Professional summary

Research Interests

  • The responses of lake ecosystems to environmental change. I am interested in resolving how stressors such as climate change and nutrient enrichment impact upon the ecology of freshwater lakes. I have investigated these issues using data from the CEH Cumbrian Lakes monitoring programme, and process-modelling approaches. Currently, I am investigating the effects of interacting stressors upon the phytoplankton and fish communities of European lakes, as part of the MARS project.
  • Zooplankton ecology. I am interested in the spatial structuring and community composition of freshwater zooplankton communities, and am involved in the monitoring of zooplankton populations in the Cumbrian Lakes as part of CEH's sampling programme.
  • Phenological change in freshwater communities, and beyond. I am interested in the widely cited tendency for changes in the timing of "signs of spring", above and below the water. I led a UK-scale assessment of shifts in the seasons, and a follow-up project on climatic drivers of these changes. Currently, I am using satellite data to assess changes in the seasonality of phytoplankton growth in 1000 lakes across the world, as part of the GloboLakes project.

I muse over these areas of interest in my CEH blog, here:

Public Engagement

I am a STEM ambassador, and regularly support or run science outreach activities at local schools and organisational public engagement events. As part of this activity, I have started to develop primary school activity sheets that can be used by teachers. At the moment, I am focussing on freshwater ecology themed sheets that would complement hands-on pond-dipping activities in schools. So far I have produced the following sheets:


Brief CV

  • 2002-present: Scientific officer, higher and senior scientific officer at CEH at Lancaster, UK.
  • 1999-2002: Doctoral student jointly supervised at Lancaster University and CEH at Windermere
  • 1996-1999: Ecology degree student at Lancaster University, UK


  • 2003, PhD in freshwater ecology awarded by Lancaster University.
  • 1999, BSc (Hons) First class in Ecology, awarded by Lancaster University.

Panels, committees and memberships

I am a subject editor for Global Change Biology and a member of the editorial board for Journal of Plankton Research.