Catherine Leigh

Senior Research Fellow
Queensland University of Technology

Brisbane, QLD

Contact me for

  • Providing an expert opinion
  • Outreach activities
  • Conference presenting
  • Opportunities to collaborate


Cath is a quantitative community ecologist, scientific communicator and teacher, with a research focus on rivers and reservoirs. Her work seeks to understand ecological responses to natural and human-induced changes in the environment by incorporating population- to ecosystem- level science with state-of-the-art, data-driven analytical approaches, and to find innovative solutions to real world environmental problems. She is currently working on projects to improve water quality monitoring and data-driven modelling for enhanced environmental protection, for the Great Barrier Reef and other ecosystems. Her expertise is sought widely across state, national and international levels, spanning government, professional, industry and community organisations. Cath is a key participant in the international Intermittent River Biodiversity Synthesis and Analysis project, the ACIAR Improving the Sustainability of Rice-shrimp Farming Systems in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam project, and previously the Australian National Water Commission Low Flows project, and the AusAID River Health and Environmental Flows in China project. She is highly productive and an excellent communicator, having produced multiple collaborative journal articles, book chapters, online databases, conference proceedings and technical reports. She enjoys convening special sessions and workshops and delivering plenary and keynote presentations at national and international conferences and at public outreach events. Cath served as Guest Editor for the 2016 special issue of the journal Freshwater Biology on intermittent river ecology and management, and serves on this journal's Editorial Board. She also serves on the Executive for Australia's peak professional body for freshwater scientists and managers, the Australian Freshwater Sciences Society, and is the proud recipient of the 2017 AFSS Early Career Excellence Award.