ARC success - Douglas Tait, Damien Maher, Christian Sanders and Scott Johnston


The ARC has recognised early career researcher Dr Douglas Tait with a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) worth $392,650 for the project, ‘Is groundwater the missing nutrient source to the Great Barrier Reef?’ (DE180100535).

With the source of only 30% of the nutrient necessary to sustain life on the Great Barrier Reef the study aims to close this considerable knowledge gap.

Despite billions of dollars being spent on improving water quality in the Great Barrier Reef, nutrient budgets and the sources of pollution remain poorly quantified and instances of harmful algal blooms continue to rise. This project will focus on the discharge of groundwater to coastal waters which has been shown elsewhere to be a major component of coastal nutrient budgets.

Nutrients and pollutants can be stored in underground aquifers for decades before flowing to coastal waters. The project will use a combination of cutting edge technology and modelling to quantify how the legacy of past land use practices affects reef nutrient dynamics. It will provide land and marine managers with crucial information to safeguard this precious resource into the future.

For more information or how you can be involved contact Douglas Tait