Ian Campbell was one of the first aquatic ecologists in Australia to use aquatic macroinvertebrates to assess stream health with his early studies on Dandenong Creek and the Yarra River in the 1970s and 80s. Since then he has continued to be active in this field, establishing the first river health monitoring program for the lower Mekong River (using benthic invertebrates, zooplankton and algae). With a strong taxonomic background, and extensive experience in studies on the ecology and life histories of aquatic invertebrates, Rhithroecology takes a pragmatic approach to river health assessments. Rather than simply blindly applying indices, based on 40 years of experience we are often able to identify specific but slightly unconventional components of the biota which are sensitive and appropriate as monitoring tools in any given context. We look beyond the indices to interpret the results based on knowledge of the ecology and ecological traits of the species the are present, and those that are absent.