Aquatic Ecology

Cumberland Ecology’s freshwater and estuarine ecologists are experienced in a wide variety of aquatic work. We have worked across multiple industries, including the mining, infrastructure and industrial sectors. Our freshwater ecologists are trained in habitat condition assessments using AUSRIVAS and SIGNAL scores, while our estuarine ecologists have a breadth of knowledge in sampling techniques specific to estuarine environments. Complementing our expertise in the field, we are able to execute a wide variety of aquatic assessments, including environmental impact and risk assessments, toxicity assessments and ecological monitoring.

Our specific expertise in relation to aquatic projects includes:

Field Techniques and Analysis

  • Sediment and water quality sampling and analysis (with comparison to ANZECC (2000) and other guidelines)
  • Freshwater macroinvertebrate sampling (e.g. kick sampling, sweep net) and identification (live-pick or lab-sort)
  • Freshwater fish surveys (netting and electrofishing)
  • Turtle surveys using opera traps and snorkelling
  • Estuarine fish surveys (netting)
  • Estuarine sediment and benthic fauna surveys
  • Freshwater habitat condition assessment (e.g. AUSRIVAS, SIGNAL)
  • Estuarine and intertidal habitat assessment


  • Baseline reporting
  • Impact assessments
  • Risk assessments
  • Toxicity assessments
  • Ecological monitoring

Strategic Ecological Advice

  • Pre-planning advice on ecological constraints for prospective development projects
  • Consultation with Federal, State and local government agencies
  • Expert testimony for court work

Monitoring and Management

  • Ongoing compliance monitoring (e.g. water quality)
  • Habitat condition monitoring