Dr Simon Townsend, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (Northern Territory)
See Simon’s full research profile here.
What are your research interests as they relate to northern Australia?
My research interests start with wanting to know how the cycle of wet and dry season flows in the river drives water quality, the resistance and resilience of plant species to the wet season disturbance, and how changes in river flows (especially dry season ones) will affect the river’s biota. I am also keen to see a holistic approach to river health monitoring be adopted that links land use, water management and river health, and see research contribute to the sound management of these special rivers.
What do you love about working in northern Australia?
It’s a privilege to work on rivers that are largely in their natural condition and not heavily used, at least in the Top End. And I love researching rivers in a tropical savanna climate that are mostly unknown to western science. My favourite place to do research has to be the Daly River in the Top End, for its beauty, dramatic moods that swing between wet season rivers in flood carrying huge amounts of sediment to a small, crystal clear rivers dwarfed by high banks, and the great diversity of the plants and animals that have to deal with these seasons.