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Publish Date

2 February 2021

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A wonderful world, an essential ecosystem

To celebrate World Wetlands Day, Professor Damien Burrows, Director of JCU TropWATER, shares his passion for the wonders of the wetlands. From research in and out of the field to multi-industry collaborations, find out how the wetlands of North Queensland are being protected and promoted.

"There is a congruence of the location of development  and the location of wetlands,"  Damien says. "The two often go hand in hand. That means that we need to have improved management of the wetlands.

"A lot of the natural systems that might protect the wetlands have been altered, such as the flow regime of rivers and the burning regime of the vegetation around the wetlands. The wetlands aren't existing in the same environment that they once existed in."

With industrial development, a changing climate, and increased research happening within these unique ecosystems, it's important to understand why improved management is necessary, and to recognise how the steps already taken to protect North Queensland's wetlands have made important progress.

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Featured researcher

Professor Damien Burrows

Director, TropWATER

Damien has been Director of TropWATER for five years. He specialises in freshwater, estuarine and coastal aquatic ecosystems and catchment and has 22 years research experience in the tropics. Most of his professional life has been spent studying freshwater and estuarine ecosystems with particular emphasis on applied aspects of their management in relation to development pressures.

Damien has recently focused on developing the coastal ecosystems side of TropWATER, especially estuarine, seagrass, and coral habitats. Damien has done extensive work with industry, community and government, from grassroots to policy level.