• The University of Western Australia (M087), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from PlumX

Personal profile


I specialise in applied ecological research, particularly the conservation and restoration of river systems. I have been working on river systems for over 20 years in natural, agricultural and urban landscapes. Typically, my research focusses on freshwater fish, but I also study turtles, macroinvertebrates, algae, nutrients and plants. Currently, I sit within the Resilient Landscapes Hub - a dynamic research team led by Professor Michael Douglas and Professor Samantha Setterfield. Our work is tailored to answer specific questions to assist decision makers (i.e. government agencies, Aboriginal Corporations) and guide policy development. Past projects include Environmental Water Needs for the Fitzroy River (Kimberley), current projects include Ecological and Indigenous Values of South-Western Australian Rivers and Enhancing the Resilience of Urban Rivers: Informing the Regional Restoration of the Djarlgaroo Beeliar (Canning River, Perth). Our research group strongly values Indigenous rights, knowledge and beliefs and where possible we work collaboratively with Aboriginal Corporations, Traditional Owners and Indigenous Rangers.


I grew up in the hills of Perth and studied science (Zoology major) at UWA in the early 1990s. I undertook an honours project on the importance of logs for riverine macroinvertebrates (Swan Coastal Plain). After honours I travelled and worked as a research assistant at UWA studying sexual selection in crickets and maternity in seahorses. In 2000, I commenced a PhD at UWA on the fish of the Fortescue River (Pilbara) with Professor Peter Davies and Dr Jane Prince as key supervisors. After graduation, I was employed as an environmental consultant for the firm Biota and took part in environmental surveys (stygofauna, terrestrial invertebrates, mammals) for mine impact assessments in the Pilbara. In 2007 I moved to Melbourne to work for the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research (Vict Govt) and researched environmental flows for fish and turtles in the Murray River. In late 2012 I returned to UWA and worked for the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities developing tools for the repair of urban waterways and undertaking research on the urban rivers and drains of Perth. I joined my current research group in mid 2017 - see the section titled “Research” for more about what we do.

Teaching philosophy

My teaching philosophy is centred around the joy of learning and recognition that there are many different learning pathways, and that each student is on their own unique journey. If you are interested and willing to learn then I am interested in assisting you.

I supervise/mentor for students undertaking honours, masters and PhD research. As a mentor I strive to create a safe and supportive work environment that allows each student to reach their full potential as a scientist and a person. Practically, this means that my door is always open for discussions about science, student ambitions, the challenges of research, and student wellbeing. I take time to ensure that my student’s research projects are well thought out and imbued with risk management strategies. Wherever possible I will recommend activities (workshops, seminars, conferences) that assist my students to grow their skills, and endeavour to assist them to grow their network by link them with colleagues and staff working in their field of interest.

Teaching overview

I lecture second year Ecology students (ENVT 2250) and grade fourth year students studying Decision Making for Biological Conservation (ENVT 5513). I also supervise Honours, Masters and PhD students.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Zoology, PhD, Environmental stability: its role in structuring fish communities and life history strategies in the Fortescue River, Western Australia, The University of Western Australia

1 Apr 20003 Apr 2006

Award Date: 3 Apr 2006

Research expertise keywords

  • Aquatic ecology
  • Environmental flows
  • Urban stream ecology
  • Freshwater fish ecology
  • Arid zone river ecology


Dive into the research topics where Leah Beesley is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or