Estuarine research unit

Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research

Honours and PhD Opportunities

Honours/PhD project - Decadal changes in the benthic community of the Swan and Canning Rivers - we have now filled this position - look out for future project updates

For more information, please email Dr Fiona Valesini ( or Dr James Tweedley ( 

Benthic macroinvertebrate (BMI) communities provide a sensitive and widely-used measure for assessing the health/condition of benthic environments. This project will aim to quantify the changes which have occurred over the last 15 years in the benthic condition of the Swan and Canning Rivers, as evidenced by changes in their BMI communities.

- The major outcome of this project will be a quantitative assessment of the health of benthic environments in both the Swan and Canning Rivers.

- Estuary managers will have, for the first time, an understanding of how the condition of the benthic environments of the upstream reaches of the estuary has changed in recent decades.

- Data collected could also be used in the future development of potential benthic macroinvertebrate indicators for assessing and reporting on ecosystem health, and will closely align with the data on BMI communities that have been collected during an existing project to establish the effects of artificial oxygenation on biota.

- The broader community will benefit from having greater understanding and awareness of long-term changes in the health of the benthic environment of the Swan and Canning Rivers over the last 15 years.

Honours project - Invasive species in the Vasse-Wonnerup wetland - we have now filled this position - look out for future project updates 

This project will:
- investigate invasive fish and crustacean species and the damage they are doing to this important waterway, which is a key RAMSAR-listed habitat for migratory bird populations
- have a strong emphasis on community education to help prevent further introductions of pest species into unique south-western Australian waterways

These Honours projects come with a $2,000 honours scholarship. For more details on these opportunities, please email Dr Steve Beatty.

More information on the project and the freshwater fishes of Western Australia can be found at the Freshwater Fish Group website.

We need you!

If you have a passion for estuarine environments and the organisms that inhabit them, and want to begin your journey into postgraduate research, please contact us!