Professor Darren Ryder
Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning - School of Environmental and Rural Science
Phone: +61 2 6773 5226
I am a Professor in aquatic ecology and Leader of the Aquatic Ecology and Restoration Research Centre at the University of New England. I have over 18 years experience in research in aquatic ecosystems in coastal and inland rivers and wetlands of eastern Australia. My research expertise has a focus on the effective management and restoration of freshwater ecosystems and covers areas such as:
- Design and implementation of monitoring programs to assess the ecological health of wetland, river and estuarine ecosystems.
- Biogeochemistry and ecosystem function of aquatic systems.
- Biodiversity and foodweb analysis of aquatic systems.
- Design of best-practice models for river restoration and assessing ecological outcomes of on-ground restoration practices.
I teach a number of units with a focus on the ecology, management and restoration of aquatic ecosystems, and have recently co-authored the new textbook 'Australian Freshwater Ecology' that is being used as a textbook in many Australian universities.
- Graduate Certificate of Higher Education - University of New England
- PhD. Environmental Management - Edith Cowan University
- B.App.Sc. (Hons. 1) Environmental Management - Edith Cowan University
EM351/551 - Ecosystem Rehabilitation
ECOL202/402 - Aquatic Ecology
RSNR402/502 - Integrated Water Resources Management
ECOL100 - Ecology: Concepts and Applications
ECOL203/403 - Ecology - Populations to Ecosystems
RSNR110 - Sustaining our Rural Environment 1 (Water Module)
EM312/512 - Environmental Impact Assessment
My research projects have a strong focus on investigating the ecology of wetland, river and estuarine ecosystems – how populations and communities interact with their physical environment. I am particularly interested in understanding the fundamental biogeochemical processes such as nutrient and organic matter cycling, and ecosystem metabolism that support aquatic food webs.
- Aquatic species ecology - microbes, algae, invertebrates and fish.
- Management of environmental flows in the context of competing demands for water.
- Development and implementation of monitoring programs to assess the ecological condition of aquatic ecosystems.
- Design and ecological assessment of waterway restoration projects.
Major Long-term Research Projects
- Long-Term Intervention Monitoring of the Ecological Success of Environmental Flows in the Gwydir River system - 2014-19. Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.
- Ecohealth: assessment of river and estuarine condition in coastal rivers of northern NSW - 2009-16. North Coast Local Land Services, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, DPI Fisheries and LGAs.
- Impacts of prolonged low flows from water extraction on the ecological condition of the Nymboida River - 2007-2018. Essential Energy, Clarence Valley Council, Coffs Harbour City Council.
Research Supervision Experience
I have a track record of successful supervision, completing 17 PhD students and over 25 honours students on aquatic research projects.
Karlie McDonald (PhD) - Integrated modelling of trophic shifts in unregulated coastal rivers: A Bayesian network approach.
Bob Baker (PhD) - Potential for biofuels from natural algal communities in sewage treatment ponds: nutrients and zooplankton as regulatory processes.
Lisa Thurtell (PhD) - The response of aquatic communities to water quality, land use, flow variability and extraction in an unregulated Australian coastal river.
Elliot Picone (PhD) - Ecosystem service potential from riparian restoration in agricultural streams.
Solomon Birhanie (PhD)
Andrew Smolders (Research Masters) - Developing best-practice management in water supply catchments
Mat Birch (PhD) - Linking habitat availability, biodiversity and trophic resources in intermittent streams
Phoebe Haslett (Honours) - Developing geochemical fingerprints for determining the source of fine sediment in degraded coastal rivers.
Nathan Eager (Honours) - Does riparian restoration improve instream biodiversity in urban streams?
Boulton, A.J., Brock, M.A., Robson, B.J., Ryder, D.S., Chambers, J.M. & Davis, J.A. (2014) Australian Freshwater Ecology. Wiley & Sons: New York. ISBN: 978-1-118-56822-4.
Watts, R.J., Allan, C., Bowmer, K., Page, K., Ryder, D.S. and Wilson, A (2010) Pulsed flows: a review of environmental costs and benefits and best practice. Waterlines National Water Commission, 149 pp. Canberra. ISBN: 978-1-921107-77-1.
Boon, P.I., Pollard, P.C. & Ryder. D.S. (2014) Wetland microbial ecology and biogeochemistry. In (Batzer & Sharitz Eds.) Ecology of Freshwater and Estuarine Wetlands. University of California Press. ISBN: 0-520-24777-9.
Berney, P.J., Wilson, G.G., Ryder, D.S., Whalley, R.D., Duggin,, J. & McCosker, R.J. (In Press) Divergent responses to long-term grazing exclusion among three plant communities in a flood pulsing wetland in eastern Australia. Pacific Conservation Biology. Accepted 17/3/14.
Growns, I., Ryder, D.S., Kobayashi, T. & García, A. (2014). Freshwater macroinvertebrates of Lord Howe Island. Journal of Natural History. DOI 10.1080/00222933.2014.946107. 17/6/14.
Smolders, A., Smolders, K., Watkinson, A. & Ryder, D.S. (2014) Reassessing the risk of microbial contamination from roosting cormorants in source water supply reservoirs. Lake and Reservoir Management, 30:23-31.
Hadaddchi, A., Ryder, D.S., Evrard, O & Olley, J (2013) Sediment fingerprinting in fluvial systems: Review of tracers, sediment sources and mixing models. International Journal of Sediment Research, 28:560-578.
Kobayashi T, Ralph T.J, Ryder D.S, Hunter S.J. (2013) Gross primary productivity of phytoplankton and planktonic respiration in inland floodplain wetlands of southeast Australia: habitat-dependent patterns and regulating processes. Ecological Research 28, 833-843.
Rolls, R. J., Boulton, A. J., Growns, I. O., Maxwell, S. E., Ryder, D. S., & Westhorpe, D. P. (2012). Effects of an experimental environmental flow release on the diet of fish in a regulated coastal Australian river. Hydrobiologia, 686(1), 195-212.
Barlocher, F., Stewart, M., & Ryder, D. S. (2012). Processing of Eucalyptus viminalis leaves in Australian streams importance of aquatic hyphomycetes and zoosporic fungi. Fundamental and Applied Limnology, 179(4), 305-319.
Frazier, P., Ryder, D., McIntyre, E., & Stewart, M. (2012). Understanding riverine habitat inundation patterns: remote sensing tools and techniques. Wetlands, 32(2), 225-237.
Bärlocher, F., Stewart, M., & Ryder, D. S. (2011). Analyzing aquatic fungal communities in Australia: impacts of sample incubation and geographic distance of streams. Czech Mycol, 63, 113-132.
Kobayashi, T., Ryder, D. S., Ralph, T. J., Mazumder, D., Saintilan, N., (2011). Longitudinal spatial variation in ecological conditions in an in‐channel floodplain river system during flow pulses. River Research and Applications, 27(4), 461-472.
Price, J. N., Berney, P. J., Ryder, D., Whalley, R. D. B., & Gross, C. L. (2011). Disturbance governs dominance of an invasive forb in a temporary wetland. Oecologia, 167(3), 759-769.
Watts, R.J., Ryder D.S., Allen, C. & Commens, S. (2010) Using river-scale experiments to inform the adaptive management process for variable flow releases from large dams. Marine and Freshwater Research 61, 786-797.
Lake, P.S., Likens, G.E. & Ryder D.S. (2010) Integrating science, policy and management of rivers: Peter Cullen's legacy. Marine and Freshwater Research 61, 733-735.
Mika, S., Hoyle, J.T., Kyle, G., Howell, T., Wolfenden, B.J., Ryder, D.S., Keating, D., Boulton, A.J., Brierley, G.J., Brooks, A.P., Fryirs, K.A., Leishman, M.R., Sanders, M., Arthington, A.H., Creese, R., Dahm, M., Miller, C., Pusey, B., Spencer, J., and Spink, A.M. (2010) Inside the black box of river restoration: using catchment history to identify disturbance and response mechanisms to set the targets for process-based restoration. Ecology and Society. 15 (4): 8. URL: ttp://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol15/iss4/art8/
Jenkins, K.M., Kingsford, R.T. & Ryder, D.S. (2010) Developing indicators for floodplain wetlands: managing water in agricultural landscapes. Chiang Mai Journal of Science 8, 1-8.
Kobayashi, T, Ryder, D.S., Gordon, G, Shannon, I., Ingolton, T., Carpenter, M. & Jacobs, S.J. (2010) Short-term response of nutrients, carbon and planktonic microbial communities to floodplain wetland inundation. Aquatic Ecology 43, 843-858.
Ryder, D.S., Tomlinson, M., Gawne, B. & Likens, G.E. (2010) Defining and using 'best available science': A policy conundrum for the management of aquatic ecosystems. Marine and Freshwater Research 61, 821-828.
Stewart, M and Ryder, D.S. (2012). Does restoring riparian vegetation affect nutrient and sediment retention in agricultural streams? Proceedings of the 6th Australian Stream management Conference 178-84.
- Australian Society for Limnology (President 2010-2012)