Life as a freshwater researcher - scientists behind the scence

Find out what it is like to be a freshwater researcher and read reflective interviews with members of different EU research project teams speaking about what they do, why their work is important, fun stories from the field, and their inspiration and key moments that got them into a career as a freshwater researcher. You can find all interviews on our Freshwater Blog.

Nicolas Bailly
(WorldFish, Malaysia)

nicolas bailly

Nicolas Bailly from the WorldFish Center. Nicolas is an ichthyologist (that’s someone who studies fish for those of you not versed in the world of fish). He is the project manager of FishBase and scientific advisor to SeaLifeBase.
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Sebastian Birk
(UDE, Germany)

Sebastian Birk

Sebastian is a researcher at the University of Duisburg-Essen. He is a specialist in the ecological assessment of European freshwaters, and his work on the topic has contributed to the design and implementation of the Water Framework Directive.
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Nuria Bonada
(UB, Spain)

nuria bonada

Interview with Núria Bonada, a specialist in aquatic insects and the ecology of Mediterranean rivers at the University of Barcelona. She is modelling future distributions of freshwater organisms in European catchments under global change scenarios.
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Tuba Bucak
(METU, Turkey)


Tuba is a researcher from the Middle East Technical University in Turkey. Tuba’s research uses computer modelling techniques to study the potential impacts of climate change on freshwaters in the Mediterranean region.
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Laurence Carvalho

laurence carvallo

Laurence is a freshwater ecologist at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. He works on the impacts of eutrophication and climate change on lakes and helped to develop a phytoplankton classification tool for UK lakes for the WFD.
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Will Darwall

will darwall

Will Darwall, head of the IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Unit, is working on the ecology and conservation of aquatic ecosystems in developing countries. Watch also a video with Will, outlining some of the key challenges for freshwater biodiversity.
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Aaike De Wever
(RBINS, Belgium)

aaike de wever

Aaike De Wever, former BioFresh Science Officer at the Freshwater Laboratory, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, is coordinating the development of the Freshwater Data Portal.
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Christian Feld
(UDE, Germany)

Christian Feld

Christian is an aquatic biologist at the University of Duisberg-Essen and has expertise in river assessment, multivariate statistics, hydromorphology and the analysis of biodiversity patterns.
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Daniel Hering
(UDE, Germany)


Daniel Hering is research group leader at the Department of Aquatic Ecology at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. He is the coordinator of several national and international projects on Water Framework Directive implementation and river restoration. Read interview

Paul Jepson

paul jepson

Paul Jepson, Oxford University, was leading a workpackage in BioFresh, to strengthen evidence-based policy making and conservation planning for freshwater ecosystems through the effective communication and dissemination of the project’s results. Read interview

Szabolcs Lengyel
(UD, Hungary)

szabolcs lengyel

Interview with Szabolcs Lengyel, co-leader of the Conservation Ecology Research Group at the Department of Ecology at University of Debrecen in Hungary. Read interview

Yiannis Panagopoulos
(NTUA, Greece)

yiannis panagopoulos

Yannis is a hydrologist and senior researcher at the Center for Hydrology and Informatics at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece. He works in the fields of hydrology, water quality and water resources management. Read interview

Thierry Oberdorff
(IRD, France)

thierry oberdorff

Thierry’s research at the IRD France focuses on the role of different spatial scales in the regulation of freshwater communities. He also examines the consequences of anthropogenic effects, including climate change, on freshwater communities structure and function. Read interview

Rafaela Schninegger
(BOKU, Austria)

Rafaela Schinegger

Rafaela is a scientist, lecturer and project co-ordinator at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna. Her research examines how fish populations respond to different ecological stresses at a variety of different scales. Read interview

Astrid Schmidt-Kloiber
(BOKU, Austria)

astrid schmidt-kloiber

Astrid is a river ecologist (focus benthic invertebrates) at BOKU, Vienna with expertise in design and management of (web-based) databases. She established and maintains and is editor in chief of the Freshwater Metadata Journal.
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Anne Lyche Solheim
(NIVA, Norway)

Anne Lyche Solheim

Anne is a senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA). Her specialisations include the ecological assessment of freshwaters for the Water Framework Directive, and the co-ordination and implementation of major EU projects. Read interview

Sonja Stendera
(Statkraft, Sweden)

sonja stendera

Interview with Sonja Stendera, a former freshwater scientist and team member at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany, now working as environmental coordinator for implementing the Water Framework Directive. Read interview

Klement Tockner
(IGB, Germany)

k. tockner

Klementis the Director of the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology & Inland Fisheries (IGB), an independent and interdisciplinary research centre dedicated to the creation, dissemination, and application of knowledge about freshwater ecosystems. Read interview

Angus Webb
(Melbourne, Australia)

Angus Webb

Angus Webb, University of Melbourne, is an ecologist and expert for Systematic Reviews and Bayesian Statistical Modelling. Christian Feld talked to Angus at the kickoff meeting of the MARS project in Spain in February 2014.
Watch interview (video)

Fiona Culhane
(University of Liverpool)

Fiona Culhane

Interview with Dr. Fiona Culhane from the University of Liverpool in England, working in the AQUACROSS project, which is focused on the links between people and aquatic ecosystems, from an ecologist’s perspective. Read interview