Ben Gawne

Ben Gawne

Dr Ben Gawne is well placed to contribute to the scientific understandings behind the decisions made by the Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group. Ben, who has been Director of The Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre (MDFRC) since 2002, is a freshwater ecologist who understands all too well the problems faced by Australia’s wetlands.

“I try to help the Working Group through my knowledge and networks, for instance the group may say ‘We don’t know ‘x’’ and I can take that on board and try to help. The acid sediment project is a reflection of that. There was an obvious need the group had, we have the expertise and together we were able to get major funding from the Federal Government. It is a partnership that works well if it is done right.”

In 2002 he took on the Albury-based position of MDRFC Director and has been a member of the Wetlands Working Group’s executive since then. “Officially I am involved because it is part of my role as Director of the MDFRC to build relationships with users of our knowledge so there’s effective communication,” he says.

“But the truth is that it is really rewarding to be involved with an organisation that you can so clearly see the outcomes of its activities. The Working Group’s values also mirror mine as we both believe that sustainable management isn’t possible without good knowledge of how they function. The group is using that knowledge to manage and rehabilitate wetlands. It’s the application of research that I’ve been involved in and I’m actually seeing the outcomes.”

Ben is a member of the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office, Environmental Water Scientific Advisory Panel.

Ben Gawne
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