Stuart Bunn
Griffith University

Stuart Bunn profile photoProfessor Stuart Bunn

Director, Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University

See Professor Bunn’s full research profile here.

Research outputs for policy change and decision-making

  • Project leader of the ‘Building catchment resilience’ project, funded by the Ian Potter Foundation, Queensland Government and industry partners (2018–2021). This project is developing tools to underpin large-scale investment in catchment restoration and we are working with government and industry to identify enabling platforms to sustain this.
  • From 2005–2010, co-led the development of the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge program and contributed to the program as deputy director, program leader and manager of the Queensland node. The work has continued under the National Environmental Research Programme and National Environmental Science Program (NESP) and has guided sustainable management of water resources across northern Australia.
  • From 2001–2003, developed and tested indicators for the freshwater component of the ecosystem health monitoring program (EHMP) for the Healthy Waterways Partnership in Queensland. The freshwater EHMP was implemented in 2002 and underpins the freshwater component of the highly acclaimed annual report card. This approach has also underpinned the development of the Lake Eyre basin river assessment and informed ecosystem health monitoring initiatives in China and for the United Nations Environment Programme’s water-quality guidelines for ecosystems..
  • Over the past 2 decades, played a leading role in the development of approaches to assess the environmental flow needs for rivers and wetlands, leading to several highly cited publications that synthesise current understanding of flow-ecology relationships, and has led to the development of a framework for developing regional environmental flow standards (Freshwater Biology 55, 147–70), which are being successfully used by water-planning agencies overseas (e.g. the United States and China).
  • Co-led Land and Water Australia’s successful national research and development program on riparian lands (1994–1999) and research lead in phase 2 (2001–2006). Major contributor to the widely used riparian technical guidelines (Lovett & Price eds, 1999; 2007), factsheets and training workshops across the country.
  • NESP Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub projects: Environmental water needs for the Mitchell River, Links between Gulf rivers and coastal productivity, and Applying knowledge of river flow–ecology links.

Current academic employment and positions

  • 2010–present: director, Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University
  • 2018–present: member, Murray–Darling Basin Authority (acting chair, January–August 2020)
  • 1988–present: professor, School of Environment and Science, Griffith University.

Highest qualification

  • 1986: PhD, University of Western Australia.

Major prizes, medals and honours

  • 2015: Ecological Society of America, Honorary Member Award
  • 2010: Griffith University, Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award
  • 2007: Australian Society for Limnology Medal
  • 2001: Healthy Waterways Science Award.

Roles on government or regional organisation committees

  • 2018–present: member, Murray–Darling Basin Authority
  • 2014–2018: member, Threatened Species Scientific Committee
  • 2011–2019: chair, science committee, Healthy Land and Water
  • 2010–2013: lead author, working group 2 (terrestrial and inland water systems), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report
  • 2012–2018: member, advisory committee for social, economic and environmental science, Murray–Darling Basin Authority
  • 2008–2012: commissioner, National Water Commission (acting chair, April–June 2012)
  • 2001–2007: member, scientific advisory panel, Lake Eyre basin ministerial council (chair, 2008–2011).

Links with non-government groups or networks

  • 2019–present: commissioner, Earth Commission, Future Earth
  • 2015–present: member, international planning committee, Sustainable Water Future Programme.

My Projects

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