The effect of land use and land cover changes on hydrological response, in particular natural vegetation conversion to other land uses such as pasture and agriculture, has captured the attention and stirred heated debates among specialists for decades. Considering the recent interest in the potential effects of climate and land uses changes on ecosystems, there is a clear need to provide scientific and technical guidance to environmental policy. These changes in land cover usually cause alterations in hydrological behaviour of catchments. Particularly in Australia, this issue is worsened given the scarcity of surface water and the current increase of extreme events, such as the latest floods and droughts. My research aims to analyse the hydrological impacts of land cover changes in catchments from coastal region of Queensland state, as well as to understand eco-hydrological balance in natural and anthropic catchments. For this, some catchments with differences in vegetation (tropical forests, eucalypt woodland, tropical savannah, agriculture and livestock) will be selected for an eco-hydrological monitoring. Vegetation ground data, satellite images and time series of rainfall and streamflow will be used to analysing and modelling eco-hydrology. This research will have an interdisciplinary approach, covering several areas of knowledge, such as landscape ecology, hydrology, remote sensing, vegetation, climate and statistics.

Funding: UQ Centennial Scholarship (UQCent) and  UQ International Scholarship (UQI)

Advisors: Prof Stuart Phinn, Prof Clive McAlpine, Dr Joshua Larsen, Dr Tim McVicar

Project members

Ralph Trancoso Da Silva

Ralph Trancoso Da Silva

PhD Graduate 2017