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Personal profile


Professor Ross Thompson is Director and Chair of Water Science in the Institute for Applied Ecology at the University of Canberra. Ross is a freshwater ecologist with interests in the study of biodiversity and the restoration of landscapes. His fundamental research is in food web ecology; seeking the rules that determine how natural communities assemble and persist. His applied research addresses the ways in which food webs can be influenced by anthropogenic factors including urbanisation, land clearance, pharmaceutical contamination, river flow diversion and restoration, and invasion. He has an active research program on aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem function in urban and rural landscapes. Ross has published more than 90 papers, 10 book chapters and more than 200 scientific reports. He sits on the Australian Research Council College of Experts and has recently stepped down from the NZ Marsden Panel. His work has strong links to government and industry, and Ross sits on a number of senior technical advisory panels for local, state and federal research programs.


Ross is always seeking excellent graduate students and fellowship candidates in:

  • Stream and river ecology

  • Food-web ecology

  • Urban ecology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Ross Thompson is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

food web Earth & Environmental Sciences
food webs Agriculture & Biology
ecosystems Agriculture & Biology
biodiversity Earth & Environmental Sciences
ecosystem Earth & Environmental Sciences
macroinvertebrate Earth & Environmental Sciences
riparian vegetation Earth & Environmental Sciences
invertebrate Earth & Environmental Sciences

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Projects 2011 2022

Research Output 1998 2019

6 Citations (Scopus)

Biological interactions mediate context and species-specific sensitivities to salinity

Bray, J. P., Reich, J., Nichols, S. J., Kon Kam King, G., Mac Nally, R., Thompson, R., O’Reilly-Nugent, A. & Kefford, B. J., 21 Jan 2019, In : Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 374, 1764, p. 1-10 10 p., 20180020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

toxic substances
1 Downloads (Pure)

Communities at the extreme: Aquatic food webs in desert landscapes

Moran, N. P., Wong, B. B. M. & Thompson, R. M., Oct 2019, In : Ecology and Evolution. 9, 19, p. 11464-11475 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
3 Citations (Scopus)

Inferring predator-prey interactions in food webs

Pomeranz, J. P. F., Thompson, R. M., Poisot, T. & Harding, J. S., 2019, In : Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 10, 3, p. 356-367 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Downloads (Pure)

Influences of the antidepressant fluoxetine on stream ecosystem function and aquatic insect emergence at environmentally realistic concentrations

Richmond, E. K., Rosi, E. J., Reisinger, A. J., Hanrahan, B. R., Thompson, R. M. & Grace, M. R., 2019, In : Journal of Freshwater Ecology. 34, 1, p. 513-531 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
1 Citation (Scopus)

Integrating Aboriginal cultural values into water planning: A case study from New South Wales, Australia

Moggridge, B. J., Betterridge, L. & Thompson, R. M., 2019, In : Australasian Journal of Environmental Management. 26, 3, p. 273-286 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

water planning
indigenous population