Our Projects

We recruited 13 doctoral students this year who will start research in October 2018 on the projects described below.

We will recruit a further 12 doctoral students to start in October 2019 with a new batch of projects which will be advertised from October 2018.  

If you are a supervisor please see our call for projects.

If you are a potential applicant please check back from October onward for new project descriptions.


You can download full details about each project and contact details of the supervisory team by clicking the project title.

Speciation of emerging contaminants in wetland systems

Lead Supervisor: Prof Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern

Institution: Bath


Microbial ecology and fate of pathogens in constructed polishing wetlands

Lead Supervisor: Dr Jannis Wenk

Institution: Bath


Integrated Biosensing Platform for Waterborne Pathogen Detection: Improving Public Health

Lead Supervisor: Dr Pedro Estrela

Institution: Bath


Crayfish conservation: using eDNA to detect endangered and invasive species

Lead Supervisor: Professor Gareth Jones

Institution: Bristol


How does behaviour underpin the impact of invasive tilapia on native fish?

Lead Supervisor: Dr Christos Ioannou

Institution: Bristol


Nitrogen metabolism in phytoplankton under natural conditions and the presence of inorganic fertiliser and organic waste 

Lead Supervisor: Dr Patricia Sanchez-Baracaldo

Institution: Bristol


Investigating nutrient cycling, retention and bioavailability of effluents discharged from constructed wetlands: optimising wetland management to reduce emerging risks to freshwaters

Lead Supervisor: Professor Penny Johnes

Institution: Bristol


Determining the impact of nutrient, organic matter and contaminant fluxes from melting Himalaya Glaciers on downstream ecosystems

Lead Supervisor: Professor Jemma Wadham

Institution: Bristol


Environmental triggers for Geosmin production in freshwater ecosystems

Lead Supervisor: Dr Rupert Perkins

Institution: Cardiff


Does riparian woodland increase the resilience of stream ecosystems to floods and droughts?

Lead Supervisor: Dr Ian Vaughan

Institution: Cardiff


Cryptosporidium movement in water: impact of eutrophication and climate change on the zoonotic disease agent

Lead Supervisor: Professor Jo Cable

Institution: Cardiff


Biomonitoring of Antimicrobial Resistance in UK Freshwater Ecosystems: an Integrated Microbiological and Genomic Approach

Lead Supervisor: Dr Frank Hailer

Affiliation: Cardiff


Combining a novel phenotypic virulence screen with genomic approaches to uncover bacterial acquisition of multi-drug resistance and virulence in aquatic environments

Lead Supervisor: Dr Michiel Vos

Institution: Exeter


The projects below were available in 2018 but did not attract a successful student; they have been left on the website as examples of the rich diversity of research encompassed by our GW4 FRESH community of freshwater scientists.


High resolution modelling of fate and transport of organic micropollutants and their effect on ecosystems in small rivers

Lead Supervisor: Professor Jan Hofman

Institution: Bath


Talking algae: electrical monitoring of microalgal cell signalling during algal blooms

Lead Supervisor: Dr Paulo Rocha

Institution: Bath


Origin, biodiversity and ecological significance of freshwater diatoms

Lead Supervisor: Dr Tom Williams

Institution: Bristol


Identification and mitigation of algal blooms

Lead Supervisor: Dr Gary Barker

Institution: Bristol


Linking people and ecosystem health with 21st century tools in Sub-Saharan Africa

Lead Supervisor: Professor Peter Kille

Institution: Cardiff


Environmental and anthropogenic drivers of contaminant influx and recirculation within freshwater systems

Lead Supervisor: Dr Elizabeth Chadwick

Institution: Cardiff


Integrated biogeochemical management of microbial taste and odour compounds in drinking water

Lead Supervisor: Dr Devin Sapsford

Affiliation: Cardiff


Occurrence and ecological impacts of microplastic debris in representative UK rivers.

Lead Supervisor: Professor Tamara Galloway

Affiliation: Exeter


Antibiotic exposure impacts on disease susceptibility in fish in natural freshwaters

Lead Supervisor: Professor Charles Tyler

Institution: Exeter


Understanding resilience in British and Irish brown trout (Salmo trutta) in the context of the interplay between metal tolerance, local adaptation and evolutionary history

Lead Supervisor: Dr Jamie Stevens

Institution: Exeter


Investigating national-scale drivers of freshwater microbial biodiversity

Lead Supervisor: Dr Daniel Read

Institution: CEH






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