Temporary, dryland and tropical river ecology
Catherine Leigh is a freshwater ecologist and post-doctoral researcher within IRBAS, based at Irstea, Lyon, France. She is passionate about riverine ecosystems and understanding the responses of biota to changes in river flow, land use and water quality. She applies ecosystem, community ecology and food web theories, concepts and analytical methods to her research, including river health assessment, and specialises in aquatic macroinvertebrate ecology. She has worked on temporary, dryland, tropical and floodplain river systems throughout Australia, and on highly modified rivers in China. She has been studying the ecology of intermittent rivers for over 10 years.
Her interest in intermittent rivers was sparked during her undergraduate degree at Griffith University, Australia on the benthic and hyporheic ecology of ephemeral rivers in South Australia, and throughout her post-graduate and post-doctoral research on the ecology of seasonally intermittent, wet-dry tropical rivers in northern Australia. Before joining IRBAS, she led several projects within the broader Australian National Water Commission project, assessing ecological responses to flow intermittency and low-flow conditions.