A/Prof. Rebecca Lester

STAFF PROFILE

Position

Associate Professor

Faculty

Faculty of Sci Eng & Built Env

Department

Centre Regional & Rural Future

Campus

Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

Qualifications

Bachelor of Science, University of Melbourne, 2001
Bachelor of Engineering, University of Melbourne, 2001
Doctor of Philosophy, Monash University, 2007
Graduate Certificate of Higher Education, Deakin University, 2012

Contact

Career highlights

- Lecturer, Freshwater Biology, Deakin University
- Research Scientist, CSIRO Land and Water
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Flinders University

Affiliations

- Australian Society for Limnology

- Ecological Society of Australia

- Australian Marine Sciences Association

- Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand

Teaching interests

- Freshwater biology
- Aquatic ecology
- Hydrology

Knowledge areas

I have expertise in freshwater, estuarine and coastal ecosystems. My PhD research investigated stream restoration techniques on farms, which was followed by post-doctoral research developing ecological response models and environmental water requirements for the Coorong and Lower Murray Lakes, and contributing to the Murray-Darling Basin Planning process.  My research interests include ecosystem ecology, particularly in aquatic ecosystems, ecological restoration and science-based natural resource management, with an emphasis on applied techniques suitable for use outside conservation reserves and large spatial scales.  In particular, I am interested in the function and structure of ecosystems and in the development of management strategies that incorporate good ecological outcomes with human activities.

Projects

- Ecological responses in the Coorong and Lower Lakes

- Predicting ecological response to climate change using space-for-time substition across domains

- Testing the scientific foundations of a method to identify threatened ecosystems

- Use of anthropogenic storages by fish, macroinvertebrates & frogs in southwest Victoria

Publications

Filter by

2017

Modelling food-web mediated effects of hydrological variability and environmental flows

B Robson, R Lester, D Baldwin, N Bond, R Drouart, R Rolls, D Ryder, R Thompson

(2017), Vol. 124, pp. 108-128, Water research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal

A framework for evaluating food-web responses to hydrological manipulations in riverine systems

R Rolls, D Baldwin, N Bond, R Lester, B Robson, D Ryder, R Thompson, G Watson

(2017), Vol. 203, pp. 136-150, Journal of environmental management, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal

Fastloc-GPS reveals daytime departure and arrival during long-distance migration and the use of different resting strategies in sea turtles

A Dujon, G Schofield, R Lester, N Esteban, G Hays

(2017), Vol. 164, pp. 1-14, Marine biology, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal

Using multiple lines of evidence to assess the risk of ecosystem collapse

L Bland, T Regan, M Dinh, R Ferrari, D Keith, R Lester, D Mouillot, N Murray, H Nguyen, E Nicholson

(2017), Vol. 284, pp. 1-10, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: biological sciences, London, Eng., C1

journal
2016

Establishing precise estimates of abundance in patchy habitats of the marine nearshore

R Baring, R Lester, P Fairweather

(2016), Vol. 120, pp. 68-77, Marine environmental research, London, Eng., C1

journal
2015

Assessing the impact of drought and forestry on streamflows in south-eastern Australia using a physically based hydrological model

S Brown, V Versace, R Lester, M Walter

(2015), Vol. 74, pp. 6047-6063, Environmental earth sciences, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal

Limitations to the feasibility of using hypolimnetic releases to create refuges for riverine species in response to stream warming

T Matthews, R Lester, C Cummings, A Lautenschlager

(2015), Vol. 54, pp. 331-339, Environmental science and policy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal

Potential for water-resource infrastructure to act as refuge habitat

B Halliday, T Matthews, D Iervasi, D Dodemaide, P Pickett, M Linn, A Burns, I Bail, R Lester

(2015), Vol. 84, pp. 136-148, Ecological engineering, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal
2014

Storm versus calm : Variation in fauna associated with drifting macrophytes in sandy beach surf zones

R Baring, P Fairweather, R Lester

(2014), Vol. 461, pp. 397-406, Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Amsterdam , Netherlands, C1

journal

Population genetic structure of the Australian caddisfly Lectrides varians Mosely (Trichoptera: Leptoceridae) and the identification of cryptic species in south-eastern Australia

S Wickson, E Chester, I Valenzuela, B Halliday, R Lester, T Matthews, A Miller

(2014), Vol. 18, pp. 1037-1046, Journal of insect conservation, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal

Hydrologic llandscape regionalisation using deductive classification and random forests

S Brown, R Lester, V Versace, J Fawcett, L Laurenson

(2014), Vol. 9, pp. 1-20, PloS one, San Francisco, Calif., C1

journal
2013

Scientific foundations for an IUCN red list of ecosystems

D Keith, J Rodriguez, K Rodriguez-Clark, E Nicholson, K Aapala, A Alonso, M Asmussen, S Bachman, A Basset, E Barrow, J Benson, M Bishop, R Bonifacio, T Brooks, M Burgman, P Comer, F Comin, F Essl, D Faber-Langendoen, P Fairweather, R Holdaway, M Jennings, R Kingsford, R Lester, R Mac Nally, M McCarthy, J Moat, M Oliveira-Miranda, P Pisanu, B Poulin, T Regan, U Riecken, M Spalding, S Zambrano-Martinez

(2013), Vol. 8, pp. 1-25, PLoS one, San Francisco, Calif., C1

journal

Understanding the sources of uncertainty to reduce the risks of undesirable outcomes in large-scale freshwater ecosystem restoration projects: an example from the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia

R Bark, L Peeters, R Lester, C Pollino, N Crossman, J Kandulu

(2013), Vol. 33, pp. 97-108, Environmental science and policy, Amsterdam, Netherlands, C1

journal

Scenarios involving future climate and water extraction: ecosystem states in the estuary of Australia's largest river

R Lester, P Fairweather, I Webster, R Quin

(2013), Vol. 23, pp. 984-998, Ecological applications, Washington, D. C., C1

journal

Ecohydrological and socioeconomic integration for the operational management of environmental flows

B Bryan, A Higgins, I Overton, K Holland, R Lester, D King, M Nolan, D MacDonald, J Connor, T Bjornsson, M Kirby

(2013), Vol. 23, pp. 999-1016, Ecological applications, Washington, D. C., C1

journal

Novel methods for managing freshwater refuges against climate change in southern Australia. Final Report. National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility

B Robson, E Chester, M Allen, S Beatty, J Chambers, P Close, B Cook, C Cummings, P Davies, R Lester, A Lymbery, T Matthews, D Morgan, M Stock

(2013), Perth, W.A., A1-1

book

Novel methods for managing freshwater refuges against climate change in southern Australia: supporting document 1: evaluating the utility of cold-water releases ("shandying") for enhancing the resilience of riverine species

C Cummings, T Matthews, R Lester

(2013), Gold Coast, Qld., A1

book
2011

A Ramsar wetland in crisis the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth, Australia

R Kingsford, K Walker, R Lester, W Young, P Fairweather, J Sammut, M Geddes

(2011), Vol. 62, pp. 255-265, Marine and freshwater research, Collingwood, Vic., C1-1

journal

Ecosystem states : creating a data-derived, ecosystem-scale ecological response model that is explicit in space and time

R Lester, P Fairweather

(2011), Vol. 222, pp. 2690-2703, Ecological modelling, Amsterdam, Netherlands, C1-1

journal

Integrated modelling of cost-effective siting and operation of flow-control infrastructure for river ecosystem conservation

A Higgins, B Bryan, I Overton, K Holland, R Lester, D King, M Nolan, J Connor

(2011), Vol. 47, pp. 1-14, Water resources research, Washington, D. C., C1-1

journal

Linking water-resource models to ecosystem-response models to guide water-resource planning -- an example from the Murray--Darling Basin, Australia

R Lester, I Webster, P Fairweather, W Young

(2011), Vol. 62, pp. 279-289, Marine and freshwater research, Collingwood, Vic., C1-1

journal

Improving ecological outcomes by refining decision support tools : a case study using the Murray Flow assessment tool and the sustainable rivers audit

R Lester, C Pollino, C Cummings

(2011), pp. 2458-2464, MODSIM 2011 : Sustaining our future, understanding and living with incertainty : Proceedings of the Modelling and Simulation 2011 international congress, Perth, W. A., E1-1

conference
2010

Ecosystem response modelling of the Murray Mouth and Coorong lagoons

R Lester, P Fairweather

(2010), pp. 373-390, Ecosystem response modelling in the Murray-Darling basin, Collingwood, Vic, B1-1

chapter

Predicting future ecological degradation based on modelled thresholds

P Fairweather, R Lester

(2010), Vol. 413, pp. 291-304, Marine ecology progress series, Oldendorf, Germany, C1-1

journal

Overcoming data constraints to create meaningful ecological models

R Lester, P Fairweather

(2010), pp. 1-9, IEMSS 2010 : Modelling for environment's sake : Proceedings of the 5th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software, Ottawa, Ontario, E1-1

conference
2009

Modelling future conditions in the degraded semi-arid estuary of Australia's largest river using ecosystem states

R Lester, P Fairweather

(2009), Vol. 85, pp. 1-11, Estuarine coastal and shelf science, New York, N.Y., C1-1

journal

Reintroducing wood to streams in agricultural landscapes : changes in velocity profile, stage and erosion rates

R Lester, W Wright

(2009), Vol. 25, pp. 376-392, River research and applications, Malden, Mass., C1-1

journal

Large versus small wood in streams : the effect of wood dimension on macroinvertebrate communities

R Lester, W Wright, M Jones-Lennon, P Rayment

(2009), Vol. 174, pp. 339-351, Fundamental and applied limnology, Stuttgart, Germany, C1-1

journal
2008

Rehabilitating agricultural streams in Australia with wood : a review

R Lester, A Boulton

(2008), Vol. 42, pp. 310-326, Environmental management, New York, N.Y., C1-1

journal
2007

Does adding wood to agricultural streams enhance biodiversity? An experimental approach

R Lester, W Wright, M Jones-Lennon

(2007), Vol. 58, pp. 687-698, Marine and freshwater research, Collingwood, Vic., C1-1

journal
2006

Determining target loads of large and small wood for stream rehabilitation in high-rainfall agricultural regions of Victoria, Australia

R Lester, W Wright, M Jones-Lennon

(2006), Vol. 21, pp. 71-78, Ecological engineering, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Red listing ecosystems - testing the new global standard for conservation

Prof David Keith, Prof Richard Kingsford, Prof Mark Burgman, Dr Emily Nicholson, Dr Tony Auld, A/Prof Jon Rodriguez, Dr Tracey Regan, Dr Philip Pisanu, A/Prof Rebecca Lester

ARC Linkage - Projects

  • 2016: $5,940
  • 2015: $6,120
  • 2014: $5,940

Explaining species diversity in a fractal world

A/Prof Barbara Downes, A/Prof Rebecca Lester, Prof Stephen Rice

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2017: $20,000
  • 2016: $15,000

Species coexistence in the real world: novel field tests of complex theory

A/Prof Barbara Downes, A/Prof Rebecca Lester, Prof Peter Chesson

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2017: $60,315

Other Public Sector Funding

Report on the implications of the different scenarios presented within the Guide to the Proposed Murray-darling Basin Plan, on the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth Region

A/Prof Rebecca Lester

  • 2011: $7,700

CSIRO subcontract - MDBA project Multi-valuation of MDB Basin

A/Prof Rebecca Lester

  • 2012: $14,300
  • 2011: $11,000

Interactions between barrage flows and upper south east flows in the Coorong

A/Prof Rebecca Lester

  • 2012: $18,700
  • 2011: $8,800

Stage 1 - Impact of the Basin Plan options on the ecology of the Coorong; Stage 2 - Impact of additional Basin Plan option on the ecology of the Coorong

A/Prof Rebecca Lester

  • 2013: $2,141
  • 2012: $7,031

Ecological limits of acceptable change (LACs) in the CLLMM region

A/Prof Rebecca Lester

  • 2013: $16,185
  • 2012: $13,750

Grampians National Park Post Flood Recovery of Aquatic Values

Dr Ty Matthews, A/Prof Rebecca Lester

  • 2013: $65,000

Assessment of aquatic fauna and flora occurring in water supply and sewerage treatment infrastructure

Dr Ty Matthews, A/Prof Rebecca Lester

  • 2013: $25,000

Development and validation of key components for an ecosystem response forecasting tool

A/Prof Rebecca Lester, Dr Jan Barton

  • 2015: $32,789
  • 2014: $81,571
  • 2013: $27,000

Basin Plan Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Ecological Elements Method Development

A/Prof Rebecca Lester

  • 2014: $7,260

Provision of Vector Scripts

A/Prof Rebecca Lester, Dr Jan Barton

  • 2014: $3,883

Wetland Monitoring Program Development

Dr Peter Macreadie, Dr Paul Carnell, Dr Jan Barton, A/Prof Rebecca Lester

  • 2016: $10,000
  • 2015: $70,000

Enviornmental Water Knowledge and Research

A/Prof Rebecca Lester

  • 2016: $39,150

Basin Plan Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Efficiency Measures and Environmental Outcomes

A/Prof Rebecca Lester

  • 2016: $10,740

Basin Plan Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment Efficiency Measures and Environmental Outcomes

A/Prof Rebecca Lester

  • 2017: $6,600

Complementary Measures Method Development

A/Prof Rebecca Lester

  • 2017: $23,692

Ruppia trajectories

A/Prof Rebecca Lester, Dr Ashley Macqueen

  • 2017: $47,954

CSIRO-MDBA Ecohydrology Partnership

A/Prof Rebecca Lester

  • 2017: $12,000

Industry and Other Funding

Ecological Resilience Advisory Network

A/Prof Rebecca Lester

  • 2013: $2,109
  • 2012: $1,120

Making every drop count: functional connectivity and habitat patch use for small-bodied fish in semi-arid aquatic ecosystems

A/Prof Rebecca Lester, Mr Bryce Halliday

  • 2016: $7,000
  • 2015: $7,000
  • 2014: $7,000

Carbon sequestration by wetlands: A fresh(water) approach to tackling climate change

A/Prof Rebecca Lester, Dr Peter Macreadie, Dr Jan Barton

  • 2016: $1,000
  • 2014: $8,942

Environmental Water Knowledge and Research

Dr David Francis, A/Prof Rebecca Lester

  • 2017: $10,100

Other Funding Sources

Novel methods for managing freshwater refuges against climate change in southern Australia - Evaluating the utility of cold water releases

Dr Ty Matthews, A/Prof Rebecca Lester

  • 2013: $6,184
  • 2012: $7,000
  • 2011: $20,000

Supervisions

Associate Supervisor
2017

Antoine Marie Dujon

Thesis entitled: New technologies reveal insights on the behaviour of marine vertebrates

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences

2015

Stuart Brown

Thesis entitled: Assessing spatio-temporal hydrologic variability: a case-study in western victoria

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences

2014

Steven John Wickson

Thesis entitled: Life History of a Leptocerid Caddisfly in a Drying Environment

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences