About us

Understanding the natural systems and ecology of the Basin is central to the protection and restoration of the environmental values of the Murray-Darling system.

The MDFRC's mission is to generate, synthesise and communicate the knowledge required to:

  • Support the adaptive management of environmental water allocations
  • Manage risks associated with significant water quality events (e.g. blackwater)
  • Build the ecological research capacity necessary to inform future water policy.

The MDFRC is a multi-disciplinary research centre with a focus across three broad themes: biodiversity, ecosystem function and resilience. There are two laboratories on La Trobe's campuses in Wodonga and Mildura, with a total of fifty research, technical and administrative staff.

We maintain the capacity to support and respond to a wide range of key policy issues and drivers in relation to freshwater ecology. The emerging environmental constraints created by the historical over-allocation of water in the Basin and the challenges associated with optimising social, economic and environmental outcomes from the sustainable management of water, drive our research.

The Centre's work supports governments - Federal and State - land and water resource managers, the water industry and the community in making informed management decisions and in forming policy based on best available science.

The MDFRC has developed a strong teaching role and capacity, ranging from support for PhD and Honours degrees through to a program of school events. The partnership with La Trobe University provides exciting opportunities for students.

The Centre has supervised:

  • Thirty-six Honours students from five Universities
  • Three Masters students from three Universities
  • Thirty PhD students from seven Universities.