PhD Physical Geography, University College London, 2011 – 2018.

“Investigating the decline of the rare aquatic plant Najas flexilis (Willd.) Rostk. & Schmidt in the UK using ecology and paleoecology”

  • Investigated anthropogenic impacts (eutrophication, acidification and invasive species introduction) on the survival of a rare aquatic plant species
  • Critically assessed the potential of historical botanical records and macrofossils as proxies for the changing abundance of N. flexilis over the last 200 years
  • Applied ecological niche theory and functional ecology to explain the current national distribution of N. flexilis
  • Reconstructed N.flexilis abundance at three lakes, and compared it with macrofossil, diatom and cladocera reconstructions of water quality
  • Drew conclusions on the best ways to protect and restore N. flexilis habitats, which were conveyed directly to government agencies responsible for conservation

MSc Aquatic Resource Management, Kings College London, 2009 – 2010. Distinction.

Dissertation: “Managing the secondary spread of aquatic invasive species: Towards a risk-based approach”. Systematic literature review.

BSc (Hons) Geography, University College London, 2006 – 2009. 

Research Experience

Freshwater Research Manager/Research Lead, Earthwatch Europe (2019 – present)

  • Lead the global citizen science research project FreshWater Watch
  • Contribute to EU H2020 projects GroundTruth 2.0, MONOCLE, and MICS.
  • Use citizen science data to investigate the effectiveness of ecosystem restoration projects and to contribute to government monitoring programmes.
  • Work with citizen scientists to monitor freshwater ecosystem health around the world.
  • Run WaterBlitz events across Europe.

Pioneers into Practice (2018)

  • Contributed to feasibility study on the development of community energy generation schemes in Birmingham, UK, using systems innovation tools.
  • Contributed to paleoecological research and organised outreach events for schoolchildren on behalf of The Institute of Geology in Warsaw, Poland.

Freelance Freshwater Ecology Consultant (2016)

  • Conducted Site Condition Monitoring surveys for aquatic plants across Scottish protected areas on behalf of Scottish Natural Heritage
  • Trained in plant taxonomy

Water Quality Scientist, Thames Water (A UK water utilities company) (March – Sept 2011) 

  • Led water quality investigations for clean water department and composed scientific reports and monthly data reviews for the Drinking Water Inspectorate

Project Manager, Dukes Meadows Trust (Oct 2010 – Feb 2011)

  • Responsible for daily running of a small conservation charity, including coordinating volunteers and leading strategy meetings


  • Hegarty, S., Hayes, A., Regan, F., Bishop, I.J, and Clinton, R (2021) ‘Using citizen science to understand river water quality while filling data gaps to meet United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 objectives. STOTEN 783, 146593.
  • Bishop, I. J et. al. (2021) The role of citizen science in UK freshwater monitoring. Earthwatch Europe, Oxford, UK.
  • Bishop, I. J., Warner, S., van Noordwijk, T (C. G. E)., Nyoni, F. C and Loiselle, S (2020) ‘Citizen science monitoring for sustainable development goal indicator 6.3.2 in England and Zambia.’ Sustainability 12(24), 10271.
  • Van Noordwijk, T (C. G. E), Bishop, I. J, Staunton-Lamb, S., Oldfield, A, Loiselle, S., Geoghegan, H and Ceccaroni, L (2020) Creating positive environmental impact through citizen science. In: Vohland, K et. al. (eds) The Science of Citizen Science. Springer, Cham.
  • Roberts, L. R., Bishop, I. J., and Adams, J. K. (2020). ‘Anthropogenically forced change in aquatic ecosystems: Reflections on the use of monitoring, archival and palaeolimnological data to inform conservation.’ Geo: Geography and Environment, 7(1), e00089.
  • Bishop, I. J, Bennion, H, Sayer, C. D, Patmore, I. R, Yang, H and Rose, N (2019) ’Filling the “data gap”: Using paleoecology to explore the decline of Najas flexilis (a rare aquatic plant).’ Geo: Geography and the Environment. 6(2)
  • Bishop, I. J, Bennion, H and Sayer, C. D (2018, in press) ’Investigating the ecology and decline of Najas flexilis in the UK using ecology and palaeoecology.’ SNH commissioned report.
  • Bishop, I. J, Bennion, H, Patmore, I. R and Sayer, C. D (2018) ‘How effective are plant macrofossils as a proxy for macrophyte presence/abundance? The case of Najas flexilis in Scotland, UK.’ Journal of Paleolimnology 60(2), 153 – 165.

Contributions at Congresses

  • Bishop, I. J and Loiselle, S (2019) ‘Citizen scientists supporting SDG achievement.’ SIWI World Water Week, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Bishop, I. J, Loiselle, S, Clymans, W, Thornhill, I, and Joshi, S (2019) ‘Using citizen science for freshwater monitoring, management, and impactful research.’ Symposium for European Freshwater Sciences, Zagreb, Croatia.
  • Bishop, I. J, Loiselle, S, Clymans, W, Thornhill, I and Parkinson, S (2019) ‘People power: Citizen science leaves no-one behind.’ Special event for World Water Day, UNGEMS Cork, Ireland. Recording available here.
  • Bishop, I. J, Bennion, H, Sayer, C. D and Patmore, I. R (2018) ‘The decline, extinction, and potential for re-introduction of the rare aquatic plant Najas flexilis at Esthwaite Water, UK.’ IPA-IAL Joint Meeting, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Bishop, I. J (2018) ‘Diving with Naiads: The search for an elusive aquatic plant.’ London Freshwater Group Spring Meeting, London.
  • Bishop, I. J, Bennion, H, Patmore, I. R and Sayer, C. D (2017) ‘The changing status of the rare freshwater plant Najas flexilis in the UK.’ Meeting of the Association of the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, Hawai’i, USA.
  • Bishop, I. J, Bennion, H, Patmore, I.R and Sayer, C. D (2015) ‘The effectiveness of plant macrofossils as a proxy for macrophyte presence abundance.’ International Paleolimnology Symposium, Lanzhou, China.
  • Bishop, I. J (2014) ‘Using the sediment record to inform the conservation of the rare aquatic plant Najas flexilis.’ 8th Shallow Lakes Conference, Antalya, Turkey.

Academic Responsibilities

  • Chair of session entitled, ‘Beyond the hype: How can citizen science deliver real environmental impact?’ at BES annual meeting, Belfast, 2019.
  • Peer reviewer for Wetlands, 2019.
  • Guest editor of special issue of Geo: Geography and the Environment: ”Aquatic transitions: Tracking the nature and trajectories of anthropogenically forced change in freshwater and coastal ecosystems”, 2018.
  • Joint chair of session entitled, “Aquatic Transitions: Tracking the nature and trajectories of change using paleolimnological approaches” at ASLO meeting in Hawai’i 2017.

Research Expeditions

  • July 2018, Leizhou, China – “Mapping the mangrove vegetation of the Leizhou peninsula”
  • June – September 2016, Outer Hebrides, UK – “Testing the efficacy of snorkel surveys for monitoring rare aquatic plants at SSSIs”

Teaching and Leadership Experience

Presenter for Earthwatch’s “Wild Days” (2020)

  • Presented and produced educational videos for children on topics related to freshwater conservation.

“Young Climathon” Assistant Coordinator, Warsaw, Poland (October 2018)

  • Prepared high school children to present their own innovative solutions to water resource challenges to an audience of adults at a 24 hour climate change “hackathon”

Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, University College London (2013 – 2016)

  • Designed and ran a two hour practical class for MSc students on assessing, monitoring and managing aquatic environments, assisted on a one-week fieldclass for MSc students on plant taxonomy, and designed and led ancillary classes for undergraduate students from non-geography backgrounds

Geography Undergraduate Tutor, University College London (2013)

  • Provided academic and pastoral support to a group of 2nd year human geography undergraduates. Assessed essays written as part of their qualification

Freelance Lacrosse Goalkeeping Coach (2008 – present)

  • Teach lacrosse to adults and teenagers. Receive annual training in the safeguarding and protection of vulnerable adults and children

Captain of Wales lacrosse “development squad” (2009)

  • Selected for my ability to encourage new players to contribute to the development of the team

Practical Skills

  • Freshwater and brackish plant, diatom and Cladocera identification
  • Field survey techniques, including ecological, paleolimnological, hydrological and social science methodologies
  • Water and sediment laboratory analyses
  • Use of statistical software including R, TWINSPAN, QGIS, SPSS, Minitab and Canoco

Professional Qualifications

  • Rare species handling license for Najas flexilis
  • RYA Level 2 powerboat handling license
  • PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
  • International level 2 women’s lacrosse umpire
  • Full UK Driver’s Licence

Personal Biography and Interests

  • International Level Lacrosse player and umpire (2010 – present)
  • Part of online technical team for The Comedy Store
  • Downhill and cross-country skiing
  • Nature photography
  • Hiking, travelling and exploring
  • SCUBA diving
  • Long-distance running
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