Increasing instances of environmental hypoxia in waterholes of the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) represent a significant risk to the native fish populations that rely on these refuge environments to survive extended drought periods. Hypoxic conditions are known to cause widespread mass fish kills in the MDB, however little is known about the physiological mechanisms underpinning chronic hypoxia tolerance in-z Australian endemic fish species. This study will examine how freshwater fish physiologically and behaviourally respond to prolonged hypoxia and whether the mechanisms underpinning these responses allow fish to compensate for the negative impacts of hypoxia on physiological function. This project relates to on-going research by QLD government regarding the health and management of QLD Murray Darling Basin waterholes and their suitability as refugia for key native fish species

Primary Supervisor: Dr Rebecca Cramp
Co-Supervisor: Professor Craig Franklin