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Dr Rebecca Bartley

Research Scientist and Group Leader


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Dr Rebecca Bartley is a Research Scientist with CSIRO Environment.

Dr Rebecca Bartley has experience in the fields of fluvial geomorphology and catchment hydrology. Her primary research interest has been the development of field experiments and monitoring projects that underpin and support large scale catchment models that are used to predict sediment and nutrient loads in Australia’s coastal catchments. Her work has included long term measurement based research in grazing, sugar cane and rainforest catchments in North Queensland. She has also worked on stream and catchment management projects in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, and on and land suitability assessments in northwest Queensland.

Research topics of special interest have included:

(1) using sediment nuclides, dating, monitoring and modelling to improve our understanding of sediment sources and catchment scale sediment budgets

(2) review and synthesis of catchment scale water quality data for use in water quality models

(3) linking land management change to water quality improvements at multiple scales

(4) investigating the physical processes involved in the disturbance and recovery of landscapes and how this translates from catchments to the marine system

Selected Publications:

Bartley, R., Poesen, J., Wilkinson, S., Vanmaercke, M., 2020. A review of the magnitude and response times for sediment yield reductions following the rehabilitation of gullied landscapes. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 45, 3250-3279.

Bartley, R., Croke, J., Bainbridge, Z.T., Austin, J.M. and Kuhnert, P.M., 2015. Combining contemporary and long-term erosion rates to target erosion hot-spots in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Anthropocene, 10(1-2),

Bartley, R., Bainbridge, Z.T., Lewis, S.E., Kroon, F.J., Wilkinson, S.N., Brodie, J.E. and Silburn, D.M., 2014. Relating sediment impacts on coral reefs to watershed sources, processes and management: A review. Science of the Total Environment, 468–469C: 1138-1153,

Bartley, R., Corfield, J.P., Hawdon, A.A., Kinsey-Henderson, A.E., Abbott, B.N., Wilkinson, S.N. and Keen, R.J., 2014. Can changes to pasture management reduce runoff and sediment loss to the Great Barrier Reef? The results of a 10-year study in the Burdekin catchment, Australia. The Rangeland Journal, 36(1): 67-84,

Other Interests

Professional Invitations, contribution and affiliations:
• Reef 2050 Plan, Independent Expert Panel (IEP), 2022
• Editorial Board, Journal of Soils and Sediments, Springer-Nature, 2022
• Australian Institute of Company Directors, Graduate, 2021
• Board Member for the International Association for Sediment Water Sciences (IASWS), 2017-2022
• Peter Cullen Trust Fellow (Science to Policy Leadership Program), 2017
• Lead Chapter author for the Great Barrier Reef Scientific Consensus Statement, 2016/17
• Member of the Queensland Ministerial Great Barrier Reef Water Science Taskforce, 2015
• Technical advisory panels for Reef Trust, 2014 and the Burdekin Dry Tropics (WQIP), 2015
• Sediment Metric Think Tank member invited by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, 2014
• Invited presenter Northern Australia Beef Research Council Meeting, Cairns, 2013
• Invited Speaker Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) meeting, Brisbane, 2013
• Invited speaker International Rangelands Congress, Argentina, 2011
• Science Meets Parliament, Canberra, 2011

Academic Qualifications

  • 1996

    BSc (Hons, 1st class)
    Sydney University

  • 2001

    Monash University

Achievements and Awards

  • 2020-

    Impact from Science Award
    CSIRO Land and Water

  • 2017-

    Science to Policy Leadership Program
    Peter Cullen Trust

  • 2014-2017

    OCE Julius Award

  • 2012-

    CLW Journal Paper of the Year

  • 2009-

    OCE Payne-Scott Award

  • 2001-

    Young Water Scientist of the Year
    Australian Water Association (AWA)

  • 2001-

    Best PhD presentation CRC Conference
    CRC Committee

We have publications by Dr Rebecca Bartley