During the first phase of TRaCK research, Barbara Robson led the Aquatic Systems Modelling team of the Catchment and Aquatic Modelling group in CSIRO Land and Water. Her main research interest is process-based modelling of nutrients, sediments and plants (especially phytoplankton) in aquatic systems such as especially rivers and estuaries.
Dr Robson uses models to draw together scientific understanding of a system, quantify process rates and material fluxes, and predict how the system is likely to respond to change.
Past projects have focused on the:
- Daly River in the Northern Territory
- Flinders River in Queensland
- Ord River in north-west Australia
- Swan-Canning Estuary in Perth
- Fitzroy Estuary and Keppel Bay, which feed into the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon.
Dr Robson has a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours 1), and a Doctor of Philosophy in Oceanography
She has won several awards including:
- Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand's Early Career Research Excellence Award in 2005
- Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterways Management Shield, awarded to the Fitzroy contaminants dynamics project team as the project team that made the greatest overall contribution to the CRC in 2004
- CRC for Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway's Management Excellence in Science Award, awarded to the Fitzroy contaminants dynamics project team in 2003
- Australian Research Council Discovery Grant Critical flux paths influencing ecological processes in an urban estuary, awarded to Jorg Imberger, Barbara Robson and David Hamilton, Centre for Water Research, UWA in 2002
- Ria de Groot Prize, UNSW in 2000.