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Rivers supply many services to mankind. They provide us with water to drink and for crops, they convey floods safely, the carry and process waste and they are navigable. Over half the rivers in Europe are considered to be subject to multiple stresses. My research focuses on finding solutions to the management of rivers which balance mankind’s needs with those of nature. I work in the following areas:
- Improving the representation of river vegetation in flood conveyance models through the collection of empirical data
- Improving the ways we monitor the impacts of physically altering river geomorphology and hydrology on riverine biota
- Improving our understanding of how managing river riparian zones can potentially help farmers by reducing the risk of disease transmission –specifically liver fluke from snails to livestock.
- Helping to resolve conservation conflicts by providing better models of herbivory on aquatic plants.
- Developing conceptual models which help us understand how damming and channelizing rivers effects vegetation, and the ecosystem engineering role of that vegetation, and how such impacts interact with other stressors such as eutrophication.
2003 – present Freshwater Ecologist CEH
2003 – 2007 Head of Aquatic Botany CEH Dorset
2007 – 2010 Primarily working as Co lead on NERC funded project addressing the ecosystem engineering role of riverine vegetation
2010-2015 Primarily working on REFORM, EU FP7 project as CEH lead and co-lead on Work Package 3 which addressed the monitoring of hydromorphologically degraded rivers across Europe
Host Aquatic Plants 2015 – Europe’s only 4 yearly meeting focusing on aquatic vegetation and its managment
Editor Special issues of Hydrobiologia & Ecohydrology
External PhD examiner, University of Cape Town, University of New Brunswick and University of Arrhus.
Member of Hytech
Invited Lecturer MSc courses University of Glasgow (2013 –present) Bournemouth University (2003 – 2007)
BSc (Zoology & Chemistry) First Class Honours University College Dublin
PhD University of Glasgow ‘Flow preferences of benthic invertebrates in Scottish rivers’
Member of the International Committee of the Symposium on Aquatic Plants
Scottish Freshwater Group