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Personal profile


Professor Ross Thompson is Director and Chair of Water Science in the Institute for Applied Ecology at the University of Canberra. Ross is a freshwater ecologist with interests in the study of biodiversity and the restoration of landscapes. His fundamental research is in food web ecology; seeking the rules that determine how natural communities assemble and persist. His applied research addresses the ways in which food webs can be influenced by anthropogenic factors including urbanisation, land clearance, pharmaceutical contamination, river flow diversion and restoration, and invasion. He has an active research program on aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem function in urban and rural landscapes. Ross has published more than 90 papers, 10 book chapters and more than 200 scientific reports. He sits on the Australian Research Council College of Experts and has recently stepped down from the NZ Marsden Panel. His work has strong links to government and industry, and Ross sits on a number of senior technical advisory panels for local, state and federal research programs.


Ross is always seeking excellent graduate students and fellowship candidates in:

  • Stream and river ecology

  • Food-web ecology

  • Urban ecology

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Research Output

Scaling biodiversity responses to hydrological regimes

Heino, J., Ryder, D. S., Chessman, B., Growns, I., Thompson, R. M. & Gido, K., May 2018, In : Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society. 93, 2, p. 971-995 25 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

  • Consequences of altered temperature regimes for emerging freshwater invertebrates

    Sardina, P., Beringer, J., Grace, M. & THOMPSON, R., 2017, In : Aquatic Sciences. 79, p. 265-276 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Open Access
  • The effects of climatic fluctuations and extreme events on running water ecosystems

    Woodward, G., Bonada, NURIA., Brown, L., Death, R., Durance, I., Gray, C., Hladyz, S., Ledger, M. E., Milner, A., Ormerod, S., THOMPSON, R. & Pawar, S., 19 May 2016, In : Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 371, 1694, p. 1-15 15 p., 20150274.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Open Access
  • 2 Downloads (Pure)

    Balancing the environmental benefits of reforestation in agricultural regions

    Baker, P., Cavagnaro, C., Beringer, J. & THOMPSON, R., 2015, In : Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. 17, 4, p. 301-317 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Open Access
  • Habitat size influences food web structure in drying streams

    McHugh, P., THOMPSON, R., Grieg, H., Warburton, H. & MacIntosh, A., 2015, In : Ecography. 38, 7, p. 700-712 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review