Daniel Coleman

Research interests

  • Effects of water extraction on aquatic ecosystems
  • Anthropogenic effects on macroinvertebrate biodiversity
  • Trophic cascades
  • Community dynamics (ie. Predator-prey interactions)
  • Eco-hydraulics
  • Freshwater ecology
  • Management of environmental water
  • Innovative sampling techniques for freshwater and marine ecology


Daniel is an aquatic ecologist based in the Wollongong DPI Water office where he co-manages several projects concerning the influence of water use on aquatic ecosystems in unregulated river systems across NSW. Much of his science is interdisciplinary, combining biology, ecology and hydraulics.

Daniel has a specific interest in macroinvertebrates and their importance in aquatic ecosystems as well as a range of ecosystem processes. Past research has involved assessing the response of macroinvertebrates, periphyton, fine sediment and basal nutrients to large scale environmental floods. More recently, research focus has been on the importance of connectivity, dispersal and refugia in unregulated rivers in the Murray Darling Basin.

Daniel is involved in overseeing NSW's interests in the MDBA and MDFRC Collaboration Project, and an active participant in the development of the University of Wollongong’s Endangered Species Research in Freshwater Ecosystems. He aims to supervise a post graduate student(s) in the coming years.


  • Hons in Bachelor of Marine Science (Advanced), Ecology major, University of Wollongong. (2009)

Current projects

  • Connectivity and dispersal: the effectiveness of unregulated tributary cease-to-pump rules (CtPs) in the restoration of regulated rivers.
  • Assessment of low flow (no visible flow and pool drawdown CtP) provisions in unregulated rivers.
  • Intersecting Streams WRPA Risk Assessment.
  • Understanding the importance of predator-prey ratios in assessing river condition.

Aspirational projects

  • Developing repeatable and effective techniques (eg. baits, turbidity thresholds etc.) for assessing threatened fish populations using Baited Remote Underwater Videos.
  • Developing an effective method to collect deep (0.5m-1.5m) macroinvertebrate samples using a benthic sampler.

Recent publications

Journal papers

Rohlfs, A., Mitrovic, S., Williams, S. and Coleman, D. (2015) Can tributary in-flows improve the recovery of the dissolved organic carbon regime in a snowmelt river regulated by a large reservoir? Marine and Freshwater Research 67(9). 1338-1345.

Coleman, D. and Williams, S. (2016) Mobilising fine sediment in a highly regulated upland snowmelt river using hydrological scaled experimental floods. Marine and Freshwater Research 67. 1-13.

Williams, S., Coleman D. and Rohlfs, A. (in press) The effects of multiple hydrologically-scaled intra-annular experimental floods on Dissolved Organic Carbon and basal nutrient supply in an upland snowmelt river. Marine and Freshwater Research.

Davis, A. R., Coleman, D., Broad, A. and Przeslawski, R. (2013) Complex responses of intertidal molluscan embryos to a warming and acidifying ocean in the presence of UV radiation. PLos ONE 8(2). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055939.

Coleman, D., Byrne, M. and Davis, A. R. (2014) Mollusca on acid: Gastropod shell repair and strength in acidifying oceans. Marine Ecology Progress Series 509. DOI:10.3354/meps10887.

Technical reports

Coleman, D. and Williams, S. (2014). Reworking the river bed: Sediment movement during the spring 2013 environmental releases. Snowy Flow Response Modelling and Modelling program, *NSW Office of Water, Sydney.

*NSW Office of Water is now known as DPI Water.

Professional associations and activities

  • NSW DPI Water representative on the intergovernmental review of the: Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) and Murray Darling Freshwater Research Centres (MDFRC) Collaboration Project (MMCP).
  • Member of the Ecological Society of Australia.

Fields of research

  • 060204  Freshwater Ecology
  • 050102  Ecosystem Function
  • 050104  Landscape Ecology
  • 050202  Conservation and Biodiversity
  • 050206  Environmental Monitoring
  • 050207  Environmental Rehabilitation
  • 070402  Aquatic Ecosystem Studies and Stock Assessment
  • 050211  Wildlife and Habitat Management
  • 050205  Environmental Management
  • 060202  Community Ecology
  • 060205  Marine and Estuarine Ecology

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Macroinvertebrate
  • Aquatic habitat rehabilitation
  • Aquatic ecology
  • Freshwater ecology
  • Community ecology
  • Eco-hydraulics

Contact details