James Champkin

BSc Biology (First Class) – University of St Andrews

  • Research Student

PhD Topic/Title: To quantify the effects of fine sediments on the spawning success of gravel-spawning UK fish, such as barbel and chub.


James is one of four new NERC CENTA PhD researchers starting at Loughborough University in 2019. Based in the Department of Geography and the Environment, James’ research will focus on quantifying the effects of fine sediments on the spawning success of freshwater fish.

In 2015, James graduated from the University of St Andrews with First Class Honours in Biology, finishing top of his year and winning multiple awards for outstanding academic achievement. Prior to commencing his role at Loughborough, he was working in the Campaigns Team for an environmental non-governmental organisation focussed on protecting the aquatic environment, improving fisheries and defending anglers’ rights.

James is a keen angler himself, so his previous job mixed business with pleasure; he even had the responsibility of taking our respected Members of Parliament on fishing trips!


James’ PhD project seeks to quantify the effects of fine sediments on the spawning success of gravel-spawning fish, such as barbel and chub. These species are important targets for recreational anglers, and consequently James’ existing network of fisheries and angling contacts will provide a key pathway for disseminating the findings of the project.

The project also aims to assess the value of different habitat improvement methods. James is keen to pursue practical, applied outcomes from his research: to enable those undertaking habitat improvement initiatives to do so in the most effective way possible and make best use of increasingly squeezed financial resources.


J. D. Champkin, G. H. Copp, C.D. Sayer, H. Clilverd, L. George, L. Vilizzi, M. J. Godard, J. Clarke & A. M Walker, Responses of fishes and lampreys to the re-creation of meanders in a small English chalk stream, River Research and Applications, 34(1). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319044088_Responses_of_fishes_and_lampreys_to_the_re-creation_of_meanders_in_a_small_English_chalk_stream