Freshwater Ecology Research Group

Photos courtesy of Professor Angus McIntosh

The Freshwater Ecology Research Group (FERG) is a large research group within the School of Biological Sciences, consisting of Professor Angus McIntosh, Professor Jon Harding, and Emeritus Professor Mike Winterbourn, plus numerous post-doctoral research fellows, graduate students and technical support personnel.

FERG research is primarily field-based, and covers a broad array of applied and theoretical ecological topics including the natural history of New Zealand’s freshwater biota, the influence of land-use change, acid mine drainage, ecosystem size and disturbance on stream communities, and biogeochemistry and nutrient cycling.


CAREX article - "starting at the top" (18 November 2014)

Recently Whakaora te Waihora spoke to Professor Jon Harding about the work that the CAREX team are doing. Canterbury Waterway Restoration Experiment (CAREX) is funded by the Mackenzie Charitable Foundation of Ashburton and two of the ten research sites from this project are in the Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere catchment. Read what Professor Harding says about how "starting at the top" is critical for restoration of the lake.

Tank Sampling at Cass (17 July 2014)

In July, ten FERG members and two members of the Tylianakis Lab group went up to the UC Cass Field Station to sample a long-term experiment investigating how different cross-ecosystem subsidies that are consumed at different levels within a food web affect multiple ecosystem and food-web interactions.

"There is nothing more humbling than hearing that so many people took time from their work to help with my experiment. Thanks to everyone that sampled my experiment for me: Jon Bray, Nixie Boddy, Catherine Febria, Richard White, Helen Warburton, Mark Galatowitsch, Carla Gomez-Creutzberg, and Melissa Broussard. A special thanks to Kim Roberts, Hayley Stoddart, and Angus McIntosh for helping with organising the big day. A super, awesome, amazing THANK YOU to Sophie Hunt for keeping my experiment going for 4 months and making the sampling day in July happen!"
-Amanda Klemmer


Community Planting Day at CAREX Research Site (18 May 2014)

A community planting day on the 18th of May, organised with the assistance of Te Ara Kakariki, saw 1000 Carex plants established in the newly re-shaped riparian margins of the CAREX research site, Silverstream. Once the Carex plants have grown to maturity they will provide stability to the banks as well as shading of the water, as part of a project to enhance the water quality and habitat of this stream. The CAREX team are grateful for the support of the landowners and funding from DOC and Fonterra.

From left: original state of the waterway pre bank re-shaping; planting the newly re-shaped banks with Carex.

CAREX Outreach Day at Silverstream (3 April 2014)

This week the CAREX (Canterbury Waterway Rehabilitation Experiment) team held a field day with Biology students from Riccarton High School. About 60 students visited Silverstream, a dairy farm stream which flows into the Selwyn River. The students looked at a spring wetland, undertook a crowd sourcing photo survey, sampled for benthic invertebrates, and heard about freshwater fish conservation. Thank you to the landowners and farmers who helped out, it was a great day!