Lee Baumgartner


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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.

  • Marsden, T., Baumgartner, L. J., Duffy, D., Horta, A., & Ning, N. (2023). Evaluation of a new practical low-cost method for prioritising the remediation of fish passage barriers in resource-deficient settings. Ecological Engineering194, 107024. Article 107024. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2023.107024
  • Thieme, M., Birnie-Gauvin, K., Opperman, J. J., Franklin, P., Richter, H., Baumgartner, L. J., Ning, N., Vu, A. V., Brink, K., Sakala, M., O'Brien, G., Petersen, R., Tongchai, P., & Cooke, S. (2023). Measures to Safeguard and Restore River Connectivity. Environmental Reviews. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1139/er-2023-0019
  • Vu, A. V., Baumgartner, L. J., Mallen-Cooper, M., Howitt, J. A., Robinson, W. A., So, N., & Cowx, I. G. (2023). Diadromy in a large tropical river, the Mekong: More common than assumed, with greater implications for management. Journal Of Ecohydraulics8(1), 1-13. Article 38-50. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/24705357.2020.1818642
  • Atminarso, D., Baumgartner, L. J., Watts, R. J., Rourke, M. L., Bond, J., & Wibowo, A. (2023). Evidence of fish community fragmentation in a tropical river upstream and downstream of a dam, despite the presence of a fishway. Pac. Conserv. Biol., [PC22035]. https://doi.org/10.1071/PC22035
  • Marsden, T., Tob, C. A., Hay, S., Battey, N., Mallen-Cooper, M., Thew, P., Conallin, J., & Baumgartner, L. J. (2023). Fishway Concept Design: Sleng Dam, Cambodia.