Scientific advisory

Eight of this country’s leading authorities in subjects ranging from hydrology to sedimentation, fisheries management to sustainable development, have agreed to form the Salmon & Trout Conservation UK’s (S&TCUK) honorary Scientific Advisory Panel.

The members of this new Panel are: Dr. Adrian Collins, Prof. Ian Cowx, Dr. Mark Everard, Dr. Graeme Harris, Dr. Nigel Milner, Prof. Geoff Petts, Prof. John Stonor and Dr. Robin Welcomme.

The members of the new Scientific Advisory Panel represent the finest collection of freshwater specialists to come together in the Fisheries world, and perfectly complement the Honorary Scientific Panel of the Atlantic Salmon Trust. The establishment of the new Panel is a further development in the S&TCUK’s stated stance of using scientific evidence to support all its influencing and policy decisions, and follows the recent appointment of Janina Gray as the S&TCUK’s first dedicated Head of Science.

S&TCUK are privileged to have such an eminent group of freshwater biological and fisheries specialists to assist the burgeoning work of our Science Department. Without question, their input is allowing us to take Fisheries influence to a new level of competence, and all those with an interest in the wellbeing of our aquatic environment and its dependent species should be grateful for their voluntary involvement.

Panel biographies:

Dr Adrian Collins: Adrian is a Principal Research Scientist in the Environment Group, ADAS, having worked for 17 years in researching diffuse pollution from agriculture and additional sectors, focusing upon soil loss, fine sediment dynamics and sediment-associated nutrient and contaminant fluxes. Much of his work has been involved with the development of tracing and fingerprinting procedures for establishing the sources of fine sediment problems in river basins.

Adrian’s recent work has focused upon supporting sediment management for the England Catchment Sensitive Farming Delivery Initiative (ECSFDI. Looking forward, Adrian will be leading a new Defra funded project extending the evidence base for sediment impacts on freshwater ecology across England and Wales and developing a modelling framework for targeting mitigation options. S&TCUK is a co-funder of this project

Adrian is currently Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and Chair of the SEDAG international working committee on sediment targets for diffuse pollution policy support. He is currently collaborating with sediment researchers and policy teams overseas, including those in Belgium, France, Denmark, Canada and the USA.

Professor Ian Cowx: Ian is Director of the University of Hull International Fisheries Institute. He works on contemporary issues in freshwater fisheries management worldwide for agencies such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Bank, and has numerous collaborative research projects in the UK and Europe funded by the Environment Agency, European Commission and conservation agencies.

Recent projects include the EU funded projects EFI+ to develop a tool to assess the ecological status of rivers based on fish and IMPASSE to assess the impact of alien species in aquaculture, and nationally funded projects on the ecological responses of aquatic biota to hydromorphological degradation and rehabilitation in rivers, establishing environmental flows for fish, and assessment of the conservation status of fish species such as salmon, lamprey, shad and eel.

Ian has recently won the International Fisheries Science Prize for his ground-breaking work in sustainable fishing and eductation. Read more about it here: Top award for world fisheries expert.

Dr Mark Everard: Mark has been involved in aquatic service and sustainable development for decades, working in research, policy and advocacy, as well as journalism and corporate consultancy. The author of five books, with more in production, two about fish and two concerning ecosystems. Mark has worked on rivers across five continents, including advisory roles to overseas and UK governments. Mark is chair of the Institution of Environmental Sciences, has served on a number of UK government advisory committees, and has performed voluntary roles with numerous national and international conservation and angling organisations. A lifelong and keen angler, he is also a keen photographer and artist, inspired by the vitality of the aquatic ecosystems that sustain thriving fisheries, their associated wildlife and human wellbeing.

Dr Graeme Harris: Graeme studied Botany and Zoology at Liverpool University, where he gained a 1st Class Honours Degree in Zoology having specialised in Marine and Freshwater Fisheries. This was followed by his PhD on the Biology of Sea Trout and then by two Research Fellowships on the ecology and behaviour of sea trout. After a short time in Devon as Fishery Scientist, he moved to Wales as Principal Fisheries Officer for the Welsh National Water Development Authority and then as District Fisheries, Conservation, Recreation and Navigation for the South East Region of Wales before joining Welsh Water Plc as an Executive Director of one if its subsidiary companies. He is currently Director of FishSkill Ltd, a fisheries and environmental resource management consultancy.

He is a Vice President of the Welsh Salmon & Trout Angling Association, Chairman of the Fisheries, Ecology & Recreation Advisory Committee of the Environment Agency in Wales, Deputy Chairman of the Inland Fisheries Stakeholder Group for the Welsh Assembly Government and a member of both the Environmental & Technical Committee of the Salmon & Trout Conservation UK and the Technical Steering Group of Afonydd Cymru/Welsh Rivers. He also serves on the Council of the Countryside Council for Wales.

Dr Nigel Milner: A life-long angler, he began in marine fisheries with MAFF, Fisheries Laboratory Lowestoft: PhD (1976) in effects of metal pollution on juvenile flatfish. To date, his career has encompassed virtually every aspect of fisheries science, which has included five years’ study of ecology and populations dynamics of fisheries of the River Wye when with the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology; setting up the first Fisheries Technical Unit for Welsh Water Authority; setting up and managing the Environmental Technical Team for the National River Authority; and, on formation of the EA set up the National Salmon and Trout Fisheries Centre and was, among many other projects, co-convener of first International Sea Trout Symposium, Cardiff in 2004. This led to the Celtic sea Trout Project.

He became Head of Fisheries Science for EA in 2003 and left in 2007 to resume his scientific career. He is now Honorary Research fellow (including teaching, PhD supervision etc)) at University of Bangor (Molecular Ecology and Fisheries Genetics Group) and Senior Fisheries Scientist with APEM. Also on Honorary Scientific Panel of the AST and Trustee of Clwyd and Conwy Rivers Trust. He has written 40+ peer-reviewed publications as well as co-editing Sea Trout Biology and Management.

Professor Geoff Petts: Geoff was appointed to a Lectureship at Loughborough University in 1979, was awarded a Chair in 1989, and became Head of Department in 1991. In 1994 he moved to Birmingham University as Professor of Physical Geography and Director of Environmental Research and Management. Two years later, he founded the Centre for Environmental Research and Training and became Head of the School of Geography and Environmental Sciences in 1998. He was Pro Vice Chancellor at Birmingham from 2001-7 before moving to the University of Westminster as Vice Chancellor and Rector.

His research is at the interface of hydrology, geomorphology and ecology and he has particular interests in regulated rivers, the analysis of environmental flows, and conservation applied to the sustainable development of water projects. His publications include 22 books and over 150 scientific papers and reports. He is founder and Editor-in-Chief of the international journal River Research and Applications -

Professor John Stoner: John studied at Liverpool University, where he gained a BSc in Chemistry, Physics, Oceanography and Industrial Administration, followed by a first class BSc in Chemical Oceanography and a PhD in Marine Geochemistry. Much of his career has been spent in Wales, firstly with the Welsh Water Authority, then the National Rivers Authority and finally as Executive Manager to the Head of Operations in the Environment Agency. Latterly, he has been consultant to the Institute of Welsh Affairs and the Welsh Assembly Government, and in 2000, was appointed Senior Consultant and Professional Research Fellow at the Centre for Research into Environment and Health, University of Aberystwyth. He has been at the centre of the Welsh Rivers Trust movement since its inception in 2002, firstly with the Pembrokeshire Rivers Trust and, since 2006, he has been engaged to develop Afonydd Cymru, the umbrella organisations for the Welsh Rivers Trusts. John is also a Fellow of the Institute of Fisheries Management.

Dr Robin Welcomme: Robin was educated at Birbeck College and obtained his PhD from the University of East Africa. He studied fish and fisheries in East and West Africa. He worked for FAO for 30 years, where he became the Chief of Inland Fishery Resources and Aquaculture Service. He was Secretary of the European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission. Robin is currently Secretary of the Institute of Fisheries Management. He has published over 120 scientific works during his career.