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Prof Helen Bennion
Appointment
  • Professor of Environmental Change
  • Dept of Geography
  • Faculty of S&HS
Biography
Helen first came to UCL in 1985 to study Geography where she obtained a first class honours degree and some years later a PhD, which examined sediment records of eutrophic ponds in south-east England. She was awarded a post-doctoral Royal Society Research Fellowship and spent a year at the Institute of Limnology, Mondsee in Austria. She returned to the Department of Geography at UCL in 1995 to take up a post as Research Fellow with the Environmental Change Research Centre (ECRC) and was promoted to Senior Research Fellow in 2001, then to Principal Research Associate in 2009, and most recently to Reader in Environmental Change since 2011.

Over the last fifteen years she has undertaken numerous national and international research projects examining the impacts of eutrophication on standing fresh waters over a range of time scales and employing lake sediment records to assess environmental change, reference conditions and restoration targets. Since 1996, she has been involved in EU collaborative research on five large multi-partner projects (BIOMASS, EDDI, Euro-LIMPACS, WISER and REFRESH), the most recent of which is examining climate-nutrient interactions in aquatic ecosystems. She is interested in the application of science to lake management and conservation, particularly the EU Water Framework Directive. She is an invited member of the UK Lakes Task Team and UK Eutrophication Forum which advise on strategic research and development, and feed into environmental policy. Much of Helen’s applied research is carried out via ENSIS Ltd, the consultancy affiliated to the ECRC, of which she was appointed Director in 2006. See www.ensis.org.uk

Her publications include around 50 academic articles and over 70 research reports and she is a peer reviewer for numerous international scientific journals and funding bodies.
Research Themes
Research Summary

Helen's research interests are in:

  • Aquatic ecology and palaeoecology
  • Diatom taxonomy and applications
  • The development and validation of diatom-phosphorus transfer functions for reconstructing changes in nutrient status of lakes.
  • Impacts of eutrophication on standing fresh waters over a range of time scales.
  • The use of the lake sediment record to assess environmental change, reference conditions and restoration targets.
  • Application of science to lake management and conservation, particularly the EU Water Framework Directive.
Teaching Summary
She has supervised more than ten Masters and PhD students and teaches on undergraduate and masters courses including topics of lake eutrophication, palaeoecological methods, water policy, lake management and conservation.
Academic Background
1993 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Geography University College London
1988 BA Bachelor of Arts – Geography University College London
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