Research interests
Freshwater ecosystems, ecotoxicology, bio tests (development and optimisation) for aquatic pollution control, invertebrates, assessment of pollution impact.

Links:
Dr Valentina Colombo on Research Gate

Contact:
colombom@unimelb.edu.au

Potential MSc projects

  • Using dormant eggs and algal jellies to detect pollution in aquatic ecosystems
  • Development of bio tests with mud-snails for the detection of man-made hormone disruptors
  • ToxPods: Optimising bio tests with amphipods (crustaceans) to be used as a diagnostic tool for water pollution
Dr Kathryn Hassell

Research interests
Effects of pollution and contaminants in aquatic organisms; sub‐lethal and long‐term effects of environmental stressors; endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Links:
Dr Kathryn Hassell on Google Scholar

Contact:
khassell@unimelb.edu.au

Potential MSc projects

  • Effects of chemical exposure on native fish reproduction (egg production and egg quality, fertility, larval survival and fitness)
  • Effects of chemical exposure on fish detoxification enzyme activities (tissue biomarkers)
  • Pollution biomonitoring (assessment of wild fish captured from Victorian estuaries)

Dr Katherine Jeppe

Research interests
Ecotoxicology, biomarkers, metabolomics, transcriptomics and gene expression, environmental monitoring.

Links:
Dr Katherine Jeppe on Research Gate

Contact:
kjeppe@unimelb.edu.au

Potential MSc projects

  • Measuring reproductive responses of the snail Potamopyrgus antipodarum after in situ and in vitro exposure to anthropogenic contaminants, including endocrine disrupting chemicals.
  • Biomarkers of contaminant exposure, development and validation of biomarkers of exposure in invertebrates

Dr Claudette Kellar

Research interests
Freshwater ecology; environmental impacts, environmental assessment, pollution impacts, multiple lines of evidence, macroinvertebrate assemblages.

Links:
Dr Claudette Kellar on Research Gate

Contact:
ckellar@unimelb.edu.au

Potential MSc projects

  • Ecological effects of pollution in freshwater ecosystems
  • Understanding pollution effects on aquatic biota Identifying primary factors causing biological impairment in freshwater ecosystems

Dr Sara Long

Research interests
Aquatic ecotoxicology, pollution, metabolomics, developing novel early warning biomarkers of pollution exposure, mechanisms of toxicity, epigenetics, mixtures.

Links:
Dr Sara Long on Research Gate

Contact:
hoskins@unimelb.edu.au

Potential MSc projects

  • Unravelling the mechanism of how pesticides affect aquatic insect emergence and reproduction, using novel ‘omics’ techniques
  • Understanding effects of mixtures of metals and fungicides on the life cycle of estuarine invertebrates
  • Identifying small metabolite early warning biomarkers of pollution that reflect more ecologically relevant endpoints in aquatic systems.

Dr Jackie Myers

Research interests
Marine & freshwater ecotoxicology; understanding impacts of human induced stressors, micro‐ and macro algal, seagrass and mangrove toxicology, aquatic plants and algae in environmental assessment, pesticides in our environment, algal toxins, seafood safety during harmful algal blooms.

Links:
Dr Jackie Myers on Research Gate

Contact:
jhmyers@unimelb.edu.au

Potential MSc projects

  • Micro- and macro- algae as indictors of environmental impacts in wetlands
  • Effects of anthropogenic contaminants to aquatic plants
  • Seagrass and mangroves toxicology
  • Using dormant eggs and algal jellies to detect pollution in aquatic ecosystems

Dr Allyson O’Brien

Research interests
Marine ecology; community ecology, ecotoxicology, soft sediment invertebrates, DNA metabarcoding and metabolomics, ecological modelling, environmental impact assessments.

Links:
Dr Allyson O’Brien's website

Contact:
allyson@unimelb.edu.au

Potential MSc projects

  • Developing new biomarkers for pollution detection in estuaries
  • Understanding population‐level effects of pollutants on soft sediment invertebrates
  • Using DNA meta‐barcoding to understand ecological resilience of marine benthic communities

Dr David Sharley

Research interests
Aquatic Pollution; benthic biology, aquatic pollution tracking, Landscape chemistry, urban wetland ecology, integrated catchment management, Linking environmental research outcomes to policy.

Links:
Dr David Sharley on Google Scholar

Contact:
dsharley@unimelb.edu.au

Potential MSc projects

  • Interactions between catchment pollution and environmental health of urban waterways
  • Linking toxicity of indicator species to ecosystem health
  • Factors influencing composition and distribution of biota in urban waterways.

Dr Kallie Townsend

Research interests
Impairment in freshwater ecosystems; freshwater ecology, ecotoxicology, environmental flows, pollution, pesticides, insects, populations and communities, insect deformities.

Links:
Dr Kallie Townsend on Research Gate

Contact:
tok@unimelb.edu.au

Potential MSc projects

  • Identifying the distribution and severity of microplastic pollution in Australia’s freshwater ecosystems, and determining if these are impacting aquatic fauna
  • Understanding the effects of environmental flows, irrigation water releases and cold water pollution on macroinvertebrates.