Monitoring and Assessment
Monitoring is critical to determine the nature and impacts of pollutants present in aquatic ecosystems. We employ a range of traditional and emerging technologies to monitor pollutants in aquatic environments including:
- Water and sediment sampling for pollutants such as heavy metals, pesticides, endocrine disrupting compounds, pharmaceuticals and personal care products;
- Passive sampling, with new passive samplers being developed for a growing number of chemical pollutants;
- Photobacteria and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, which can identify different classes of biologically active pollutants in a sample.
We also use a number of methods to determine what impacts these are having on aquatic ecosystems, such as:
- Macroinvertebrate monitoring, including rapid bioassessment and measurements of community structure, population health and stress to individual animals;
- DNA-based technologies to improve taxonomic resolution and increase the sensitivity of monitoring programs;
- Fish condition assessments in marine, estuarine and freshwater environments;
- Measuring important ecosystem processes and functioning, such as denitrification in Port Phillip Bay;
- Real-time monitoring of pollution events using behavioural responses in invertebrates.