Department of Life Sciences

Visiting address
1075 Parkstead House, Whitelands

Phone: +44 (0)20 8392 8189


Ecology, freshwater biology, microscopic organisms, theoretical ecology

Academia and Google Scholar pages

Short CV
2013 Senior lecturer in Freshwater Biology (University of Roehampton)
2010 Lecturer in Freshwater Biology (University of Roehampton)
2009 Postdoctoral Researcher (River Laboratory; QMUL)
2006 Postdoctoral Researcher (Queen Mary University of London)
2007 PhD in Freshwater Ecology (Queen Mary University of London)



Research interests

I am a freshwater biologist with a particular interest in the taxonomy and ecology of aquatic fauna (e.g. microscopic animals such as ciliates and meiofauna). My past research has always focussed on testing theoretical ecology on assemblages of aquatic invertebrates. I have combined field observations and laboratory experiments in the past to assess assemblage patterns of freshwater invertebrates, but have also used them as model systems for testing general theoretical ecology. I am interested in four main theoretical topics: 1) The contribution of faunal compartments to energy flow within freshwater assemblages; 2) The Metabolic Theory of Ecology (MTE); 3) Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning (B-EF) and 4) Size structure of food webs and natural communities.

Research projects

May 2014-December 2014: Natural Environment Research Council Urgency Grant (Ref NE/M005151/1): "Groundwater flooding - groundwater community recovery following an extreme recharge event". £64,000. Research team: Anne Robertson (PI, UR) and Julia Reiss (CoI), together with Stefan Krause (Birmingham University). Cristina Canhoto from the University of Coimbra, Portugal is a collaborator and the Environment Agency (Tim Jones) is a project partner. Katarina Fussmann has been appointed as the technician supporting this project. This project is looking at the responses of groundwater communities to an extreme groundwater recharge event (groundwater flooding). We will be tracking changes in nutrients, energy supply, ecosystem biomass and microbial activity and functional diversity as the groundwater community recovers from this extreme event.

September 2011-September 2013: Royal Society of London Starting Grant: "Biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in freshwater microcosms: manipulating species richness across a wide range of organisms".

July 2011: University of Roehampton Internal Research Grant: "Sampling and culturing of microscopic species informs biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships".

2008-2010 European Science Foundation (ESF) grant. I led a SIZEMIC workshop: "Testing the Generality of Elton's Rule: Comparing Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecosystems Across Environmental Conditions". I convened exchanges and three meetings of this research network and the outcomes of the workshop have now been published (e.g. Advances in Ecological Research Volumes 43, 44 and 45 and see Yvon-Durocher 2010, Oikos).

Professional affiliations

Recent collaborations

I am collaborating with the School of Mathematical Sciences at Queen Mary University of London (Prof. Rosemary Bailey).
Collaboration with the University of the Basque Country (group of Arturo Elogsegi and Aitor Larrañaga) "The influence of habitat complexity on macrofaunal feeding patterns". Laboratory experiments.

Collaboration with external bodies

I have been a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics network (STEM) ambassador since 2010.

Member of the British Ecological Society, the Freshwater Biological Association, the International Association of Meiobenthologists, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Protozoologie and the British Society of Protist Biology (BSPB, formerly BSSP). I am also a member of the SIZEMIC network.


Potential Research Projects on offer
Please contact me via email for potential 3rd year and PhD projects.


My teaching areas are Ecology and Zoology.
I teach on the following modules:
1) Animal Biology I
2) Animal Biology II
3) Aquatic and Invertebrate Biology

4) Diversity of Life I
5) Diversity of Life II
6) Ecosystems
7) Field Course

I am program convenor for Diversity of Life 1 (1st year), Animal Biology 1 (2nd year) and Aquatic and Invertebrate Biology (3rd year).

Research outputs

  1. Antibiotic Pollution in Surface Fresh Waters: Occurrence and Effects

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Comparing biotic drivers of litter breakdown across stream compartments

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Microorganisms 2: Viruses, prokaryotes, fungi, protozoans, and microscopic metazoans

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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