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Project team

The International WaterCentre has drawn on water experts from its four world-class member universities - the University of Queensland, Monash University, the University of Western Australia and Griffith University - and partners the Queensland Government, as well as various independent experts.


Robert Speed

  • Team Leader & overall responsibility for day-to-day project delivery
  • Activity Leader - National Environmental Flows Framework

Robert SpeedMr Speed has more than 12 years experience in environmental and water policy and management, including in water resources planning and the implementation of environmental flows. He was previously the team leader for the Australia-China Water Entitlements and Trading Project (2006-2008). He has held senior positions with the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water, and has undertaken consultancies for the World Bank, the OECD, UNESCO, WWF, and AusAID.  Email:


Prof Stuart Bunn

  • Technical Director
  • Overall responsibility for technical quality and assessment outcomes

stuart bunnProfessor Bunn is the Director of the Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, and was appointed as a Australian National Water Commissioner in 2008.  He is an international expert in ecology and river and wetland systems management, with extensive experience working with international and Australian government agencies on water resource management. Griffith University, Australian Rivers Institute

Fiona Chandler

  • Project Manager & day-to-day coordination of contracts,  communication/capacity building

Fiona ChandlerExecutive Manager, International WaterCentre. Previously executive Officer and Team Leader for Integrated Water Resource Policy and Strategy for City of Brisbane.  Experience in developing capacity building programs for IWM. Managed more than 100 training and capacity building activities for government and private industry groups. International WaterCentre

Dr Chris Gippel

  • Activity Leader for Yellow River Environmental Flows and River Health Pilot

Chris GippelDr Gippel is the director of Fluvial Systems Pty Ltd with 25 years experience in natural resources management, specialising in hydrology and geomorphology. He has developed environmental flows methodologies and applied them on numerous rivers in Australia and China. He was Coordinator of the Physical Form Theme and the Hydrology Theme of the Murray Darling Basin’s Sustainable Rivers Audit during the theme development phase, and is currently a member of the Technical Advisory Group for the Physical Form Theme.  Dr Gippel was formerly a Technical Specialist (environmental flows Taizhou Pilot) for the WET project in China, and currently is co-investigator with colleagues from the Chinese Academy of Sciences on an environmental flows project in the Niqu River, Sichuan-Tibet.


Dr Nick Bond

  • Activity leader – Pearl River Pilot

nick bondDr Bond has more than 15 years experience working on the effects of flow variability, human impacts on aquatic ecosystems and ecological effects of floods in headwater streams.  He is currently working on local and international projects for developing both the theoretical underpinnings and practical aspects of restoring degraded aquatic ecosystems, incorporating flow variability, and catchment health issues. Monash University


Dr Catherine Leigh

  • Liao River pilot leader

Dr Catherine LeighDr Catherine Leigh is a freshwater ecologist and Research Fellow at the Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Australia. She has many years of experience working on river systems in Australia, investigating the drivers of macroinvertebrate community variation and diversity in riverine ecosystems, flow-ecology relationships, river health assessment and land-use drivers of ecological change. She also studies relationships among catchment land use, reservoir shape, water quality and cyanobacteria blooms in artificial lakes throughout southeast Queensland, and has worked with the International WaterCentre developing river health assessment programs in China and Papua New Guinea. Dr Leigh attends and presents her work at national and international conferences, and publishes in peer-reviewed scientific journals for which she is also an active reviewer.


Dr Dajun Shen

  • Agency Liaison
  • Water resources management specialist

Mr Shen is a water resources management expert in China and Senior Engineer at the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research. He has more than 30 years experience with international and Chinese domestic projects in water rights development, water pricing and water resources management.

Adjunct Prof Sandy Booth

  • Leader - Monitoring and evaluation design and coordination

Adjunct Professor Booth specialises in sustainable natural resource management. He previously worked as a State Director for Catchment Management, where he was responsible for state-wide implementation, evaluation and review of various environmental and social natural resource initiatives. Professor Booth is a leading proponent and practitioner in capacity building, engagement and strategy development, having completed more than 200 projects for government, community and business clients.

Dr Shion Yee

  • Leader - Stakeholder Engagement and Public Participation

Dr Yee hasmore than 10 years practical and policy experience in leading and managing the design and implementation of a range of water and natural resource management projects. He has qualifications in engineering, business administration and resource economics and brings to the project significant experience in applying policy considerations and stakeholder and participatory engagement methods to achieve successful project outcomes. Shion previously held senior economic policy and water resource planning roles with the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management and currently is a policy advisor to the SEQ Water Grid Manager.

Dr Paul Close

  • Technical Specialist - Yellow River Environmental Flows and River Health Pilot

Dr Close has extensive skills and experience in activities relevant to aquatic ecology, particularly fish ecology.  He possesses all relevant qualifications to undertake fisheries research in freshwater and estuarine systems. His current research includes investigations of environmental influence on both freshwater and estuarine fish assemblages. University of Western Australia

Dr Greg Kerr

  • Technical Specialist - Yellow River Environmental Flows and River Health Pilot

Dr Kerr is a specialist in fauna related elements of environmental water management and behavioural and spatial ecology. He has15 years experience in environmental and ecological research and is an expert in terrestrial vertebrate ecology, specifically water-birds, specialist on the ecology of River Murray floodplain ecosystems, and environmental flow investigations for floodplains.
Ecological Associates Pty Ltd

Dr Jane Catford

  • Technical Specialist – Riparian vegetation

Jane CatfordDr Catford is a plant ecologist with expertise in riverine vegetation and freshwater ecology.  She has worked in urban and rural environments, on regulated and unregulated river systems in Australia and internationally. She brings to the project an extensive experience of understanding the impacts of river regulation on plant community composition and weed invasion in the Murray River wetlands. Melbourne University

Peter Hanington

  • Technical specialist – Liao River Health Assessment

Peter HanningtonMr Hanington is a member of the Coastal Systems Lab within the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, University of Queensland. He has worked as an environmental scientist in state government and for private industry, encompassing both technical-scientific and managerial roles. His experience and expertise covers a board range of disciplines such as: environmental monitoring and assessment, ecosystem health, environmental pollution, integrated water resource management, and environmental impact assessment. Peter’s research interests are focused on biogeochemical processes in estuaries and catchment related impacts on aquatic ecosystem health.  The University of Queensland

Prof Zhongjnig Wang

  • Lead Hydrological Modeller


Zheng Hang

  • Support Hydrological Modeler


Dr Marcus Cooling

  • Technical Specialist - Yellow River Environmental Flows and River Health Pilot

Marcus CoolingDr Cooling is an ecologist with sixteen years experience in research and management in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. He has worked as a consultant since 1997 and gained extensive wetland and stream management experience through ecological investigations in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia. He has worked widely in native vegetation management, through mapping projects and detailed surveys, as well as in the development of strategic, catchment-wide management plans.

Scott Spencer

  • Technical Specialist - Environmental Flows

Scott SpencerMr Spencer is the former Director-General of the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water, the state’s primary water management body with both policy and day-to-day management responsibilities for water.  He has in excess of 25 years experience in water resource management, including planning and implementation of environmental flow regimes, entitlements, rural and urban water supply and water monitoring. Mr. Spencer was appointed to the board of SunWater on 01 October 2009. SunWater Limited

Prof Angela Arthington

  • Technical Specialist Environmental Flows and River Health Assessment

angela arthingtonMember of the Australian Rivers Institute with Griffith University, and Aquatic Ecosystems Advisory Group advising the National Water Commission and Minister on research priorities.  Key areas of expertise include hydro-ecology and the consequences of altered water regimes for aquatic biodiversity, development of environmental flow strategies for water resource planning and integrated river basin management, and ecosystem health monitoring. Griffith University, Australian Rivers Institute


A/Prof Wang Xiqin

  • Technical Specialist – Environmental Flows

Wang XiqinLeader of sub-project on environmental flows in Lake Taihu Basin.  More than 12 years experience with environmental flows in China including with the Australia-China WET project. Renmin University, China


Dr Brad Pusey

  • Technical Specialist - National Framework and Environmental Flows
brad pusey

Dr Pusey is a Senior Research Fellow at Griffith University’s  Australian Rivers Institute, with a specialty area of biogeography and ecology of freshwater fishes as they relate to flow regimes.  He has experience in many environmental flow assessments in Australia, and is currently working on the environmental flow assessment of the iconic Daly River in the Northern Territory, classification of the flow regimes of continental  Australian rivers and bioregionalisation and modelling the diversity of northern Australian freshwater fishes. Griffith University, Australian Rivers Institute

Kate Hodge

  • Science Communicator

Kate has been working in the field of science communication since 2001. Her Honours degree in Marine Science combined with skills in Communication Design bring a unique perspective to any project. More than just a graphic designer, Kate understands the science and assists in how to communicate complex scientific results to a broad audience. She has expertise in a range of software and web tools to help deliver the best product for any project.


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