ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Dr Nicole McCasker

Dr Nicole McCasker

Dr Nicole McCasker is an early career, post-doctoral researcher with ILWS. Her major interests include the early life histories of freshwater fish, and riverine ecology more generally. Over the last 10 years Nicole has worked in a vast array of wetland, riverine and floodplain environments throughout the southern Murray-Darling Basin. She is currently working with a multi-stake holder project assessing ecological responses to the delivery of environmental water in the Edward-Wakool system, NSW.  Along with her research, Nicole teaches at the undergraduate level as a sessional lecturer with the School of Environmental Sciences at CSU and she is a member of the  Fish Ecology Collaborative Research Unit (FECRU)


Bachelor of Conservation Ecology Deakin University 2000

Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) Monash University 2002
Dissertation: Macroinvertebrate colonisation of re-introduced woody debris in the Little Yarra River, Victoria.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Charles Sturt University 2011
Dissertation: Of life and death in a lowland river: Investigating the sources and severity of mortality in during the early life stages of Murray-Darling fishes.


Strategic Research Area

  • Sustainable Water

Membership of Advisory Boards and Panels

Australian Society for Limnology (member); Early Life History Chapter, American Fisheries Society (member); Australian Society for Fish Biology (member)


Selected Publications

Peer-reviewed publications

McCasker, N., Humphries, P., Meredith, S., Klomp, N. (2014) Contrasting Patterns of Larval Mortality in Two Sympatric Riverine Fish Species: A Test of the Critical Period Hypothesis. PLoS ONE 9(10): e109317. http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchObject.action?uri=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0109317&representation=PDF

Lechner, A., Keckeis, H., Schludermann, E., Humphries, P., McCasker, N. and Tritthart, M. (2013). Hydraulic forces impact larval fish drift in the free flowing section of a large European river. Ecohydrology. Online (DOI: 10.1002/eco.1386)

Book Chapters

King, A., Humphries, P. and McCasker, N. (2013). Reproduction and Early Life History. In: Ecology of Australian Freshwater Fishes. Humphries, P. And Walker, K. (eds). CSIRO publishing, Collingwood. 440pp.

Technical Reports

Watts, R., Howitt, J., McCasker, N., Abell, J. & Liu, X. (2016) Monitoring of the algal bloom in the Edward-Wakool system 2016, Update #4. All reports prepared for Commonwealth Environmental Water

Watts, R.J., Thiem, J., Howitt, J., McCasker, N., Kopf, R., Healy S and Abell, J. (2016). Long term intervention monitoring project, Edward-Wakool River System Selected Area, Progress Report number 7, March 2016. Prepared for the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.

Watts, R.J., McCasker, N., Thiem, J., Howitt, J.A., Grace, M., Kopf, R.K., Healy, S., Bond, N. (2015). Commonwealth Environmental Water Office Long Term Intervention Monitoring Project: Edward-Wakool Selected Area Synthesis Report, 2014-15.  Prepared for Commonwealth Environmental Water.

Watts, R.J., McCasker, N., Healy S., Howitt, J., and Abell, J. (2015). Long term intervention monitoring project, Edward-Wakool River System Selected Area, Progress Report number 6, December 2015. CSU, ILWS. Prepared for CEW 

Watts, R.J., Kopf, R.K., McCasker N. & Thiem, J. (2015) Long term intervention monitoring project, Edward-Wakool River System Selected Area, Progress Report number 4, June 2015. CSU, ILWS. Prepared for CEW 

Watts, R.J., Kopf, R.K., McCasker N. & Thiem, J. (2015) Long term intervention monitoring project, Edward-Wakool River System Selected Area, Progress Report number 3, March 2015. CSU, ILWS. Prepared for CEW 

 Watts, RJ, Kopf, R.K., Hladyz, S., Grace, M., Thompson, R., McCasker, N., Wassens, S., Howitt, J.A., and Conallin, J. (2012). Monitoring of ecosystem responses to the delivery of environmental water in the Edward-Wakool river system, 2011-2012.Report 1. Prepared for Commonwealth Environmental Water Office

Wassens, S., Watts, R.J.,Spencer, J.A., Howitt, J., McCasker, N., Griese, V., Burns, A., Croft, R., Zander, A.,Amos, C. and Hall, A. (2012). Monitoring of ecosystem responses to the delivery of environmental water in the Murrumbidgee system. Institute for Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University.

 Conference papers

Humphries, P., Kopf, S., Kaminskas,T., Keckeis, H., McCasker, N., Stoffels, R., Bond, N. & Watts, R. (2015) Integrating life history theory and dispersal in riverine fishes. Presented at the 39th Annual Larval Fish Conference, Vienna, July 12-17


Current Projects

Conceptualisation of flow-recruitment relationships for riverine fisheries. Foundation activities for the Fish Theme of Environmental Water Knowledge Research (EWKR). (2016) Humphries, P., Mc Casker, N., & Kopf, R.K. MDFRC, $117,732

Monitoring ecosystem responses to Return Flows in the Koondrook-Pericoota Forest. Wolfenden, B., Jenkins, K. & McCasker, N. (2016-2017) NSW DPI (Fisheries), $36,908

Synthesis of flow-recruitment relationships for riverine fishes, Humphries, P., King, A. (CDU), Kopf, K., McCasker, N. & Stoffels, R. (2016) MDRFC, $82,028  Project details

Long Term Intervention Monitoring project - Edward Wakool Selected Area. Stage 2. Watts,R., McCasker,N., Howitt,J., Kopf,K with NSW Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries), Monash University (Water Studies Centre), Griffith University, NSW OEH, and Murray LLS. (2014-2019) CEWO, $3.36M Project Webpage

Internal Grants

Ecological responses to environmental flow microscopy, Watts, R., Wassens, S., Jenkins, K., & McCasker, N. (2015) Research Infrastructure Block Grant (RIBG), $30,660

Completed Projects

VEFMAP Fish data analysis-Part B: Analysis on existing fish data (2008-2014). Humphries, P. , Kopf, R.K. & McCasker, N. (2015) Goulburn Broken CMA, $9,800 

Long Term Intervention Monitoring for the Edward Wakool System, Watts., R. McCasker, N., Howitt, J., & Kopf, K. with NSW DPI, Monash University, OEH, Murray CMA. (Dec 2013-April 2014) CEWO, $105,798

Monitoring the ecological response of Commonwealth environmental water delivered in 2013-14 to the Edward-Wakool river system. SEWPAC, Watts, R., McCasker, N., Kopf, K., & Howitt, J. (2013-2014) Partners Department of Primary Industries – NSW Fisheries, Murray Catchment Management Authority, Monash University, and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. $753,656