Professor Michele Burford, Dean (Research Infrastructure)
See Michele’s full research profile here.
What are your research interests as they relate to northern Australia?
My research involves studying now natural aquatic systems function – in other words, what drives their health and productivity. Specifically I look at the sources and fate of nutrients that come from the land once they enter waterways, with flow-on effects on how productive rivers, estuaries and coastal areas are. This includes the availability of food for important fisheries species, as well as key environmentally important species, such as migratory shorebirds.
What do you love about working in northern Australia?
Working in northern Australia is hard work due to the hot climate, challenging logistics and dealing with the natural hazards such as poisonous jellyfish and crocodiles. However, it also provides many rewards such as getting the opportunity to visit and learn about our amazing pristine environment, and let’s not forget about the dynamic skies and spectacular sunsets! I’ve worked in a number of places in northern Australia from Queensland through to Western Australia. The most beautiful landscape is probably the Kimberley rivers and estuaries due to the interesting geological features, and the fact that it is so far away from our centres of population.