My research on water quality focuses mainly on two areas, diffuse pollution and in-river processes, and understanding their effects in large river basins.
I have developed and applied a model of river nitrate concentration that is sensitive to land management. It represents diffuse leaching from agricultural soils, transport to rivers, mixing with nitrate from other sources and fate in the river channel.
In conjunction with farm economic analysis, the model has been applied across the Humber river basin district as part of the RELU ChREAM project (http://www.uea.ac.uk/env/cserge/research/relu/index) to explore potential impacts of implementing the EU Water Framework Directive. Together with researchers from PEER organisations, I have been making use of these applications to help quantify ecosystem service provision across Europe (in terms of nitrogen retention as a water purification process) and determine whether estimates are sensitive to the spatial scale of the approach (http://www.peer.eu/projects/press/).
Prior to joining CEH I have modelled soil erosion and phosphorus transfer from fields to rivers and explored how this understanding can be summarised to represent key processes operating at larger scales.
I use the QUESTOR river quality model to investigate response to management interventions, including the removal or installation of weir structures. A specific objective is to improve understanding of river phytoplankton dynamics, and to what extent blooms are controlled by factors such as grazing pressure, temperature, light, nutrients and river hydraulics/residence time. Studies are focusing on the Thames, Tamar and Yorkshire Ouse river networks. including Defra-funded work to explore the impacts of a representative range of future climate projections.
Currently, I am managing a 3-year project funded under the NERC Changing Water Cycle programme to investigate impacts of urbanisation on river flows and quality in the Thames basin (http://www.pollcurb.ceh.ac.uk). In an allied project I am leading a citizen science initiative with Earthwatch Institute.
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2003: Catchment Water Quality Modeller, CEH Wallingford.
1999: Research Consultant, Environment Modelling and GIS Group, ADAS Wolverhampton.
1996: Higher Scientific Officer, Analytical and Regional Geochemistry Group, British Geological Survey Keyworth.
1995: Post Doctoral Research Assistant, Royal Holloway Institute for Environmental Research, University of London.
PhD (Upland Hydrochemistry), Imperial College London
BSc (Geochemistry), University of Reading