Professional summary

Research Interests

Key Words: Freshwater, invertebrates, macrophytes, field survey, WFD, long-term monitoring, restoration studies

I am a freshwater ecologist, based at CEH Edinburgh, with over 25 years research experience, which has largely focussed on the ecological assessment and monitoring of lakes and rivers, particularly  their crustacean zooplankton, macroinvertebrate and aquatic plant communities. In the process I have helped develop new survey methods and sampling strategies as well as refine existing biological metrics for improving the management of both rivers and lakes in Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom. I have extensive experience of leading teams in large-scale field survey campaigns, for example, on the UK Countryside Survey and Site Condition Monitoring of Scottish Standing Waters projects. The latter project allowed Scottish Natural Heritage to determine whether standing water features of conservation interest were in favourable condition or not based on their aquatic plant communties. I have also been involved in a number of EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) related projects over the years: WISER developing lake macroinvertebrate indicators; the development (in conjunction with CEH colleagues)  of new RIVPACS (River InVertebrate Prediction And Classification Scheme) modules for the Scottish Highlands and Islands for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency - a system designed to evaluate the ecological status of watercourses by comparing the observed macroinvertebrate fauna with that of its specific reference site when not significantly stressed; undertaking literature reviews on lake benthic macroinvertebrate sampling methods/strategies and how aquatic plants can be used to indicate nutrient pressures and water transparency conditions in lakes. Recent projects have included looking at the interactions between macrophytes and fluvial processes in the REFORM (REstoring rivers FOR effective catchment management) EU FP7 project; assessing the ecological responses (focussing on the macrophyte and invertebrate communities) in a number of lake restoration studies, including CEH's long-term monitoring site at Loch Leven; and quantifying snail habitats and their overlap with cattle activity as part of project aiming to improve control of liver fluke infection in UK cattle.   I also helped organise the 14th International Symposium on Aquatic Plants, held at the University of Edinburgh in September 2015.

Brief CV

1992-present: Freshwater Ecologist, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (formerly the Institute of Freshwater Ecology)

1989-1992: Assistant Biologist, National Rivers Authority (Anglian Region)

1988: Freshwater Survey Assistant, Nature Conservancy Council

1987-1988: Ecologist, Montgomery Canal Ecological Survey


1981-1985: BSc (Honours) Zoology (Class 2.1), University of Aberdeen

1985-1986: MSc Applied Hydrobiology, University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology (UWIST)

Panels, committees and memberships

Royal Society of Biology

Freshwater Biological Association