• 603 Citations
  • 15 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Personal profile

Professor Robyn Watts conducts research on the ecology, management and restoration of aquatic ecosystems. Her major interests include biodiversity, connectivity, flow-ecology relationships and river rehabilitation through altered flow management practices, especially through changing the operation of weirs and dams and delivery of environmental water. She has led multidisciplinary research teams and with colleagues has obtained over $9M funding of competitive research grants and consultancies from a range of different funding organizations including the Australian Research Council, National Water Commission, Land and Water Australia, Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Commonwealth Environmental Water Office and state government and catchment management agencies. Her research has helped improve the management and restoration of regulated river systems.

Research Interests

  • Ecology, restoration and management of river and floodplain environments
  • Socio-ecological systems
  • Ecohydrology
  • Adaptive environmental management

Professional Information

External Appointments & Memberships:

  • Edward-Wakool Environmental Water Reference Group (member)
  • Murray and District Dissolved Oxygen Group (member)
  • Edward-Wakool Operations Advisory Group (member)
  • Australian Society of Limnology (member)
  • Australian Ecological Society (member)
  • International Society of River Science (member)

Editorial roles on journals:

  • Guest Editor Environmental Management special issue ‘Adaptive management of environmental water’ published in 2018


  • BIO323 River and Floodplain Ecology
  • BIO401 River and Floodplain Ecology
  • BIO402 River Restoration and Protection


Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Western Australia


Bachelor of Science (Zoology) (Honours), University of Western Australia


External positions

Member, Environmental Water Scientific Advisory Committee, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Nov 2008Dec 2014

Fisheries Biologist, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Qld

Dec 1991Jul 1995

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Research Output

Hypoxic conditions interrupt flood-response movements of three lowland river fish species: Implications for flow restoration in modified landscapes

Thiem, J., Wooden, I., Baumgartner, L. J., Butler, G., Taylor, M. & Watts, R., Apr 2020, In : Ecohydrology. 13, 3, p. 1-10 10 p., e2197.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Learning from concurrent adaptive management in multiple catchments within a large environmental flows program in Australia

    Watts, R. J., Dyer, F., Frazier, P., Gawne, B., Marsh, P., Ryder, D. S., Southwell, M., Wassens, S. M., Webb, J. A. & Ye, Q., 04 May 2020, In : River Research and Applications.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
  • Macroecology of fish community biomass – size structure: Effects of invasive species and river regulation

    Kopf, R. K., Humphries, P., Bond, N. R., Sims, N. C., Watts, R. J., Thompson, R. M., Hladyz, S., Koehn, J. D., King, A. J., McCasker, N. & McDonald, S., Jan 2019, In : Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 76, 1, p. 109-122 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 3 Citations (Scopus)
    19 Downloads (Pure)


    2015 Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Excellence (Research Excellence)

    Watts, Robyn (Recipient), James Abell (Recipient), Allan, Catherine (Recipient), Carmen Amos (Recipient), Bellio, Mariagrazia (Recipient), Bradley K. Clarke-Wood (Recipient), Finlayson, Max (Recipient), Tamsin Greenwood (Recipient), Hall, Andrew (Recipient), Howitt, Julia (Recipient), Humphries, Paul (Recipient), Jenkins, Kim (Recipient), Kopf, Keller (Recipient), McCasker, Nicole (Recipient), Robinson, Wayne (Recipient), Veronique Janel (Recipient), Wassens, Skye (Recipient), Wolfenden, Ben (Recipient) & Zander, Alek (Recipient), 05 Aug 2015

    Prize: Award

  • Activities

    • 1 Public lecture/debate/seminar/presentation

    NSW Universities Research Impact Showcase

    Skye Wassens (Keynote speaker) & Robyn Watts (Participant)

    27 Sep 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventPublic lecture/debate/seminar/presentationGovernment


    Environmental flows research provides beneficial outcomes for the environment, water managers and the community

    Robyn Watts (Creator) & Skye Wassens (Creator)

    Impact: Environmental Impact, Public policy Impact, Cultural Impact