Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Enterprise Awards 2013

Consultancy

Field flooded by water

Loughborough academics provide expert advice on climate change

Loughborough academics
Dr Paul Wood and Professor Rob Wilby, Department of Geography

Rob Wilby and Paul Wood from the Centre for Hydrological and Ecosystems Science undertake research and consultancy (enterprise) centred on the impacts of climate change and human activity on freshwater environments. Their research and enterprise activities have helped to shape public policy and planning for the water sector in the UK, Europe and beyond.

Rob Wilby is a hydroclimatic modeller with a particular interest in climate variability and change in relation to the management of freshwater environments.  He has developed statistical techniques that provide information on the effects of climate change on river systems. This work has been incorporated into the Statistical DownScaling Model (SDSM) – a free online tool for assessing local climate change impacts. SDSM has been widely used to evaluate climate risks and to test policy and decision-making by organisations across the globe.

Rob is also regularly called upon to provide technical advice to a range of clients spanning government departments and advisory bodies, international research foundations charitable trusts and the private sector. For instance he is currently helping EDF to review sea level rise projections for the design of new coastal infrastructure.

Paul Wood is a hydro-ecologist who uses instream macroinvertebrates such as – freshwater shrimps (Gammaridae) and mayfly larvae (Ephemeroptera) – to gauge the health of streams, rivers and wetlands. His research has provided baseline data to assess the vulnerability of groundwater dependent ecosystems to the potential effects of climate change and to determine appropriate levels of water abstraction for domestic, agricultural and industrial use so that river habitats and ecology are not degraded.

His technical expertise has helped organisations like UK Water Industry Research, Yorkshire Water and Thames Water to comply with the EU Water Framework Directive which seeks to protect and manage rivers across Europe. In collaboration with Rob Wilby, his research has helped conservation agencies and charitable trusts, including the WWF, in raising awareness about the impacts of society’s water use on the ecology of rivers.

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