Dr Ian J Winfield

Dr Ian J Winfield

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Lancaster Environment Centre
Library Avenue
T: +44 (0)1524 595800
F: +44 (0)1524 61536
E-mail: Dr Ian J Winfield

Current work

My work focuses on the ecology and management of freshwater fish and benefits from a broad, integrative approach facilitated by being undertaken within a Lake Ecosystem Group. Although such work is conducted throughout the UK and overseas, a large component of it involves the continuation of long-term netting and trapping studies of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus), perch (Perca fluviatilis) and pike (Esox lucius) in Windermere, which began during the 1940s and now constitute time series of unparalleled duration, detail and quality. This work is augmented by the use of state-of-the-art hydroacoustics to investigate fish abundance, distribution and size structure, together with aspects of their biotic and abiotic environments. I frequently undertake commissioned research for a wide range of regional, national and international customers.

I also sit on regional, national and international advisory bodies, I have frequent contacts with local and national media, and I am currently the President of the Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI).


Research interests

  • Population dynamics and community ecology of freshwater fish
  • Roles of fish in lake ecosystems
  • Effects of climate change on freshwater fish populations and communities
  • Development of hydroacoustics for studies of freshwater fish and their habitats
  • Conservation of rare fish species
  • Freshwater fisheries management
  • Lake management


Brief CV

  • 2003 to date: Lake Ecologist at CEH's Lancaster site
  • 1990-2003: Fish Ecologist at CEH Windermere (formerly the Institute of Freshwater Ecology)
  • 1985-1990: Lecturer in Fish Biology at the University of Ulster
  • 1984: Research Fellow in Freshwater Fish Ecology at the University of Lund, Sweden


Recent publications

See also the NERC Open Research Archive.

Ohlberger, J., Thackeray, S.J., Winfield, I.J., Maberly, S.C. and Vøllestad, L.A.  2014.  When phenology matters: Age-size truncation alters population response to trophic mismatch. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B 281, 20140938.

Emmrich, M., Pédron, S., Brucet, S., Winfield, I.J., Jeppesen, E., Volta, P., Argillier, C., Lauridsen, T.L., Holmgren, K., Hesthagen, T. and Mehner, T. 2014.  Geographical patterns in the size structure of European lake fish communities along abiotic and biotic gradients.  Journal of Biogeography.  DOI:  10.1111/jbi.12366.

Adams, C.E., Lyle, A.A., Dodd, J.A., Bean, C.W., Winfield, I.J., Gowans, A.R., Stephen, A. and Maitland, P.S.  2014.  Translocation as a conservation tool; case studies from rare freshwater fishes in Scotland.  The Glasgow Naturalist 26, 17-24.

Winfield, I.J.  2014.  Biological conservation of aquatic inland habitats:  these are better days.  Journal of Limnology 73, 120-131.

Miller, H, Winfield, I.J. Fletcher, J.M., James, J.B., van Rijn, J., Bull, J.M. and Cotterill, C.J. 2014.  Distribution, characteristics and condition of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) spawning grounds in a differentially eutrophicated twin-basin lake.  Ecology of Freshwater Fish.  DOI: 10.1111/eff.12122.

Vindenes, Y., Edeline, E., Ohlberger, J. Langangen, Ø, Winfield, I.J., Stenseth, N. Chr. and Vøllestad, L.A.  2014.  Effects of climate change on trait-based dynamics of a top predator in freshwater ecosystems.  American Naturalist.  DOI:  10.1086/674610.

Winfield, I.J.  2013.  An overview of recreational fisheries in the UK:  resources, threats and management.  Proceedings of the 3rd China (Xiamen) International Recreational Fisheries Forum, 134-142.

Winfield, I.J., Bean, C.W., Gorst, J., Gowans, A.R.D., Robinson, M. and Thomas, R.  2013.  Assessment and conservation of whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) in the UK  Advances in Limnology 64, 305-321.

Thomas, R., Fletcher, J.M., James, J.B. and Winfield, I.J. 2013.  Assessment and conservation of gwyniad (Coregonus lavaretus) in Llyn Tegid, UK:  persistence in the face of eutrophication, water level fluctuations and ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus) introduction.  Advances in Limnology 64, 363-376.

Hewitt, S.M. and Winfield, I.J. 2013.  Location of whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) spawning grounds using Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) spraints and prey remains.  Advances in Limnology 64, 333-343.