Dr Phil Suter is an associate professor at the Department of Environmental Management and Ecology based at La Trobe University, Albury-Wodonga. His area of specialisation is fresh water, macroinvertebrate ecology, taxonomy and ecology of Mayflies (Insecta: Ephemeroptera) and other aquatic insects.

Phil is involved in on-going research in the Australian Alps on the biodiversity of aquatic insects. The aquatic macroinvertebrates of the Australian Alps are poorly known in terms of their taxonomy. Phil leads a n ongoing taxonomic program which is using molecular (DNA) and morphological techniques to determine the biodiversity of the Alps, particularly in the major water quality indicator groups of insects the mayflies (Ephemeroptera), caddisflies (Trichoptera) and stoneflies (Plecoptera). This work has recognised new species and ones with extremely restricted distributions such that they are potentially at risk from most impacts on this fragile environment.

Phil is also involved in a long term study of the ecology of the streams and peatland water-bodies and the relationship between the aquatic invertebrate communities with the vegetation communities, snow intensity and duration and water quality. Preminary investigations on the aquatic insect biodiversity of peatlands has shown that the diverse aquatic macroinvertebrate communities are strongly influenced by the diversity of bryophytes and other water dependent vegetation communities and highlights the importance of the mosaic of wetland/peatland types in the alpine area. This project links closely with research by Dr Ewen Silvester and Dr Gavin Rees on water quality and foodweb investigations.

For further details see here or contact him at P.Suter@latrobe.edu.au