TRaCK: Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge

Science and knowledge that governments, communities, industries for sustainable use of Australia's tropical rivers and estuaries

Francis Pantus

Francis Pantus

Francis Pantus
Theme Leader, Project Leader
Griffith University

Francis Pantus was an Associate Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at Griffith University, and a member of the Australian Rivers Institute.

His area of interest is the development of effective science support approaches for natural resources management, with a focus on aquatic resources, including freshwater, estuarine and near-coastal waters. 

Francis has 15 years of experience in science support for natural resource management and adaptive management strategy evaluation, complex systems model integration, analysing and integrating a range of models including marine ecosystems and catchment models, sensitivity analysis of complex ecosystem models and spatial analysis and optimisation. 

As part of TRaCK’s synthesis and adoption year, Francis led the development of an integrated Management Strategy Evaluation software package which allowed water planners in the Northern Territory to assess and review their water allocation plans for the Daly River catchment, an area of approximately 53,000 km2, based on their own data combined with data from the first phase of TRaCK.

Phase 1 Projects

Outcomes This project was reviewed and wound up in late 2008.  It was superseded by Project 1.4 "Knowledge integration and science delivery" which observed a tighter focus – iinitially only including the Daly River.
Outcomes The main outcomes from this project was the improved understanding of the workings of tropical rivers and estuaries and the capability to develop and evaluate various management options which support evidence-based decision-making in the region. This was achieved through engagement with stakeholders in order to identify realistic scenarios for the future management of key rivers and coasts, consolidating TRaCK knowledge into models that find place within the broader Catchment-to-Coast -MSE framework, and through the development of software tools that deliver TRaCK knowledge into the region's natural resource planning and decision-making processes. Scenario evaluation is not only important as a tool to develop and formally test various options for natural resource management, the MSE concepts and models are also used to help scope science development programs (e.g. TRaCK). As such, it functions as a knowledge management system, for instance in the setting of directions or prioritise development options.