UCL Department of Geography
Martin Kernan
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Martin Kernan

Senior Research Associate


Environmental Change Research Centre,
Department of Geography,
University College London,
Gower Street,

Tel: 020 7679 0523

Email: m.kernan@ucl.ac.uk



Post Graduation Employment:

  • 2011 -         Environmental Change Reseach Centre (ECRC), UCL - Principal Research Fellow
  • 2002 - 2011 Environmental Change Research Centre (ECRC), UCL - Senior Research Fellow
  • 1996 - 2002 Environmental Change Research Centre (ECRC), UCL - Research Fellow
  • 1990 - 1991 Department for Education and Science - Senior Assistant Statistician
  • 1991 - 1992 Department of Health - Senior Assistant Statistician


Click here for Publications.


  • The degradation and subsequent recovery of aquatic ecosystems from acidification.
  • The effects of atmospheric pollution and climate change on the physico-chemical status, ecology and biodiversity of mountain lakes.
  • The impacts of climate change on freshwater ecosystems and the interactions between these and the effects of other stresses.
  • The use of adaptation strategies to manage freshwaters in the face of changing climate.
  • Knowledge transfer and the science-policy interface.


Martin has been invited to sit on a number of working groups and networks with a focus on climate change impacts on freshwaters. He was an invited expert on the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) EIONET network of national experts in support of sharing data and assessment of climate change vulnerability, impacts and adaptation practices. He subsequently contributed to the Science-Policy Interface Working Group A (ECOSTAT – Ecological status) concerning Water Framework Directive implementation. He was an invited expert on the Advisory Group on the EEA 2012 State of Water Report which subsequently fed into the Blueprint to safeguard Europe's water resources. He is currently an invited international expert with the Centre for Regional Change in the Earth System (CRES), Denmark and the Australian National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF).


  • 2012: Lecturer - MSc in Aquatic Science (Module on Impacts of Climate Change on Hydroecological Systems).
  • Co-leader on Numerical Analysis of Biological and Environmental Data, a NERC Recognised Short Course for MSc and PhD students
  • Running 2nd year undergraduate numerical analysis practicals (3 years)
  • 2nd year undergraduate tutorial groups
  • Tutorials for ERASMUS/external students:
    • Environmental Change
    • Transport Geography
    • Geography of London
  • Demonstrating on
    • Geomorphology practical classes
    • Geomorphology field class
    • Biogeography field classes
    • 1st year field classes
  • Ad hoc statistical advice to Masters and PhD student

Current Projects

  • 1992-1996 PhD doctoral thesis describes the use of multivariate statistical and GIS techniques to develop an empirical model which allows the prediction of surface water critical loads of acidification from catchment characteristics
  • 1996 - 1999 Research fellow working on a DoE contract developing and validating critical loads models. Examining spatial and temporal variation of nitrate concentrations in Snowdonia lakes and identifying the catchment attributes driving this variability.
  • 1997- 2000 Research fellow on NERC Environmental Diagnostics Programme involved in developing and evaluating a catchment scale approach to critical loads modelling. Further development of critical loads predictive models using high resolution data. Comparison of model accuracy at different spatial scales.
  • 1998-2001 The development of an integrated approach to the provision of freshwater environmental data through the harmonisation of data held by IH, IFE and ECRC. Managing ECRC component.
  • 1998-2001 DETR contract - Acidification of freshwaters: the role of nitrogen and the prospects for recovery. Responsibilities include group secretary and contract administration.
  • 1999-2001 Development of a standing waters database for the Scotland and Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research. Principal Investigator responsible for this project.
  • 2000-2003 European Mountain Lake Ecosystems: Regionalisation Diagnostics & Socio-Economic Evaluation. EC Framework Programme V. Responsibilities in this 26 partner programme include joint co-ordination of the project, convenor for two work packages, co-ordination of statistical analysis and regional co-ordinator for the UK study area.
  • 2001-2003 DEFRA Freshwaters Umbrella - Recovery of acidified waters in the UK. Involved in developing inventory of lakes in the UK to assess stock at risk from acidification with emphasis on sites of conservation value. Responsibilities include group secretary and contract administration.
  • 2002-2003 Research Fellow / ENSIS consultant - Freshwater Screening and Assessment Based on Freshwater Critical Loads' Environment Agency R&D Project Ref 12094 - Principle Investigator for Project. ECRC/ENSIS in collaboration with CEH Wallingford.
  • 2001-2003 Research Fellow / ENSIS consultant - Development of a risk based prioritisation protocol for standing waters in Great Britain based on a georeferenced inventory’ Environment Agency contract to develop a GIS-based standing waters inventory for the UK in order to facilitate a three-tiered hierachical prioritisation system was developed to assess environmental harm using nutrients and acid deposition as example hazards.
  • 2004-2007 Senior Research Fellow DEFRA Freshwaters Umbrella – the effect of nitrogen deposition & climate change on freshwaters in the UK
  • 2004-2009 Scientific co-ordinator – Euro-limpacs – EU FP6 Integrated Project to Evaluate the Impacts of Global Change on European Freshwater Ecosystems (€20M).
  • 2009-2012 UCL PI on WISER - EU FP7 Integrated Project 'Water bodies in Europe: Integrative Systems to assess Ecological status and Recovery'
  • 2010 - UCL PI on BioFresh EU FP7 Integrated Project 'Biodiversity of Freshwater Ecosystems: Status, Trends, Pressures, and Conservation Priorities'
  • 2010 - Co-ordinator REFRESH - European Union (EU) Framework 7 (FP7) Integrated Project  'Adaptive Strategies to Mitigate the Impacts of Climate Change on European Freshwater Ecosystems'
  • Committees

    • Organised and chaired weekly ECRC research seminars (1996-1997)
    • Creation of database of digitised catchments and collation of related data from numerous sources
    • Member of DETR CLAM freshwaters sub-group
    • Responsible for dissemination of statistical developments within ECRC
    • Group secretary and project administration, DETR Critical Loads Freshwaters Group
    • Secretary and project administration ED Freshwaters Group
    • Steering group member EMERGE Framework V Project
    • Member of ECRC Research Development Group
    • Member of ECRC Management Group
    • Group secretary and project administration, DEFRA Freshwaters Umbrella
    • Member of editorial board The Official Journal of the Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management Society
    • Invited Expert – EIONET workshop on climate change vulnerability, impacts and adaptation, EEA, Copenhagen, Nov 2007
    • Invited expert, Australian National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility - Adaptation                   Research Network on Water Resources and Freshwater Biodiversity.
    • Invited expert, Centre for Regional Change in the Earth System (CRES), Denmark.
    • Invited expert, Advisory group on European Environment Agency (EEA) 2012 state of water report (SoWater).
    • Invited expert contributing to the Science-Policy Interface (SPI) activity Working Group A (ECOSTAT - Ecological status) concerning Water Framework Directive Implementation 2012


  • EMERGE Project Web page: http://www.mountain-lakes.org/
  • United Kingdom Environmental Data Index (UKEDI): http://www.nmt.ac.uk/ukedi/default.shtm
  • DEFRA Air quality research programme: http://www.aeat.co.uk/netcen/airqual/reports/research/index.html
  • Critical loads modelling and mapping: http://critloads.ceh.ac.uk/
  • Euro-limpacs Project (Evaluating the Impacts of global change on European Freshwater Ecosystems) http://www.refresh.ucl.ac.uk/eurolimpacs
  • REFRESH project http://www.refresh.ucl.ac.uk/