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Personal profile


I am a freshwater scientist with experience in biological assessment of river health, benthic invertebrate ecology and teaching (tertiary and industry). My research has focused on water science, the use of invertebrate predictive models for bioassessment, the reference condition and causal analysis for ecological assessment of river condition. Most recently my work has focused on DNA-based identification of macroinvertebrates for routine assessment of aquatic biodiversity and diagnosing river health using macroinvertebrate traits.

Student Projects Available

Please contact me if you are interested in undertaking a PhD in any of the following areas:

  • Understanding the influence of environmental change on invertebrate communities to predict consequences of multiple stressors

  • Improving the functionality of freshwater bioassessment

  • Diagnostic river health using macroinvertebrate traits as indicators

  • Genetic bar coding: applying invertebrate bar coding to routine bioassessment

  • Linking environmental flows and river health

  • Systematic evidence synthesis for environmental policy and management

  • Environmental evidence and the law.

Related Links

AUSRIVAS - http://ausrivas.ewater.org.au

If you would like information regarding training and accreditation in Australian River Assessment System (AUSRIVAS) methods please email me or visit the AUSRIVAS website – http://ausrivas.ewater.org.au/ausrivas/index.php/course-information

Centre for Evidence Informed Policy and Practice - http://ceipp.org.au

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Research Output

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

  • 10 Citations (Scopus)

    Is metal flocculation from mining activities a previously overlooked mechanism for impairing freshwater ecosystems?

    Reich, J. K. A., Nichols, S. J., Maher, W. A. & Kefford, B. J., 25 Jun 2019, In : Science of the Total Environment. 671, p. 1108-1115 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    Stressor dominance and sensitivity-dependent antagonism: Disentangling the freshwater effects of an insecticide among co-occurring agricultural stressors

    Bray, J. P., Nichols, S. J., Keely-Smith, A., Thompson, R., Bhattacharyya, S., Gupta, S., Gupta, A., Gao, J., Wang, X., Kaserzon, S., Mueller, J. F., Chou, A. & Kefford, B. J., Aug 2019, In : Journal of Applied Ecology. 56, 8, p. 2020-2033 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Towards routine DNA metabarcoding of macroinvertebrates using bulk samples for freshwater bioassessment: Effects of debris and storage conditions on the recovery of target taxa

    Nichols, S. J., Kefford, B. J., Campbell, C. D., Bylemans, J., Chandler, E., Bray, J. P., Shackleton, M., Robinson, K. L., Carew, M. E. & Furlan, E. M., 1 Jan 2019, In : Freshwater Biology. p. 1-14 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Cutting through the complexity to aid evidence synthesis. A response to Haddaway and Dicks

    Cook, C. N., Nichols, S. J., Webb, A., Fuller, R. A. & RICHARDS, R., 1 Feb 2018, In : Biological Conservation. 218, p. 291-292 2 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)