School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering

Postgraduate research

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Current and completed research by our postgraduate students.


Shian Min Liau

Start date

Feb 2011

Submission date

Nov 2014


Curriculum vitae

Shian Min Liau CV
[doc, 50.95 kb]
Updated 27 Apr 2014

Shian Min Liau

Shian Min Liau profile photo


The effect of prior exposure to toxic cyanobacteria on the survivorship and cyanotoxin accumulation in Daphnia carinata


The presence of toxic cyanobacteria in blooms across various waterbodies such as recreational lakes, wastewater ponds and temporary ponds poses a risk of cyanotoxin accumulation in the zooplankton community, which may then be transferred across the food web. Daphnia, a key grazer in these habitats, is one of the most widely studied ecological bioindicator to assess the health of ecosystem. Recent studies show tolerance development in Daphnia towards toxic cyanobacteria, with factors including selective grazing, detoxification mechanisms, genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity. My research aims to investigate the influence of prior exposure to toxic cyanobacteria on Daphnia. More specifically, I am interested in the acute effects on the survival and cyanotoxin accumulation in monoclonal Daphnia carinata cultures, with experiments conducted in laboratory conditions.

Why my research is important

With increasing climate change leading to more cyanobacterial bloom occurrences, it is important to understand the effect prior exposure to toxic cyanobacteria has on the role of Daphnia as an ecological indicator. This research identifies the knowledge gap on Daphnia as an ecological indicator used for common ecotoxicological tests to assess water quality. Their perceived increased tolerance to cyanotoxin may lead to undermining or overestimating the effect cyanotoxin has on Daphnia and the ecosystem.


  • The Water Corporation, Western Australia
  • The Australian Research Council
  • The University of Western Australia


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Thursday, 19 September, 2013 11:39 AM