Jan Kreibich

Jan Kreibich

PhD Student
Centre for Ecosystem Science
Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences

I have an academic background in geoscience, forestry, and water engineering, having studied in Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Svalbard, Switzerland, and the United States. Additionally, I have conducted interdisciplinary research on hydrology, soil biogeochemistry, and climate change at various international research institutions, such as the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, and the University of California at Berkeley. My greatest passion lies in fieldwork, whether in the tropical rainforest or the High Arctic. Equipped with a cast-iron stomach, I am also always super eager to embark on another 10-hour CES sea cruise.

Project: Large-scale river restoration - integrating environmental and cultural values

Supervised by: Professor Richard Kingsford, Professor William Glamore, Dr Gilad Bino, Dr Miri Raven

Project Description: My research focuses on the Gayini, an ecologically and culturally highly significant freshwater ecosystem within Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin and one of the largest wetland restoration projects worldwide (88,000ha, with an investment of AU$180 million by the Australian government).

In 2019, the land was handed back to its Traditional Custodians, the Nari Nari People, after more than 150 years of dispossession. However, almost 80% of the Gayini has already been destroyed or heavily degraded due to river regulation and floodplain development over more than a century, increasingly exacerbated by climate change.

We model river flows and wetland inundation under river regulation and projected climate change to understand how water availability affects vegetation, wildlife and cultural sites. Overall, we aim to (a) conserve and restore extremely valuable habitat for rare and threatened native species, (b) mitigate climate change, and (c) assist the local indigenous managers with data to inform their management.

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