Lee Baumgartner


View CRO profile Google Scholar


I am an applied research leader and academic who has achieved substantial food security outcomes in countries working within the food-water-energy nexus. In many countries where I work, water is needed for life, but also provides an opportunity to grow crops using irrigation, and by generating hydropower. In these countries, fish are an important source of biodiversity, have cultural significance, supply animal protein, calcium and generate hard income but are declining because of river development. But the food and energy needs of countries is growing; necessitating expanded energy grids and irrigation systems.

My collaborative, high-impact, research focuses on the development and application of innovative technology, in the field of ecohydrology, to reduce pressure on fisheries systems and reverse declines. Specifically, my work focuses on irrigation and hydropower sustainability; applying innovation to ensure river communities can have food, water and energy. My work is multi-disciplinary; requiring collaboration with engineers, functional ecologists, social scientists, policy experts and water professionals.

  • Freshwater fisheries
  • Fish passage and migration
  • Mitigating human disturbances
  • Sustainable Hydropower
  • Riverine ecology and Management
Full publications list on CRO

Recent  publications

    UN Policy Brief offers guidance to practitioners seeking to implement the irrigation systems
    Baumgartner, L., Conallin, J. and Turner, C. (2023). Modernizing irrigation for fisheries, biodiversity and ecosystem services. Next Generation Water Management Policy Briefs, No. 5. Bangkok, FAO.

  • Atminarso, D., Baumgartner, L. J., Watts, R. J., Rourke, M. L., Bond, J., & Wibowo, A. (2024). Evidence of fish community fragmentation in a tropical river upstream and downstream of a dam, despite the presence of a fishway. Pacific Conservation Biology30(1), Article PC22035. https://doi.org/10.1071/PC22035
  • Bond, J., Pawsey, N., Conallin, J., Ning, N., & Baumgartner, L. (2024). Fish passage across Southeast Asia: key informant insights into motivations and triggers for water resource planning and policymaking. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/09640568.2024.2330982
  • Duncan, N., Bond, J., Conallin, J., & Baumgartner, L. J. (2024). How useful? Fish-friendly irrigation guidelines for the Lower Mekong lack definition in five key areas. Environmental Management73, 102-114. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-023-01855-4
  • Cooke, SJ., Geist, DR., Deters, K., Mcmichael, GA., Colotelo, A., Baumgartner, LJ., Silva, LGM., & Power, G. (2024). IN MEMORIAM RICHARD S. BROWN <i>August 12</i>, <i>1966</i> - <i>November 19</i>, <i>2023</i> Fisheries. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1002/fsh.11062
  • Cochrane, T., Strevens, C., Jeffries, P., McManus, S., Baumgartner, L. J., & Knight, A. (2024). Reconciliation in Science: Analysing Australian environmental case studies that combined Indigenous and Western science and methodologies.. Paper presented at University of Oxford: BCM Research Symposium, Oxford, United Kingdom.
  • Furlan, E. M., Baumgartner, L. J., Duncan, M., Ellis, I., Gruber, B., Harrisson, K., Michie, L., Thiem, J. D., & Stuart, I. (2024). Swinging back from the brink? Polygamous mating strategies revealed for an iconic threatened freshwater fish. Science of the Total Environment919, 170808. Article 170808. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.170808
  • In the media