Dr Kate Mathers

PhD (Loughborough)

  • UKRI Future Leaders Fellow

Academic Career

  • 2020 onwards: UKRI Future Leaders Fellow, Loughborough University, UK
  • 2018-2020: Postdoctoral Fellow, Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and Technology), Switzerland
  • 2017: Research Associate, Nottingham Trent University, UK
  • 2017: Research Associate, Loughborough University, UK
  • 2013-2017: PhD, Loughborough University. Lord Glendonbrook doctoral fellowship. Undertaken in collaboration with the Environment Agency.

Professional responsibilities

Academic prizes

  • 2019: Francesca Gherardi International Memorial Prize
  • 2016: Loughborough University Graduate School Research Student Prize
  • 2016: Loughborough University Academic Output Award
  • 2016: Loughborough University PhD Teaching Award
  • 2013: Loughborough University Graduate School Prize 

Kate is a freshwater scientist whose research sits on the interface of aquatic ecology, hydrology and fluvial geomorphology. Kate is passionate about the management and conservation of freshwater ecosystems, undertaking applied research that contributes to our understanding and sustainable management of freshwater systems. Her research aims to provide advancements in our understanding of how disturbances (anthropogenic and natural) affect aquatic ecosystems. Her research has focussed on three main themes to date:

  • Sediment dynamics and its interactions with and implications for instream organisms
  • Response of aquatic communities to disturbances (i.e. biological invasions, hydrological, sedimentation)
  • Ecohydrology of hyporheic zone environments

Her Fellowship continues her interest of fine sediment dynamics (particles <2mm) and will tackle the interdisciplinary issue by developing mechanistic understanding of how environmental controls drive fine sediment impacts for freshwater biota. Her programme of research combines datasets from across the globe in addition to multi-country field and outdoor flume experimentation, and manipulations of microcosms and mesocosms, to develop and validate theories spanning different environmental settings.

  • Mathers, K.L., White, J.C., Guareschi, S., Hill, M.J., Heino, J. and Chadd, R. (2020). Invasive crayfish alter the long‐term functional biodiversity of lotic macroinvertebrate communities. Functional Ecology, 34,2350-2361. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.13644
  • Mathers, K.L., Michalec, F-G., Holzner, M and Weber, C. (2020) Beneath the surface: Application of super absorbent polymer substrates to track faunal activity within the sediment layer. Freshwater Biology. 65, 1923-1935. https://doi.org/10.1111/fwb.13588
  • Mathers, K.L., White, J.C, Fornaroli, R. and Chadd, R. (2020) Flow regimes control the establishment of invasive crayfish and alter their effects on lotic macroinvertebrate communities. Journal of Applied Ecology. 57, 886-902. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13584
  • Beatty, C., Mathers, K.L., Patel, C., Constable, D. and Wood, P.J (2020). Substrate mediated predator-prey Interactions between invasive crayfish and native and non-native amphipods. Biological Invasions. 22, 2713-2724. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-020-02292-8
  • Gething, K.J., Ripley, M.C., Mathers, K.L., Chadd, R.P. and Wood, P.J. (2020). The influence of substrate type on macroinvertebrate assemblages within agricultural drainage ditches. Hydrobiologia, 847, 4273-4284. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-020-04416-6
  • Mckenzie, M, Mathers, K.L., Wood, P.J., England, J., Forster, I., Lawler, D. and Wilkes, M (2020). Physical effects of suspended fine sediment on lotic macroinvertebrates. Hydrobiologia. 8467, 697-711. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-019-04131-x
  • Mathers, K.L., Stubbington, R., England, J., Leeming, D. and Westwood, C. (2019) Structural and functional responses of macroinvertebrate assemblages to long-term flow variability and intermittence. Ecohydrology e2112. https://doi.org/10.1002/eco.2112
  • Wilkes, M.A., Gittens, J., Mathers, K.L., Mason, R., Casas-Mulet, R., Vanzo, D., Mckenzie, M., Murray-Bligh, J., England, J., Gurnell, A. and Jones, J.I. (2019) Physical and biological controls on fine sediment transport and storage in rivers. WIREs Water. 6,e1331. https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1331