Higher Degree by Research 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.
- My Research
- Grants and Funding
- Professional Activities
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
Date Position Institution name 2020 - ongoing PhD Candidate University of Adelaide 2020 - ongoing Lecturing & Demonstration The University of Adelaide 2019 - 2020 Research Assistant The University of Adelaide
Date Institution name Country Title 2019 - 2020 The University of Adelaide Australia Honours Degree of Bachelor of Science 2015 - 2018 The University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Science (Microbiology & Immunology)
Year Citation 2023 Brookes, J. D., Busch, B., Cassey, P., Chilton, D., Dittmann, S., Dornan, T., . . . Gibbs, M. (2023). How well is the basin plan meeting its objectives? From the perspective of the Coorong, a sentinel of change in the Murray-Darling Basin. Australian Journal of Water Resources, 27(2), 18 pages.
2022 Priestley, S. C., Tyler, J., Liebelt, S. R., Mosley, L. M., Wong, W. W., Shao, Y., . . . Farkaš, J. (2022). N and C Isotope Variations Along an Extreme Eutrophication and Salinity Gradient in the Coorong Lagoon, South Australia. Frontiers in Earth Science : Geochemistry, 9, 1-14.
DOI Scopus5 WoS2
Year Citation 2023 Keneally, C., Southgate, M., Chilton, D., Kidd, S., & Brookes, J. (2023). Microbial ecology & methane production in a hypersaline coastal lagoon. In Freshwater Sciences 2023. Brisbane.
Year Citation 2022 Keneally, C., Southgate, M., Chilton, D., Dornan, T., & Brookes, J. (2022). Sediment microbial ecology and methane dynamics during resuspension events in a hypersaline coastal lagoon - ePoster Session: Gases in inland waters: production, accumulation, and emission. Poster session presented at the meeting of 36th Congress of the International Society for Limnology. Berlin, Germany.
Report for External Bodies
Year Citation 2022 Huang, J., Welsh, D. T., Erler, D. V., Ferguson, A., Brookes, J., Keneally, C., . . . Mosley, L. (2022). Coorong nutrient cycling and fluxes (22/7). Goyder Institute for Water Research. 2022 Huang, J., Welsh, D. T., Erler, D. V., Ferguson, A., Brookes, J., Keneally, C., . . . Mosley, L. (2022). Coorong nutrient cycling and fluxes (22/7). Goyder Institute for Water Research. 2021 Dornan, T. N., Mills, J. G., Shiel, R., Keneally, C., Dorji, T., Deane, D., . . . Brookes, J. D. (2021). Monitoring microinvertebrate response to environmental watering events in the SA River Murray in 2020.
Year Citation 2020 Keneally, C. (2020). Towards Recovery of the Coorong: A Framework for Investigating Denitrification, Diversity & Other Functional Roles of Microbial Communities in Hypersaline Sediments. (Undergraduate Dissertation).
2023 Student Travel Grant - Australian Freshwater Sciences Society (AFSS)
Demonstration for the following undergraduate courses:
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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