Christopher Keneally

Mr Christopher Keneally

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

PhD Candidate

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

Chris is a PhD Candidate studying aquatic microbial ecology. He holds an undergraduate degree in Microbiology & Immunology, and an Honours degree in microbial ecology.

Chris has worked on a range of government research programs during his study. His current research aligns with "Project Coorong," which is part of the joint Australian Federal and South Australian government "Healthy Coorong, Healthy Basin" program. His work ranges broadly from remote boat-based fieldwork, to wet lab microbiology & "dry-lab" bioinformatics.

Chris is interested in answering questions about complex systems, and his work aims to inform policy and decision-making.

Microbial dark matter: linking structure, functional genetics and bioremediation potential of microbial communities in a degraded hypersaline estuary.

Chris' PhD research is concerned with the functional genetics and ecology of microbial communities controlling nutrient and carbon cycling in hypersaline environments (a relatively understudied ecosystem in this field). His study site is the Coorong National Park, at the Murray-Darling Basin Estuary in South Australia - an internationally important migratory bird habitat, and a Ramsar-listed wetland ecosystem.
This research aims to find pathways to bioremediation of the study site, and inform policy and management in the region. It also aims to contribute to the scientific literature on similar 'extreme' systems on a broader scale - e.g. microbial stress adaptation, climate, early earth evolution and astrobiology.

PhD Research Summary video, winner of a communication award at The University of Adelaide's Ingenuity 2021 - Accompanying research poster
Honours research seminar

2024 May Day Environmental Science Fellowship (High Commendation) $20,000

2023 Student Travel Grant - Australian Freshwater Sciences Society (AFSS) $1000

2018 Global Learning Travel Grant $1000

Lecturing on aquatic microbiology for ENVBIOL3004: Freshwater Ecology III (Semester 1 2022, 2023)

Demonstration for the following undergraduate courses:

  • BIOLOGY1101: Molecules, Genes, & Cells (Semester 1 2022 & 2023) - Lab-based practicals
  • ENVBIOL3004: Freshwater Ecology III (Semester 1 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023) - Statistics-based practicals and field camps
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 - 2020 Co-Supervisor Denitrification rates in sediments of the Coorong, South Australia University of Adelaide Principles & Practice of Research (Advanced) III Other Full Time Matilda Southgate

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