Paul Reich
DEECA (Victorian Government)

Paul Reich profile photoDr Paul Reich

Manager, Waterways Research and Knowledge, Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

See Dr Reich’s full research profile here.

Research outputs linked to policy change and decision-making

  • Evaluating the effectiveness of riparian restoration in the Murray–Darling basin. Dr Reich was the lead investigator at Monash University on a multi-jurisdictional project to assess the outcomes of riparian management and guide best practice. The project was collaboratively undertaken with policy-makers and land managers to build an evidence base that could assist decision-makers. The outcomes of this work and approaches developed were incorporated into the Victorian waterway management strategy as a key driver of the adaptive management framework, and have also since guided Victoria’s approach to ongoing monitoring of the effectiveness of riparian management. This work was also critical in informing a review of the scientific evidence for minimum buffer width requirements for riparian zones and subsequently contributed to revised policies for buffer width requirements in Victoria.
  • Spatial risk analyses for drought and climate-change impacts on freshwater biota. Dr Reich co-led a project developing models to inform a risk assessment for use in waterway investment and strategic planning. These models focused on predicting fish and macroinvertebrate responses to drought and climate-change scenarios. The products derived during this work were tailor-made for use in Victoria’s strategic planning process which involved regional delivery partners such as catchment management authorities and the Victorian Environmental Water Holder. The outcomes of this work were ultimately incorporated into Victoria’s aquatic values inventory and risk assessment tool that is presently used by catchment-management authorities to inform regional priority-setting and management actions. The findings from this work also formed an input into the development of Victoria’s regional sustainable water strategies.
  • Examination of functional links between estuaries and their catchments. Dr Reich was a co-lead on an Australian Research Council (ARC) linkage project to improve the understanding of how estuaries respond to catchment degradation. A novel indicator of estuarine eutrophication was developed during this work that was correlated to patterns of catchment land use. This indicator has since been further refined and is now incorporated into Victoria’s state-wide estuary monitoring program (index of estuary condition) that informs 5-yearly state-of-the-environment reporting and guides strategic government investment into estuary and catchment management. The success of this work grew out of genuine collaboration between academics and government agencies at all stages from project conception and design to delivery and communication.

Current academic employment and positions

  • 2009–present: Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
    • 2019–present: manager, waterways research & knowledge. Waterway programs, catchments, waterways, cities & towns
    • 2009–2019: senior scientist and program leader, riparian and estuarine ecology, Arthur Rylah Institute
  • 2020–2025: partner investigator, ARC linkage grant ‘Untangling the mechanisms of nutrient export from agricultural catchments’.

Highest qualification

  • 2002: PhD, University of Melbourne.

Roles on government or regional organisation committees

  • expert panel member, Broken Creek environment flows study with Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority
  • scientific advisory role, Victorian waterway management strategy
  • membership, Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries bushfire monitoring, evaluation and reporting framework working group
  • scientific advisory member, Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries development of Victorian index of estuarine condition
  • Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries development and review of dry inflow contingency management plans
  • member, technical advisory group, Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment Tasmania e-flows project
  • co-author, Murray–Darling Basin Authority 5-year review of the native fish strategy.

Links with non-government groups or networks

My Projects

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