Dr Alan Law

Lecturer in Nature-Based Solutions

Biological and Environmental Sciences Room 4B157, Cottrell Building, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA

Dr Alan Law

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About me

About me

My research interests revolve around freshwater environments; the most important ecosystems on our planet (in my opinion). I am particularly interested in assessing and restoring biodiversity in wetlands, ponds, lakes and rivers, whilst considering wider processes such as biogeochemical cycles and the aquatic:terrestrial interface.

Freshwaters are at the interface or linked to the majority of all ecosystems worldwide, so their quality and quantity is crucial. Yet they are suffering catastrophic biodiversity losses, mismanaged and neglect.

Developing a greater understanding of these ecosystems in a changing world is now imperative and I have the honour to play a part in this. I’m particularly interested when freshwater systems interact with community ecology, rewilding, species reintroductions and carbon cycling.

As a lecturer at Stirling I can build on my expertise in freshwater science and indulge my love of freshwater biodiversity and answer three fundamental research questions that have amazed me for as long as I can remember; i) what is that?, ii) why is it here? and iii) what does it do? 

Brief biography:

• Lecturer in Ecology (2019 - current)

• Post-doctoral researcher, Univ. Stirling, NERC Hydroscape (2015-2019)

• University teacher, Univ. Glasgow (2014-2015)

• PhD, Univ. Stirling, Ecological impacts of reintroduced beavers to Scotland (2010-2014)

• Biologist, Clyde River Foundation (2009-2010)

• MRes in Ecology and Environmental Biology, Univ. Glasgow (2008-2009)

• BSci (hons) Zoology, Univ. Glasgow (2004-2008).

Copies of my publications and technical reports can be found on my personal page (https://anebulosus.wordpress.com/).

Research (1)

Freshwater, Ponds, Lakes, Rivers, Streams, Grazing, Beavers, Macroinvertebrates, Macrophytes, Biodiversity, Ecosystem Resilience, Climate Change, Carbon Cycle, Biogeochemistry.


PI: Professor Nigel Willby
Funded by: Scottish Environment Protection Agency

Outputs (19)



Wilson K, Law A, Gaywood M, Ramsay P & Willby N (2020) Beavers: The original engineers of Britain's fresh waters. British Wildlife, 31 (6), pp. 403-411. https://www.britishwildlife.com/article/volume-31-number-6-page-403-411


Harper LR, Lawson Handley L, Carpenter AI, Ghazali M, Di Muri C, Macgregor CJ, Logan TW, Law A, Breithaupt T, Read DS, McDevitt AD & Hänfling B (2019) Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding of pond water as a tool to survey conservation and management priority mammals. Biological Conservation, 238, Art. No.: 108225. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2019.108225



I am the Programme Director for the Outdoor Education degrees, teaching in collaboration with Phil Thompson (Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre) and Stuart Johnston (Climb Industries Ltd.). I coordinate and teach on all the modules within these degrees:

• EOEU1OE Navigation and mountain skills

• EOEU2OE Development and application of outdoor education

• EOEU3OE Mountain leader training

• EOEU4OE Responsibilities and safety in outdoor education

• EOEU5OE Outdoor education in practice: work placement

• EOEU6S6 Mountain leader assessment

I also coordinate and teach the 1st year module:

• GEOU1PP People and the Environment

I also teach on:

• GEOU3BG Biogeography

• ENVU2LE Landscape evolution

• ENVU4E4 The biosphere

• SCIU2FS Practical field skills II

• SCIU3FB Biology field course

• MSc Environmental Science field course

I also supervise dissertations at honours, masters and PhD levels.

Research programmes

Research themes