CDU aquatic ecologist snares big fish award 

Dr Alison King … national recognition for her research into the ecology of floodplain rivers

Charles Darwin University aquatic ecologist Alison King has been nationally recognised for her contribution in the field of Australian freshwater fish biology.

Associate Professor King, a Principle Research Fellow at CDU’s Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, received the Early Career Excellence Award at an Australian Society for Fish Biology conference in Adelaide last week.

The award acknowledges scientists in the early phase of their careers, whose contributions to the study of fish biology or fisheries have fundamentally changed the understanding or management of fishes.

Dr King, an internationally published aquatic ecologist, said she attended the conference with her mind primarily focused on delivering a paper that addressed the challenges in studying the movement patterns of young fish.

“It was an honour to receive the award and to be acknowledged by some of the most eminent Australian scientists in the field,” she said.

“The award primarily recognises the research I undertook at the Barmah-Millewa forest on the Murray River, which provided new knowledge on how flow regimes influence fish spawning and recruitment.

“The project demonstrated for the first time in Australia the positive benefits gained by the use of environmental flows for native fish conservation.”

Dr King’s main research interests have focused on investigating the importance of freshwater flows in the ecology of fish, with an emphasis on how to optimise environmental flows to improve outcomes for native fish.

A joint appointment with CDU and NT Fisheries, Dr King is currently developing new research areas in tropical riverine ecology in the NT, and is particularly interested in expanding scientific knowledge of the breeding biology of fishes in the region and examining the importance of flows in sustaining fish populations.