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FBA Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM)

The Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) is a forum for freshwater biologists to come together to present their work and to seek input from others. Deliberately informal, they aim to attract not just academic scientists but also representatives of statutory agencies, consultancies, water companies and conservation organisations, along with interested individuals. They are designed to allow those with provisional results (such as PhD students in the middle of their research programmes) and those with little experience of presenting research to present their work in a friendly, supportive environment. At the same time, all meetings include more established speakers, to ensure that a wide audience becomes aware of major research developments.  Typically with around 60-100 delegates, FBA ASMs are small and intimate, allowing opportunities for interaction among delegates. The Annual General Meeting of the FBA is held during each ASM, allowing delegates who are FBA members to have a say in their Association.

FBA Annual Scientific Meeting 2016

The theme of our 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting is 'Catchments, Connectivity and avoiding Catastrophes - enhancing natural catchment processes and services' and the programme will explore why sound evidence and underpinning science is fundamental to the understanding and management of catchments including flooding events.

The FBA has always fostered strong links between freshwater scientists, practitioners and enthusiasts, and the programme for our 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) has been designed to bring these groups together. At a time when there is considerable pressure on politicians and statutory agencies to take action and a perception that interest in conservation and natural systems is reduced, there is a real opportunity to work together to understand and manage the environment.
Current interest in the links between patterns and processes in natural systems is reflected in the programme. The meeting will initially take a broad scale approach, looking at functionality, processes and data. It will then focus on monitoring, evidence and the underpinning science required, as well as the engagement of all interested parties, and how harnessing new technological approaches can help achieve this aim.

Presentations from the meeting:

Keynote Speech: A perspective on our current understanding of managing catchments
Louise Heathwaite: Chief Scientific Adviser Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment, Scottish Government and Professor of Land and Water Science, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University. 


Managing the Lake District National Park; multiple outcomes, partnerships and evidence
Liam McAleese: Head of Strategy and Partnerships, Lake District National Park Authority.


It’s all connected - catchments as complex systems; how much do we need to understand before we intervene?
Bob Harris: University of Sheffield.


Evidence and measures: Making use of the wealth of existing information and local knowledge to generate evidence-based measures
Paul Hulme: Evidence & Measures Team, pjHydro.


Keynote Speech:New windows on the environment
Doug Wilson: Director of Scientific and Evidence Services, Environment Agency.


Ecological  assessment in the environment agencies - past, present and future
Roger Owen: Head of Ecology, Scottish Environment Protection Agency.


Biomonitoring – the role of recorders in studying rare taxa
Ian Wallace: FBA Honorary Research Fellow.


Invertebrate Status Reviews
Jon Webb: Senior Invertebrate Specialist, Natural England.


Recording riverflies - harnessing people power
Craig Macadam: Conservation Director, Buglife.


eDNA as a tool for efficient biodiversity monitoring – from rare species to communities
Bernd Hänfling: University of Hull.


The power of digital archiving and linked open data
Mike Haft
: Data and Information Development Manager, FBA.


Evidencing to enable change, our Achilles heel?
John Malley: National Trust Water Advisor, North Region, National Trust.


Catchments, connectivity and CEH lake research in Cumbria
Stephen Maberly: Lake Ecosystems Group, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre              


Link to the events page  here


FBA Annual Scientific Meeting 2014

In the past few years, we have worked to strengthen our links with the various regional freshwater groups by holding joint meetings.  Continuing this series of joint events, we are pleased to be holding the FBA’s 2014 Annual General Meeting as part of the autumn meeting of the West Midlands and North-West England Freshwater Group. Full details, including date and venue, will be posted once they become available.

Previous ASMs

2013  - Held at the Natural History Museum, London. The programme is available to download here.

2012  - Held at the University of Glasgow. The programme is available to download here.

2011  - Held at the FBA River Laboratory, Dorset. The programme is available to download here.

2010  - Held at the University of Leeds, as part of the Yorkshire and North East Freshwater Group Meeting.

2009  - Held at the Environment Centre Wales, Bangor.

We were honoured to have as Keynote Speaker, Minister Jane Davidson AM, whose portfolio in the Welsh Assembly Government covers Environment, Sustainability and Housing.  Her speech entitled "How freshwater science should guide and influence policy"

Download an edited version of the Minister's speech plus a brief impression of the meeting from one of the student delegates.

2008  - Download a report of the meeting, by Dr. Jim Leeming. Report extracted from FBA News No. 43.

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