Garth is a molecular biologist with a focus on food webs and freshwater ecology
Garth has over 30 years experience in CSIRO Land and Water and is also a research fellow at Charles Sturt University, Thurgoona. He uses next-generation DNA technologies to understand how freshwater ecosystems and their components function to provide knowledge to best manage those resources. He is experienced in a range of molecular protocols and specialises in metagenomics approaches and their bioinformatic pipelines. Garth sequences and identifies bulk environmental samples as opposed to individual organisms which allows for the analysis of whole communities. This also includes eDNA where individual organisms have shed DNA into their environment and can be identified through eDNA as a surrogate when the organism itself is not captured or observed. Garth has also worked across several disciplines including ecological consulting to government agencies as well as zooplankton taxonomy and ecology.
Some of Garth’s recent activities include:
- The first Australian freshwater fish microbiome study providing a structural and functional analysis of fish gut bacteria which gives a baseline for understanding fish health.
- Sequencing gut contents to identify niche partitioning of coexisting fish species as well as identifying the role of terrestrial and aquatic sourced food items.
- Using sediment community DNA to determine no adverse environmental impact to plant or animal life from methane seeps in an affected river.
- Salinity impacts to microbial community structure and function in wetlands.
- The effects of hyperdrought on soil microbiota and macrobiota.
- Metabarcoding demonstrates dietary niche partitioning in two coexisting blackfish species
GN Rees, ME Shackleton, GO Watson, GK Dwyer, RJ Stoffels (2020). Marine and Freshwater Research 71 (4), 512-517
- Environmental DNA reveals landscape mosaic of wetland plant communities
ME Shackleton, GN Rees, G Watson, C Campbell, D Nielsen (2019). Global Ecology and Conservation 19, e00689
- A framework for evaluating food-web responses to hydrological manipulations in riverine systems
RJ Rolls, DS Baldwin, NR Bond, RE Lester, BJ Robson, DS Ryder, …(2017). Journal of environmental management 203, 136-150
- Invasive willows drive instream community structure. PJ McInerney, GN Rees, B Gawne, P Suter, G Watson, RJ Stoffels (2016). Freshwater Biology 61 (9), 1379-1391