Kaitlyn O’Mara
Griffith University

Kaitlyn O'MaraDr Kaitlyn O’Mara

Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University

See Dr O’Mara’s full research profile here.


Dr Kaitlyn O’Mara is an aquatic ecologist that uses tracers to study food webs and movement of fish and other aquatic organisms, working across a range of environments including estuaries, rivers and wetlands. Dr O’Mara’s research explores many aspects of fish nutrition, identifying food sources and environments that are important for fish to acquire the nutrients they need to grow and reproduce. Her research uses a whole-ecosystem approach, starting from nutrients, trace elements and other substances in the environment, through the food web to fish and other consumers. The outcomes of her work increase understanding of how aquatic organisms are influenced by their environment and how they will respond to change, such as new water resource developments, contamination from expanding human populations, and increased extreme events such as floods that may result from climate change. This new knowledge informs conservation and environmental management practices.

Research outputs linked to policy change and decision-making

  • Fisheries Research and Development Corporation – Synthesis of impacts of water abstraction on tropical aquatic species (current)
  • Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Emerging Priorities Project – Tilapia incursion in the Mitchell River catchment
  • NESP Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub – Critical water needs to sustain freshwater ecosystems and aquatic biodiversity in Queensland’s Mitchell River

Current academic employment and positions

  • 2019–present: Research Fellow – Aquatic ecology, Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University

Major prizes, medals and honours

  • 2019: Best presentation award – Australian Rivers Institute Student Symposium
  • 2016: Postgraduate research award – Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE)
  • 2014: Dean’s merit list – University of Wollongong
  • 2011: Winston Ponder Prize – Molluscan biology – University of Wollongong


My Projects

Current projectCompleted project
NESP RLH, 2021-2027NESP, 2015-2021NERP, 2012-2015TRaCK, 2005-present