Professor Nigel Willby

Professor Nigel Willby


Biological and Environmental Sciences University of Stirling Stirling FK9 4LA United Kingdom

About me

Senior Lecturer
PhD - Liverpool 1994
BSc - Liverpool 1989

Examples of recent and current projects

  • Plant Conservation in the Restoration of the Montgomery Canal to Navigation. British Waterways.
  • Assessment of hydrological consequences of beaver reintroduction to Knapdale, Scotland. (with D.J. Gilvear, SBES) Scottish Natural Heritage.
  • Ecological performance of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems. Scottish Water. Developing a WFD tool for classifying the Ecological Status of Rivers and Lakes using macrophytes. (with Ulster University and CEH) Environment Agency/SNIFFER.
  • Environmental controls on the ecology of the River Tummel shingle islands reserve. (with D. J. Gilvear) Scottish Wildlife Trust.
  • Influence of connectivity on regenerative strategies of aquatic plants in floodplain wetlands. NERC.
  • Development of a Water Framework Directive compliant tool for the ecological classification of canals. SNIFFER.
  • Development of hydromorphological indices for lakes and rivers using aquatic plants, SNIFFER
  • Intercalibration of macrophyte-based classifications of rivers and lakes in the UK with other European countries. Environment Agency.
  • Risk assessment of populations of Crassula helsmii in Scotland. Scottish Natural Heritage.
  • Reconciling macrophyte and diatom-based classifications of ecological status in UK rivers. Environment Agency.
  • Establishing comparability criteria for the intercalibration of ecological status according to national methods. European Union.
  • The Scottish Beaver Trial: Survey of the aquatic and semi-aquatic macrophytes of the lochs, 2009-2014 and assessment of beaver impacts. Scottish Natural Heritage.
  • Historical changes in the aquatic vegetation of lowland lakes in Britain (Natural England, Broads Authority, EA and University funded studentship; PhD student Gen Madgwick)
  • Ecology of hyporheic invertebrate communities in Scottish gravel bed rivers. (Scottish Natural Heritage and University funded studentship; PhD student David Pryce)
  • Channel change, backwater evolution and plant diversity in mobile rivers (University of Stirling; PhD student Antoine Keruzore)
  • Impacts of possible beaver reintroduction on riparian woody species and aquatic vegetation (NERC studentship with case support from Scottish Natural Heritage; PhD student Kevin Jones)
  • Geomorphic stability and biological recovery of engineered river channels (University and Scottish Coal supported studentship; PhD student Charles Perfect).

Undergraduate Teaching
BIO6PE: Plant Ecology
ENVT5: Environmental Techniques
ENVE4: The Biosphere
ENV8RE: Restoration Ecology

Postgraduate Teaching
MSc Environmental Management – Course Director
ENMP21: Environmental Systems and Assessment
ENMP08: Catchment Management (co-ordinator)
ENMP17: Field Techniques for Environmental Managers (co-ordinator)

External Activities and Recognition
  • NERC Junior Fellow1999-2002
  • NERC peer review college
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the international journals Freshwater Biology and Aquatic Conservation: Marine & Freshwater Ecosystems.
  • Co-organiser of the August 2006 International Conference’ Advances in Hydroecology and River Research and Applications’
  • Member of working group on future priorities for Freshwater Science in the UK.
  • Member of several technical advisory groups and expert panels on implementation of Water Framework Directive in the UK
  • External examiner at University College London (MSc)
  • Recipient of Innovation award (jointly with Dave Gilvear, SBES) to establish a Centre for Research in River Ecosystem Science specialising in knowledge transfer activities and linking pure and applied aquatic research.

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