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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  February 2014  /  Mitigating the impacts of climate change on freshwater ecosystems

Mitigating the impacts of climate change on freshwater ecosystems

Martin Kernan in follow-up to REFRESH in South Africa and Brussels

Mitigating the impacts of climate change on freshwater ecosystems

Dr Martin Kernan recently visited South Africa where he delivered a seminar at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg on 'Adaptive strategies to Mitigate the Impacts of Climate Change on European Freshwater Ecosystems – the REFRESH project'.

During his time at Wits Martin had a meeting with former UCL researcher Chris Curtis and several colleagues from the Geography Department there to discuss the possibility of organising a three-day seminar involving scientists from UCL and South Africa. It would explore the potential for setting up a network of environmental scientists interested in freshwater issues across Europe and Africa.

Martin also accompanied Chris on fieldwork in Lesotho where they sampled numerous mountain tarns in the south of the country. These ecosystems are unique in southern Africa, and the fieldwork will form part of a scoping study to determine whether these sensitive and biodiverse tarns are being impacted by pollution and climate change.

After his return, on 29-30th January Martin chaired the WaterLives Science Policy Symposium for freshwater life in Brussels (see:

The symposium was organised with colleagues from the BioFresh project as part of the dissemination work programme of the REFRESH project.

It brought together policy makers, practitioners, water managers, NGOs and scientists to:

  1. Highlight the policy relevant output from the EU REFRESH and BioFresh projects,
  2. Discuss challenges in implementing the 2020 Biodiversity strategy and the EU Water Framework Directive,
  3. Agree on recommendations for policy making and future research.


Martin Kernan in Brussels

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