Professor Mike Acreman

Professor Mike Acreman

Science Area Lead, Natural Capital

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Maclean Building
Benson Lane
Crowmarsh Gifford
OX10 8BB
T: +44 (0)1491 838800
F: +44 (0)1491 692424
E-mail: Professor Mike Acreman

Research interests

My main research interests lie at the interface between hydrology and ecology. The water needs of aquatic ecosystems, including rivers and wetlands, is a particular focus. I recently led the definition of UK river requirements to meet the European Water Framework Directive. As leader of the World Bank Environment Flow advisory panel, I have been supporting the development of environmental flow allocations in Tanzania and China and advising on global programme. I coordinated the definition of guidelines on environmental flow releases from reservoirs as the UK contribution to the World Commission on Dams.

My other major research area is the hydrological functions of wetlands. Recent work has included the development of methods to assess the vulnerability of wetlands in the Himalayas and restoration of wetlands through reinstallation of surface topography. As a member of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel of the International Convention on Wetlands responsible for water programme, I have developed guidance for Contracting Parties groundwater and water quality issues of wetlands.

Brief CV

  • I have been a researcher at the CEH (and its predecessor, the Institute of Hydrology) since 1984. My early work involved the development of rainfall and runoff models for flood risk assessment. In recent years my research interests have moved to environmental issues, particularly the water needed to maintain healthy aquatic and wetland ecosystems.
  • In the early 1990s, I was seconded to IUCN-The World Conservation Union, Switzerland, where I acted as Freshwater Management Adviser, working on a range of aquatic ecosystem projects and helping to develop IUCN's freshwater policy. Following the secondment, I remained chair of the IUCN Wetlands Programme Advisory Committee.
  • I have also been involved with a range of other international organisations, such as leader of the World Bank advisor panel on environmental flows, reviewer of environmental flow assessment strategy for the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, Australia and lead of water issues for the International Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar). I was a member of World Meteorological Organization's task force on environmental aspects of flood management. I made major inputs in the work of the World Commission on Dams.
  • From 1989 to 1991 I was seconded to the headquarters of the Natural Environment Research Council in Swindon, UK as a coordinator of research in the terrestrial and freshwater sciences.
  • Since January 2007 I have been Head of Section at CEH with responsibility for managing 38 scientific staff in a range of disciplines including freshwater biology, hydrochemistry, pollution, wetlands and catchment processes. I am a visiting Professor at University College London.
  • I am a member of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management and the British Hydrological Society, for which I was a main committee member.


Selected publications

Please see also the NERC Open Research Archive.

Acreman, M.C., Ferguson, A. 2009 Environmental flows and European Water Framework Directive. Freshwater Biology doi:10.1111/j.1365-2427

Acreman, M.C. 2005 Linking science and decision-making: features and experience from environmental river flow setting. Environmental Modelling and Software 20, 99-109

Acreman, M.C., Blake, J.R., Booker, D.J., Harding, R.J., Reynard, N., Mountford, J.O., Stratford, C.J. 2009 A simple framework for evaluating regional wetland ecohydrological response to climate change with case studies from Great Britain. Ecohydrology 2, 1-17.

Acreman, M.C., Aldrick, J., Binnie, C., Black, A.R., Cowx, I., Dawson, F.H., Dunbar, M.J., Extence, C., Hannaford, J., Harby, A., Holmes, N.T., Jarrett, N., Old, G., Peirson, G., Webb, J., Wood, P.J. 2009 Environmental flows from dams; the Water Framework Directive Engineering Sustainability. 162, ESI, 13-22.

Acreman, M.C., Dunbar, M.J., Hannaford, J., Wood, P.J., Holmes, N.J., Cowx, I., Noble, R., Mountford, J.O., King, J., Black, A., Extence, C., Crookall, D. & Aldrick, J. 2008. Developing environmental standards for abstractions from UK rivers to implement the Water Framework Directive. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 53, 6, 1105-1120.

Acreman, M.C. 2007 Agriculture needs ecosystems, ecosystems need water. Food Ethics 3, 1, 16.

Booker, D.J. & Acreman, M.C. 2007 Generalisation of physical habitat-discharge relationships. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 11, 1, 141-157.

Duranel, A.. Acreman, M.C., Stratford, C., Thompson, J.R. & Mould, D. 2007 Assessing hydrological suitability of the Thames floodplain for species-rich meadow restoration. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 11, 1, 170-179

Gasca-Tucker, D.L., Acreman, M.C., Agnew, C. & Thompson, J.R. 2007 Estimating evaporation from a wet grassland: Pevensey Levels, UK Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 11, 1, 270-282

Acreman, M.C., Fisher, J., Stratford, C.J., Mould, D.J. & Mountford, J.O. 2007 Hydrological science and wetland restoration: case studies from Europe. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 11, 1, 158-169