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President & Board

The FBA's board of trustees come from a wide range of scientific, academic and professional backgrounds. They bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise and guidance to help the FBA reach our vision and mission.

President - Louise Heathwaite BSc. PhD. FRSE

Professor of Land and Water Science Lancaster Environment Centre

Louise is Distinguished Professor in the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University and was appointed Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) of the University in 2019. She has a 1st Class Honours BSc. in Environmental Sciences from the University of East Anglia and a PhD. in wetland hydrochemistry from the University of Bristol. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2015 and is an invited fellow of the Royal Society of Biology. In 2018, she was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list for services to scientific research and scientific advice to government. She is an active scientist with over 150 Institute for Scientific Information-listed publications and has had continuous funding from the research councils, government and government agencies.

Louise is recognised internationally as an authority on diffuse environmental pollution and in particular understanding the pathways of nitrogen and phosphorus loss from agricultural land to water and the implications for freshwater quality. She is credited with advancing the Critical Source Areas concept that forms the cornerstone of many models of diffuse pollution risk that are used widely in policy, for example, the EU Water Framework Directive river basin characterisation process, and Defra's Catchment Sensitive Farming project). At a practical level, her work has been used by The Rivers Trust, and in particular, the Eden Rivers Trust where she was a Director of the Board of Trustees from 2008-12. Her applied science expertise in catchment science and water quality management has been funded by Defra and the Environment Agency. Recent research projects include investigating nutrient dynamics in groundwater-fed rivers and developing innovative approaches to reduce catchment microbial pollution.

Louise acted as Chief Scientific Adviser to the Scottish Government on Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment from 2012-17. She was responsible for ensuring the integration and effective use of evidence in policy ranging from climate change to food security, and from land use and biodiversity to animal health. She was a member of Defra’s Science Advisory Council from 2011-17 and a council member for the Natural Environment Research Council from 2012-17. In 2018 she was appointed to the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council.

Some recent examples of media coverage of Louise’s work include:

  • Edinburgh Science Festival – it’s all about the women. Read more
  • NERC announces Council members. Read more
  • Scientists question worth of natural flood defence schemes Read more
  • Holyrood's Top 25 Women in the Public Sector Read more
  • Low incomes put vital technology out of farmers reach Read more

Vice Presidents:

Dr A.D. Berrie
Dr E. Buttle
Sir Martin Holdgate
Dr Anne Powell


Professor G.P. Harris
Professor Sir William Stewart
Professor J M Elliot




Chair - Mr Geoffrey Robert Bateman OBE

I am passionate about the environment, good science and governance and in leaving a better legacy than we have inherited for people and nature. I deem it an honour and a great privilege to serve as a Council member of the Freshwater Biological Association and I endeavour to use all my skills in support of the FBA aims, objectives and standards. I recently retired from my job as Head of Fisheries and Biodiversity for the Environment Agency, with responsibility for £40M of expenditure and income from rod licence sales and grant-in-aid to deliver fisheries duties and biodiversity services to the EA and others. I managed ecologists, biologists, fisheries scientists, managers and regulators, and developed a keen interest in ecosystem services, invasive species and hydromorphology. Formerly Head of Water Framework Directive responsible for producing the first River Basin Management plans aimed at delivering good ecological status in all water bodies. Chaired the UK Technical Advisory Group that advised government and its agencies on the appropriate ecological standards and sought intercalibration of standards and monitoring across Europe. I was seconded to Natural England for nine months to assist with formation and development of the Government’s conservation advisor. I graduated from the University of Aston in Birmingham in 1977 with an honours degree in “The Biology of Man and His Environment”. I am currently chair of CIWEM’s faiths and environment network and was President of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management and former Chairman of the CIWEM Scientific Group, during which I was a member of the Science Councils Sustainability group. A career interest in agriculture and its effects on the environment resulted in the presentation of papers and contribution to the work of the House of Commons Environment Committee, Royal Commission on Soil and Rural White Paper. I also chaired the Defra Agricultural Waste Stakeholders Forum R&D sub-group and was a Secretary of State Appointee to Dartmoor National Park for 5 years.

Honorary Treasurer - Ronald Middleton

R Middleton

My background has included a period in the accountancy profession with E&Y, 10 years as Finance Director of a small/medium sized PLC in the West Midlands, and 18 years working for a hospice in Wolverhampton. I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1975 with E&Y and left in 1987. I worked as Senior Audit Manager with responsibility for the audit of manufacturing organisations, public sector entities, building societies and privately owned businesses.

I joined the PLC organisation, Hodgson Holdings PLC, shortly after it had been quoted on the then Unlisted Securities Market and was its first Finance Director. The organisation grew rapidly through aggressive acquisitions including a merger with a fellow PLC and my overall responsibilities covered all financial matters including investor relations, presentations to financial analysts and relationships with external financial advisors. When I joined Hodgson, its annual turnover was around £6 million and by the time I left it was in excess of £120 million with a full listing on the London Stock Exchange.

I was recruited as Business Director of Compton Hospice Ltd in June 1997, which was a newly created position, taking responsibility for all matters other than clinical issues. Approximately 10 years ago, the Trustees decided to create the position of Chief Executive and, following appropriate presentations to the Board, I was appointed the hospice’s first Chief Executive. I report directly to the Chairman and have responsibility for all management, financial affairs and administrative matters of the organisation. I have recently been responsible for the development of a new 5 year strategy which was presented to and approved by the Board in early 2015.

Dr Alan Crowden

(Co-opted Member) Throughout my 6 years at the University of Reading, first as an undergraduate and then as a PhD student working on the behaviour of freshwater fish, I always intended to follow a career in freshwater biology. Yet somehow I got diverted into academic publishing, and my working life post-university has centred on scientific publications, working mostly at Cambridge University Press where I was Director of Science Publishing from 1998-2003. In recent years I have been working as a freelance editor; commissioning books for CUP and Wiley-Blackwell and acting as Editor of the quarterly Bulletin of the British Ecological Society. Another of my roles is that of Editor, FBA Books: a joyous return to my roots as I joined the FBA and bought my first Scientific Publications as an undergraduate. Side by side on a bookshelf are copies of the 1970 printing of Macan’s Guide to Freshwater Invertebrate Animals and the superb successor volume Guide to Freshwater Invertebrates that I was privileged to be able to help to publication in 2012. As a member of FBA Council I am able to build on a long-term relationship with the FBA, offering expertise in scientific publications, experience of running my own business, and familiarity with the challenges facing scientific societies through active involvement with the British Ecological Society. As a beneficiary (both as a student and as a publisher) of the expertise of FBA staff past and present I am determined to contribute wholeheartedly to the formulation of future strategy and development of a business plan that will secure the future of an institution close to my heart.

Guy Woodward

25 years’ experience of working in in freshwater ecosystems. I have published >120 papers and have been Series Editor for Advances in Ecological Research since 2010. Most of my work has been centred on freshwaters, using them as model systems to tackle fundamental questions in both pure and applied ecology, and I led the recent revamp and overhaul of British Ecological Society Aquatic Group from 2012-2016, during which time I helped turn it into one of the most active parts of the BES. BES-AG now regularly organises a host of high profile events and symposia, and it has a thriving and active membership, from early-career scientists through to world-leaders in their respective fields. My own research is focused primarily on the impacts of environmental stress (climate change, acidification, eutrophication, species invasions and habitat alteration) on different aspects of biodiversity (e.g., species richness, functional and trophic diversity) within fresh waters, with a view to develop a more unified theoretical framework based on simple rules that describe these complex systems.
Ultimately, I aim to apply my basic research to predict ecological responses to future environmental – and especially climatic - change. If we can understand the underlying mechanisms then we are better able to conserve, or even restore, damaged ecosystems. To that end, I have developed strong links with not just the academic community, but also with Citizen Scientist groups, NGOs, charities and industrial partners from local to global scales. My vision for the FBA is to help bring these connections and approaches to bear on raising its profile on the international stage in particular and to broaden its appeal to a wider audience than has traditionally been the case (e.g. to assist with developing joint FBA-BES symposia etc via my current role on the BES Meetings Committee). 

Richard Chadd

Having spent a great deal of my boyhood inadvertently examining rivers close-up by falling in them, seemingly every time we went on a family holiday, it seemed inevitable that I would forge a career in freshwater biology. I also have my older brother to thank for this as, from an early age, he would take me dipping for invertebrates in a local pond (sadly now under the M27), squeezing moss from the roof or boiling-up hay to examine for microscopic life. Our Hampshire home was scattered with aquaria, full of dragonfly nymphs, raft spiders and water boatmen, with the faint smell of hay infusion in the air. My mother’s pans never really recovered!

Initially, my career took a different path, as I began a medical degree at Kings College in London, but my natural inclinations came through in the end, as I left London and started a degree in Applied Zoology at the University of Reading. While there, one of the course modules involved the FBA’s Clive Pinder as a visiting tutor. The project I undertook for this module (a biotic assessment of Whiteknights Lake on the Reading campus) was marked by Clive. His glowing praise of my work (the opening phrase in the concluding remarks began “I like this….”) set me to thinking that I could actually do this sort of stuff for a living. The tutor for my undergraduate thesis – Michael Hardy, son of Sir Alastair - obviously spotted my growing passion for freshwaters, overseeing a study into water boatman prey selection – the one and only time I have been bitten by one, but it didn’t put me off.

Having graduated from Reading, I went on to study for MSc in Biology of Water Resource Management at Napier University in Edinburgh. My thesis was supervised by Dr. Chris Extence at the newly formed National Rivers Authority (one of the members of Chris’ team was a certain Bill Brierley). I was offered a job at the NRA laboratory in Spalding, south Lincolnshire, when I graduated from Napier and, apart from a 2 – year spell working in Leeds, have been in Spalding ever since and have now completed 28 years working in the Environment Agency of England.

I have been extensively published, both in the scientific press, but also in popular science volumes from Cambridge University Press and Springer, all in the field of freshwater invertebrate ecology. I also designed, edited and co-wrote a modular workbook for distance learning in freshwater invertebrate species-level identification. Much of the latter was in collaboration with the FBA and forms the core of a training programme extensively utilised by the EA and others. This has rendered me the EA’s ‘taxonomy czar’ and resulted in collaborative training for the Wildlife Trusts, Riverfly Partnership and several universities, as well as the FBA. I am passionate about the need for education in freshwater taxonomy and ecology and also for pushing the envelope in this regard at the EA – nearly 25 years of urging the need for species-level work bore fruit in 2013 when it became national policy. I still love to get my hands dirty analysing samples with my team in Spalding and can’t even let it go when on holiday with my long-suffering family, being a serial ‘busman’.

I have been Visiting Fellow at Lincoln University, President and Chair of Lincolnshire Naturalists’ Union (for which I am a county recorder), Chair of Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership, EA representative for InvertebrateLink, Fellow of the Linnean Society and member of several panels and committees for the Wildlife Trusts. I am also a member of the FBA’s Data and Information Services Advisory Group and Grants and Awards Committee.

I relish the prospect of helping to steer the FBA through the choppy waters of the circumstances in which we all find ourselves in the early 21st Century and feel that my passion and expertise can be of value for an institution which is very close to my heart. The water from rivers stretching from Scotland to Wales to the south of England clearly seeped into my brain and will never leave.

Prof. Keith Beven

Lancaster Environment Centre (Representative Member for the Royal Society)

I am a hydrologist and I have worked at Lancaster University for over 30 years. I am now a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Lancaster Environment Centre. I had previously worked at the Institute of Hydrology at Wallingford and the University of Virginia. I am best known for my work in hydrological modelling, flood forecasting and inundation prediction, and the analysis of uncertainties in environmental models (see ). I have written books on these subjects that have even been translated into Chinese! I have also been interested in the relationship between flow structures, dead zones, and the ecology of rivers and lakes and recent work has included forecasting algal populations in Lake District lakes. My work has resulted in a number of awards including the Robert Horton Medal and Langbein Awards of the American Geophysical Union, the John Dalton Medal and Leonardo Awards of the European Geophysical Union, the IAHS/WMO/UNESCO International Hydrology Prize, the Penman and President’s Awards of the British Hydrological Society; and a DSc from Bristol University. I also held the King of Sweden’s Environmental Guest Professorship at Uppsala University, the Francqui Foundation Chair at KU Leuven in Belgium, and was elected as Fellow of the Royal Society and as a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering in 2017. I am also passionate about photography and still like to try and find time to take some photographs (mostly of water on film, see

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