The University of Western Australia

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Professor Peter Davies

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research)
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Office of

Contact details
Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)
The University of Western Australia (M460A)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 2698
BSc PhD W.Aust.
Peter Davies is Foundation Director and Professor of Freshwater Ecology of the Centre of Excellence (Natural Resource Management; CENRM) based in Albany. Initially, negotiations had to be completed with Centre financial partners (Department of Environment, Department of Agriculture, City of Albany, DOTARS, CALM Premier and Cabinet and UWA). CENRM is the only State Centre of Excellence to continue substantially past the core funding period. At present, the Centre has over 25 staff and an annual budget of about $5m. The Centre has grown using funds from a number of Federal funding agencies (RIRDC, LWA, ARC, AusAID etc) and has developed a new Albany-based degree (BSc in Restoration Ecology) and a co-badged MSc in “Integrated Water Management”. Peter has investigated/researched water allocation issues across Australia (Murray-Darling Basin, Lake Eyre Basin etc) and internationally (USA, Sweden, Burkina Faso). Most of this research and management activities involves scientifically-based, equitable water sharing. He is a co-founder of the International Water Centre (with four national universities) whose main research focus is establishing a whole-of-water cycle approach to water management. He continues to work with the irrigation industry to negotiate water sharing and have written chapters for water quality guidelines (e.g. ANZECC). Peter is committed to knowledge exchange and during 2005, co-convened a river restoration workshop for government agencies in each State and Territory.
Key research
water requirements,
stable isotope analysis,
carbon metabolism

Davies, P.M. (2010). Climate Change Implications for River Restoration in Global Biodiversity Hotspots. Journal Restoration Ecology 18: 261-268. (B).

Close, P.G., Davies, P.M. and Trayler, K. (2009). Protracted spawning, strong recruitment and uninterrupted growth of two euryhaline fish species (Gobiidae and Atherinidae) in estuarine lagoons, south-western Australia. Journal of fish Biology 76: 1431-1453. (A)

Speldewinde, P., Cook, A., Davies, P. & Weinstein, P. (2009). Impacts of environmental degradation on mental health in rural Western Australia. Health & Place. 15: 865-872. (C).

Pettit, N.E., S.E. Bunn, P.M. Davies, M.M. Douglas, P. Bayliss, S. Hamilton (2010). Seasonal contrasts in carbon resources and ecological processes on a tropical floodplain. Accepted Freshwater Biology doi:10.1111/j.1365-2427.2010.02544.x (ERA Rank A)

C. J. Vörösmarty, P. McIntyre, M. Gessner, D. Dudgeon, A. Prusevich, P. Green, S. Glidden, S. E. Bunn, C. Sullivan, C. Reidy, P. M. Davies (2010). A Global Geography of Rivers in Crisis: Human and Biodiversity Perspectives. Nature 467: 555–561. (A*)

Rivers, M.R, D.M. Weaver, K.R.J. Smettem, P. M. Davies (2009). Estimating future scenarios for farm-catchment nutrient fluxes using dynamic simulation modelling. (Submitted to Physics and Chemistry of the Earth. May 2009).

Warfe D.M, Pettit N.E, Pusey B.J, Douglas M.M., Davies P.M., and Bunn S.E. (2011). Environmental rather than dispersal or spatial factors explain spatial concordance in tropical species distributions. Submitted to Ecology. (A*)

Davies, Peter M., Bunn, Stuart, E and Hamilton, Stephen, K. (2008). Primary production in tropical streams and rivers. In (ed Dudgeon, D). Chapter 2 (pages 23-42) “Tropical Stream Ecology”. Elsevier Inc. ISBN 978-0-12-088449-0. (>200 downloads; top 10).

Davies, P.M. (2011). Climate change implications for river restoration in global biodiversity hotspots. Pages 15-19, In (ed GSLHV Prasad Rao). Climate Change Adaptation Strategies in Agriculture and Allied Sectors. ISBN: 978-81-7233-679-0. Scientific Publications. Jodpur, India.

Future research
Australian Dept of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
National Water Commission
Rangelands NRM Inc
Funding received
1985-1987Darling Range Water Quality Studies. Water Authority of Western Australia $1.1 million (Grant with Dr D.H. Edward, Prof. S.E. Bunn).

1987The importance of autotrophy and heterotrophy to stream function. Australian Water Resources Advisory Committee. $78,000 (award with Dr D. H. Edward for PhD research).

1994Guidelines for adequate buffers on wetlands on the Swan Coastal Plain. Australian Nature Conservation Agency. $45,000.

1995-1997Assessment of river health by the measurement of community metabolism. Land and Water Resources Research and Development Corporation, Canberra. $125,147.

1995-1996Environmental water requirements of lower river ecosystems. (with Prof. A.A. Arthington, Prof. S.E. Bunn) Water Authority of WA. $55,250.

1994-1999National Riparian Program Land and Water Research and Development Corporation, Canberra. $265,600.

1998-1999The impact of introduced weeds to the Kakadu wetlands. LWRRDC/ Northern Territory University. $13,000.

1998-2000Flies and biosolids. ARC-SPIRT Grant (with Profs Gilkes, Bailey and Dr Dadour) $310,000.

1999-Productivity and water flow regulation in the Ord River of north-western Australia. Project 23092. Environmental Flows Initiative, Environment Australia. $295,600.

1999-Importance of flood flows to productivity of dryland rivers and their floodplains. Environment Australia. $365,600.

2000-OK-Tedi Mining PNG Aquatic assessment ($55,000).

2001-Environmental Flows: global assimilation. Repub. South Africa ($155,000).

2001-03National Riparian Program
(Phase 2). In-stream ecological issues. (Grant with Prof. S. Bunn). Land and Water Australia. $1.2m.

2003River restoration framework. (Grant with the CENRM, AgWest and Water and Rivers Commission). $50,000 (total).

2004Temperature modelling for river restoration: biogeographic differences. Land Water Australia ($700,000).

2004National Water Contaminants Program. ($255,000) Land and Water Aust.

2004National Action Plan: Salinity (EEI) with CSIRO ($600,000). National Action Plan: Salinity (CDI) Fitzgerald Biosphere ($330,000).

2005Ecological health of rivers in the Pilbara ($100,000)

2005SCRIPT Water use by plantation species ($290,000)

2005International River Foundation Burkina Faso ($250,000)

2005AusAID: Water issues of fragile nations of the Pacific ($780,000)

2008TRACK Tropical rivers and coastal knowledge (CERF initiative) with Griffith University, CSIRO L&W and Charles Darwin University ($32m; $21m cash plus $11m in-kind).

2010 National Water Commission ($1.3m).
Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research.
North American Benthological Society.
Australian Society for Limnology.
Royal Society of Western Australia.
Societas Internationalis Limnologiae.
Swan River Trust (SAP)
Research profile
Research profile and publications

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM