Lake Ecology

Lakes Ecology

This course runs once a year in October/ November at the Lancaster Environment Centre. in 2017, it  will open for registrations in late September or early October. You can already express your interest in attending this course by filling in the form at this link.

The course will run over 5 weeks. in 2017 the dates will be 9, 16, 23 and 30 October and 6 November


Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg, Lancaster, LA1 4AP Location map & travel directions


approx. £980 for professionals (10% discount for students)

Short Course Description:

This training course is a regular, well established module of the Lancaster University Graduate School for the Environment Masters Programme. Non-students have been joining this module as a one-off CPD-style training course over recent years.

This course aims to introduce the principles of lake ecology, an area with an acknowledged national lack of expertise. The course presents a holistic approach to the drivers and internal interactions that control water quality in lakes. The course will teach basic ecological principles, elucidated using lake ecology, introduce application of state-of-the-art techniques and provide essential background information for anyone dealing with environmental legislation.

Learning outcomes:

On completion of this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the fundamentals of how lakes function
  • Understand the tools and approaches needed to study and manage lakes
  • Appreciate the complex interplay between external drivers and internal interactions within lakes
  • Understand the science underpinning of environmental legislation e.g. the Water Framework Directive
  • Identify the processes leading to nutrient inputs to lakes
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the effects of climate change on lakes
  • Identify the factors controlling fish populations
  • Understand the potential and limits of state-of-the-art techniques in lake ecology
  • Appreciate the principles and uses of lake and catchment modelling


Lancaster: Accommodation is not included in the cost. There is accommodation on site starting at approx. £40/ night. There is also a hotel immediately adjacent to the site (starting at £70/ night for B&B)


up to 6


Intermediate (previous knowledge of ecology an advantage)

Course Leader:

Prof Stephen Maberly, Lake Ecosystems Group, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Partner organisations and other trainers:

Prof. Philip Barker, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University

Other CEH staff; Laurence Carvalho, Alex Elliott, Ian Jones, Ellie Mackay, Don Monteith, Stephen Thackeray, Ian Winfield,

Target Audience:

Environment Agency, Natural England, Water utilities, water regulators, freshwater professionals & consultants, PhD students and early career researchers with an interest in freshwater ecology.

Previous course participants said:

"I very much enjoyed both the practical and the theoretical side of the module. It was probably one of the best I've taken in my academic experience. I thought the wide variety of topics covered was just the right amount, the lecturers were really good and I liked seeing people who are directly involved with the research on the topics they spoke about talk about their work. The practical excursion was also really beneficial for understanding the processes as well."

"This module allows us to apply what we have learned to the practice and the real life."

More detail & background:

The full 2016/17 module description can be found on the Lancaster University website: LEC.432: Lakes Ecology

More information on Lake Ecology on the CEH website

Investigating lake ecosystems

UK Lake Restoration

UK Lake Ecological Observatory Network (UKLEON)

Lancaster University