Scientists at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) are involved in three new projects, announced today, under the NERC highlight topics route.

Dr Dave Spurgeon will lead a £1m project on tracking nanomaterial transformations, exposure, uptake and effects in freshwater and soil systems, working with colleagues from CEH, the University of Birmingham and the University of Exeter.

Dr Spurgeon said, “Given the global economic importance of the nanotechnology industry - currently in $ billions worldwide - our findings will be of considerable interest to a wide range of industries, government regulatory bodies, environmental protection groups and the general public. The outcomes of the project will benefit regulators and industry by delivering advanced understanding of realistic environment fate and effects of nanomaterials.”

Professor Stephen Maberly leads a CEH team contributing to the “Hydroscape” project which will examine the impact of people and the natural environment on freshwater biodiversity and ecosystem resilience. The £2.9m project is led by the University of Stirling, and partners include University College London, Lancaster University, University of Glasgow, British Trust for Ornithology and the Natural History Museum.

Professor Jack Cosby, working with CEH colleagues from our Bangor and Wallingford sites, will contribute to a new £1m project aimed at understanding the ecological relevance of eDNA in freshwater ecosystems. The project is led by Bangor University, and partners include the Universities of Cardiff and Birmingham.

The highlight topic funding round aligns with NERC’s strategic vision of putting environmental science at the heart of sustainable management of the planet.

Professor Iain Gillespie, NERC’s director of science and innovation, said, “It’s fantastic to see science emerging to address these highlight topics, which will be central to delivering the priorities in the NERC strategy. This is a great first cohort of projects from our new funding route.”

More details can be found on the NERC website

Project details

Tracking relevant nanomaterial transformations, exposure, uptake and effects in freshwater and soil systems  

Hydroscape:connectivity x stressor interactions in freshwater habitats 

Understanding the ecological relevance of eDNA in freshwater lotic ecosystems 


Science areas: