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.


Award for Professor Jon Harding (22 October 2015)

The winner of the College of Science Excellence in Research Linkages Award 2015 is Professor Jon Harding of the School of Biological Sciences. Working with other UC colleagues and those from CRL Energy Ltd as well as Landcare and the University of Otago, Jon has led a team formed in 2004 aimed at improving management and environmental outcomes for the mining sector. This work, funded by MBIE, has been guided with input from the regional councils, mining companies, and iwi advisory groups, and has produced improved environmental outcomes as a result of the research input.

The latest from the CAREX team (28 September 2015)

Sand wand trials, sediment traps and nitrate patterns...check out that and more of what the CAREX team have been up to in our September newsletter on the CAREX website!

Silverstream Outreach Day (21 April 2015)

This week students from Riccarton High School had a field day at one of the CAREX (Canterbury Waterway Rehabilitation Experiment) research sites, Silverstream. The Biology students carried out a wetland biodiversity survey, measured water chemistry and identified stream invertebrates. Students also did riparian assessments, such as buffer width, macrophyte cover and sediment depth, as well as undertaking a crowd sourcing photo survey. Thank you to all the FERG students and staff who helped out on the day!

Choked Christchurch waterways hit fish numbers (20 April 2015)

A study of Christchurch waterways has found most are so choked with silt that only minimal numbers of eels, trout and whitebait are able to live there. Follow the story at Radio NZ or on the UC and NIWA's study involving Jon Harding and Phil Jellyman.