Dr Tom Rayner

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Dr Tom Rayner is a freshwater fish ecologist. His research focusses on understanding the factors that drive freshwater fish populations, including river flows, the availability of habitat and food resources, and alien species. He currently holds the position of Research Leader in the Northern Research Futures Collaborative Research Network – a $5 million program which unites biophysical and social sciences across CDU, James Cook University, the Australian National University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science. Tom is a member of the Research Institute for Environment & Livelihoods, but has an office in The Northern Institute. Beyond leading a broad research portfolio, his responsibilities include: facilitating multi-disciplinary research; strategic business administration; postgraduate mentorship; and, creative community engagement.

Tom joined CDU from the University of New South Wales, where he spent five years working with Professor Richard Kingsford at the Australian Wetlands and Rivers Centre. He was a Lecturer in the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences, and Program Authority for the Masters of Conservation Biology. His teaching focusses on the complex interactions between science and society in conservation planning, and the use of rigorous techniques (e.g., Marxan) to guide adaptive environmental management. He also has experience in government, as an Inland Fisheries Biologist at NSW Fisheries, a PhD in freshwater ecology from James Cook University and a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Hons 1) from UNSW.

Year Type Citation
Submitted Journal Article Woodhouse, J. N. et al. Core microbial populations associated with cyanobacteria from various geophysical environments. Environmental Microbiology (Submitted).
Submitted Journal Article Rayner, T. S., Kingsford, R. T., Suthers, I. & Cruz, D. O. Are entrenched alien species undermining restoration of native fish using environmental flows?. Ecohydrology (Submitted).
2013 Journal Article Ocock, J. F., Rowley, J. J. L., Penman, T. D., Rayner, T. S. & Kingsford, R. T. Amphibian chytrid prevalence in an amphibian community in arid Australia. EcoHealth 1-5 (2013).
2011 Journal Article Januchowski-Hartley, S. R., Pearson, R. G., Puschendorf, R. & Rayner, T. S. Fresh waters and fish diversity: distribution, protection and disturbance in tropical Australia. PLoS ONE 6, e25846 (2011).
2011 Journal Article Ebner, B. C. et al. Is the elusive Gymnothorax polyuranodon really a freshwater moray?. Journal of Fish Biology 79, 70 - 79 (2011).
2011 Journal Article Morrongiello, J. R. et al. Climate change and its implications for Australia's freshwater fish. Marine and Freshwater Research 62, 1082 (2011).
2010 Book Chapter Ralph, T. J., Spencer, J. & Rayner, T. S. Floodplain wetland biota in the Murray-Darling Basin: Water and habitat requirements. 205-251 (CSIRO Publishing, 2010).
2010 Book Chapter Kingsford, R., Brandis, K. J., Jenkins, K. M., Nairn, L. C. & Rayner, T. S. Ecosystem response modelling in the Murray-Darling Basin (Saintilan, N. & Overton, I.) 15-35 (CSIRO Publishing, 2010).
2010 Journal Article Rayner, T. S., Pusey, B. J., Pearson, R. G. & Godfrey, P. C. Food web dynamics in an Australian Wet Tropics river. Marine and Freshwater Research 61, 909 (2010).
2009 Report Boys, C. A., Miles, N. & Rayner, T. S. Scoping options for the ecological assessment of cold water pollution mitigation downstream of Keepit Dam, Namoi River. Final report prepared for the Native Fish Strategy, Murray-Darling Basin Commission (now Murray-Darling Basin Authority). 52pp. (MDBA, 2009).
2009 Journal Article Rayner, T. S., Pusey, B. J. & Pearson, R. G. Spatio-temporal dynamics of fish feeding in the lower Mulgrave River, north-eastern Queensland: the influence of seasonal flooding, instream productivity and invertebrate abundance. Marine and Freshwater Research 60, 97 (2009).
2009 Journal Article Rayner, T. S., Jenkins, K. M. & Kingsford, R. T. Small environmental flows, drought and the role of refugia for freshwater fish in the Macquarie Marshes, arid Australia. Ecohydrology 2, 440 - 453 (2009).
2008 Journal Article Rayner, T. S., Pusey, B. J. & Pearson, R. G. Seasonal flooding, instream habitat structure and fish assemblages in the Mulgrave River, north-east Queensland: towards a new conceptual framework for understanding fish-habitat dynamics in small tropical rivers. Marine and Freshwater Research 59, 97-116 (2008).
2008 Report Rayner, T. S., Jenkins, K. M. & Kingsford, R. T. Location, fish assemblage structure and management of low-flow refugia in the Macquarie Marshes. 37 pages. (University of New South Wales, 2008).
2008 Report Rayner, T. S., Jenkins, K. M. & Kingsford, R. T. Fish passage in the Macquarie River catchment: enhancing the ecological benefits of environmental flow delivery. (University of New South Wales, 2008).
2007 Thesis Rayner, T. S. The trophic ecology of the freshwater fishes of an Australian rainforest River. School of Marine and Tropical Biology PhD, 178 (2007).
2007 Conference Proceedings Jones, A., Rudstam, L. & Rayner, T. S. Natural Diet of an Australian Freshwater Pipefish. Nature PrecedingsNature Precedings http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/npre.2007.329.1, (2007).
2007 Report Gilligan, D. & Rayner, T. S. The distribution, spread, ecological impacts and potential control of carp in the upper Murray River. Fisheries Research Report Series 25 (NSW Department of Primary Industries, 2007).
2006 Journal Article Brose, U. et al. Consumer-resource body-size relationships in natural food webs. Ecology 87, 2411-2417 (2006).
2006 Journal Article Rayner, T. S. & Creese, R. G. A review of rotenone use for the control of non-indigenous fish in Australian fresh waters, and an attempted eradication of the noxious fish, Phalloceros caudimaculatus. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 40, 477-486 (2006).
2005 Journal Article Rowley, J. J. L., Rayner, T. S. & Pyke, G. H. New records and invasive potential of the poeciliid fish Phalloceros caudimaculatus. New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 39, 1013-1022 (2005).
2005 Journal Article Brose, U. et al. Body sizes of consumers and their resources. Ecology 86, 2545-2545 (2005).
2001 Thesis Rayner, T. S. The importance of large woody debris for fish-habitat associataions on sand-bed, forest streams of south-eastern Australia. School of Geography 81 (2001).


Capturing wild Australia: photography as a tool for science communication

New perspectives on contemporary issues affecting Australia's rivers and wetlands.

Ecogenomic tracing of trophic connectivity in tropical fish communities

Proposes a novel method to unravel complex feeding links between fish and their prey.

Fine-scale responses of fish to environmental flows

Using artifical floods to restore native fish populations in arid-zone rivers.

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