WTT Blog - Tagged with MSc

Is habitat restoration effective for brown trout and Atlantic salmon populations?

Posted on March 09, 2022

Is habitat restoration effective for brown trout and Atlantic salmon populations?

A part of Jonny Grey's role as a Professor in Practice is to forge links with the academic community and facilitate research projects. It was serendipitous timing last year when Lizzie Thomas contacted WTT, asking if we had any data relating to our numerous restorations - Jonny's 'TROUT project, Tackling Resilience On Underperforming Tributaries, was just beginning to bear fruit. Lizzie is a Zoology graduate from the University of Southampton and has just completed her MSc research in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at Imperial College, London. She was particularly interested in understanding the effects of habitat restoration on salmonids given their ecological and economic value and, here, summarises the findings from her thesis.

MSc Research with WTT

Posted on May 23, 2018

MSc Research with WTT

I’ve just had the pleasure of hosting two MSc students from Queen Mary University of London (co-supervised with Dr Chris Eizaguirre), partly for the WTT Annual Get Together, and partly to undertake some fieldwork specifically for Charlotte Pike’s project. I alluded to their research projects in a former post and now I have the pleasure of handing over to them to update you.

Charlotte’s project focuses on the use of stable isotopes to determine the success of river restoration. I will be analysing samples from pre and post intervention works against an unimpacted control site on the same river to see how the restoration has affected the ‘architecture’ of the food web. Hopefully it should be more like the control! The intervention works have been carried out by the Ribble Rivers Trust at two locations; Bashall Brook and Towneley Hall. At Bashall Brook, a riparian zone has been created where banks of the river were previously bare; essentially livestock exclusion fencing now removes the impacts of grazing and poaching. This strip of vegetation acts as a buffer to reduce nutrient run-off from farmland, keeps the ground more stable and resilient to flood damage to reduce soil erosion, and provides necessary refuge for wildlife. At Towneley Hall, a partial weir removal and a rock pass re-instates the connectivity of the River Calder allowing fish to move between formerly fragmented habitats. These interventions have been conducted to improve the quality of the habitat at these two sites, and it’s my job to find out what changes have occurred as a result!