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Dr Bea Sommer

Post Doctoral Research Fellow

Contact Information Telephone: (61 8) 6304 5561, Mobile: 0416 554 850, Email: b.sommer@ecu.edu.au, Campus: , Room: CL19.339
Staff Member Details
Telephone: (61 8)  6304 5561  
Mobile: 0416 554 850  
Email: b.sommer@ecu.edu.au   
Campus:  
Room: CL19.339  

 

Current Teaching

  • SCI2257 - Relief teaching for Water & Wetlands management

Background

Selected research projects:

  • Eco-hydrological study of groundwater-dependent vegetation communities on the Gnangara mound
  • Impact of Acid Sulfate Soils on freshwater ecosystems of southwest Western Australia
  • Wetland biodiversity investigation (Gnangara Sustainability Study)
  • Wetland macroinvertebrate monitoring program of the Gnangara Mound Environmental Monitoring
  • 'Macroinvertebrate Monitoring Program Gnangara Mound'
  • ‘Water chemistry and invertebrate responses to fire in wetlands with pyritic organic rich soils on the Swan Coastal Plain’
  • ‘Effects of mine discharge water on wetland species, Jangardup and Jangardup South’
  • ‘Predictive modelling of wetland response to changing water quality and quantity’
  • ‘Survey of receiving wetlands, and impacts of dewatering discharge for the Cuddingwarra prospect’

Professional Memberships

  • Australian Society for Limnology (ASL)
  • Society for International Limnology (SIL)
  • Australia Water and Waste Water Association (AWWA)
  • Royal Society of WA
  • Conservation Council of W.A.
  • Birds Australia WA Group

Awards and Recognition

Other

  • Australian Postgraduate Award (APA)
  • Edith Cowan PhD Top-up Scholarship
  • Certificate of Merit: Undergraduate Water Prize (AWWA) (1998)
  • NSW Murray Wetlands Working Group student prize for Excellence in Wetland Management Research (Albury, 2006)

Research Areas and Interests

  • Ecological Water Requirements of aquatic fauna and flora
  • Wetland ecology
  • Wetland sediment/water interactions
  • Aquatic macroinvertebrates
  • Effects of climate change on aquatic ecosystems
  • Wetland management
  • Acid Sulfate Soils (particularly in relation to drought-induced acidification of wetlands)
  • Impact of mining operations (mainly de-watering) on aquatic ecosystems
  • Nutrient and carbon cycling in wetlands
  • Chemistry and ecology of humic wetland systems
  • Effects of fire on wetland sediments, water quality and ecology
  • Hydroecology of groundwater dependent vegetation; and
  • Ecological risk assessment

Staff Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science, Edith Cowan University .
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Edith Cowan University, 2007 .

Research

Recent Research Grants

  • The Development of Operational Rules for Management of Shallow Groundwater in Water Limited Ecosystems Project: Preliminary Works,  Water Corporation,  Grant,  2012 - 2016,  $1,067,546.
  • Ecohydrological Habitat Characterisation and Modelling to Improve Restoration Prioritisation and Outcomes within Former Pine Plantation Areas of the Gnangara Mound, Western Australia,  Department of Environment and Conservation WA,  Grant,  2012 - 2015,  $146,314.
  • Environmental Monitoring and Investigations for the Gnangara and Jandakot Mounds - Macroinvertebrate and Water Quality Monitoring,  Department of Water (WA),  Tender,  2013 - 2014,  $41,615.
  • BHP Billiton Iron Ore (BHPBIO) Ecological Water Asset Project - Regional Ecohydrology Monitoring Network ,  BHP Billiton,  Grant,  2013 - 2014,  $266,342.
  • Adapting to climate change: a risk assessment and decision framework for managing groundwater dependent ecosystems with declining water levels,  Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency,  National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF),  2012,  $85,180.
  • Identifying wetlands of significance within the Gnangara pine plantations - Evaluation of general landscape and land-use attributes (Step 1) and habitat attributes and socio-political values (Step 2),  Sandbourne Holdings ,  Grant,  2012 - 2013,  $26,791.
  • Applying remotely sensed estimates of evapotranspiration to contrast water-use patterns of vegetation on the Gnangara mound: a heavily utilised groundwater resource.,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Early Career Researcher - Grant,  2011 - 2012,  $20,777.
  • Project 4.1 - Wetland Macroinvertebrates and Water Quality (Gnangara Mound),  Department of Water (WA),  Grant,  2008 - 2012,  $184,031.
  • Structural Characterization of Suspended Detrital Floc in the Yanchep Wetland Suite, Swan Coastal Plain, Western Australia,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Early Career Researcher - Grant,  2008 - 2013,  $19,545.
  • Identifying wetlands of significance within the Gnangara pine plantations; a desktop assessment,  Sandbourne Holdings ,  Grant,  2011,  $44,486.
  • Physico-chemical and biological consequences of lower ground- and surface water levels at Loch McNess, Yanchep National Park,  Department of Environment and Conservation WA,  Grant,  2011,  $7,000.
  • Assessment of Wetland Invertebrate & Fish Biodiversity for the Gnangara Sustainability Study,  Department of Environment and Conservation WA,  Grant,  2008,  $23,715.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Books

  • Sommer, B., McGuinness, S., Froend, R., Horwitz, P., (2013), Assessing risks to groundwater dependent wetland ecosystems in a drying climate: an approach to facilitate adaptation to climate change. Adapting to climate change: a risk assessment and decision framework for managing groundwater dependent ecosystems with declining water levels, 84, Gold Coast, Australia.
  • Chambers, J., Nugent, G., Sommer, B., Speldewinde, P., Neville, S., Beatty, S., Chilcott, S., Eberhard, S., Mitchell, N., D'souza, F., Barron, O., McFarlane, D., Braimbridge, M., Robson, B., Close, P., Morgan, D., Pinder, A., Froend, R., Horwitz, P., Cook, B., Davies, P., (2013), Development and Case Studies: Adapting to climate change: a risk assessment and decision making framework for managing groundwater dependent ecosystems with declining water levels., 112, Gold Coast, Australia.
  • Chambers, J., Nugent, G., Sommer, B., Speldewinde, P., Neville, S., Beatty, S., Chilcott, S., Eberhard, S., Mitchell, N., D'souza, F., Barron, O., McFarlane, D., Braimbridge, M., Robson, B., Close, P., Morgan, D., Pinder, A., Froend, R., Horwitz, P., Cook, B., Davies, P., (2013), Guidelines for use: Adapting to climate change: a risk assessment and decision making framework for managing groundwater dependent ecosystems with declining water levels., 68, Gold Coast, Australia.
  • Mitchell, N., Sommer, B., Speldewinde, P., (2013), Identifying thresholds for responses of amphibians to groundwater and rainfall decline. Adapting to climate change: a risk assessment and decision framework for managing groundwater dependent ecosystems with declining water levels, 33, Gold Coast, Australia.

Book Chapters

  • Loomes, R., Froend, R., Sommer, B., (2013), Response of wetland vegetation to climate change and groundwater decline on the Swan Coastal Plain, Western Australia: implications for management. Groundwater and Ecosystems, 207-219, London.

Journal Articles

  • Sommer, B., Froend, R., (2011), Resilience of phreatophytic vegetation to groundwater drawdown: Is recovery possible under a drying climate?. Ecohydrology, 4(1), 67-82, DOI: 10.1002/eco.124.
  • Froend, R., Sommer, B., (2010), Phreatophytic vegetation response to climatic and abstraction-induced groundwater drawdown: Examples of long-term spatial and temporal variability in community response. Ecological Engineering, 36(9), 1191-2000, Amsterdam, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2009.11.029.
  • Sommer, B., Horwitz, P., (2009), Macroinvertebrate Cycles of Decline and Recovery in Swan Coastal Plain (Western Australia) Wetlands Affected by Drought Induced Acidification. Hydrobiologia: the international journal on limnology and marine sciences, 624(1), 191-203, The Netherlands, DOI: 10.1007/s10750-008-9692-6.
  • Horwitz, P., Rogan, R., Halse, S., Davis, J., Sommer, B., (2009), Wetland Invertebrate Richness and Endemism on the Swan Coastal Plain,Western Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research, 60(10), 1006-1020, Australia, DOI: 10.1071/MF08204.
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