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School of Geography

Dr Stewart Clarke


Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Twitter: @fluitans


I am currently the National Specialist for freshwater, catchments and estuaries with the National Trust. With almost 250,000ha of land to look after, the National Trust has a significant role and growing interest in catchment and water management.  

I completed a PhD in freshwater ecology at Queen Mary and have previously worked as a national freshwater specialist for Natural England and its predecessor English Nature. I worked on Natural England’s ecosystem service pilots and was seconded to the government’s Natural Capital Committee Secretariat as a Scientific Advisor in 2013. 

I am currently a Trustee for both the British Ecological Society and the Ecological Continuity Trust and sit on the advisory board of the River Restoration Centre.


Member of the Advisory Board for MSc Water and Environmental Management

Guest speaker on GEG7318 Catchment Science in Practice

Project partner for GEG7308 Individual Research Project


Research Interests:

I am interested in the management and restoration of freshwater and wetland ecosystems and how a focus on catchments and water can deliver landscape scale restoration. I have collaborated widely to bring research methods and tools into practical nature conservation and environmental management. While I remain interested in all aspects of freshwater and wetland ecology my current work focuses on:  

  • working with natural processes to restore complex freshwater-wetland ecosystems (particularly ‘Stage 0’ river restoration) 
  • understanding the biodiversity implications of nature based solutions for water management (floods, droughts and water quality interventions)  
  • understanding the impact of reintroduced beavers on biodiversity and ecosystem function  
  • the application of novel approaches (e.g. eDNA) to monitoring freshwaters


Full publication record available at ResearchGate.

Sutherland, W…Clarke, S.J. et al. (2019). A Horizon Scan of Emerging Issues for Global Conservation in 2019. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 34. 83-94. 

Waters, K., Maberly, S., Clarke, S.J. et al. (2018). Is the Vendace Britain's rarest freshwater fish, on the brink of extinction? British Wildlife. 29 (3) 

Bennion, H., Sayer, C., Clarke, S.J. et al. (2017). Sedimentary macrofossil records reveal ecological change in English lakes: implications for conservation. Journal of Paleolimnology. 1-20. 

Clarke, S.J. (2015) Conserving freshwater biodiversity: The value, status and management of high-quality ditch systems. Journal for Nature Conservation 24 93-100

Mace, G.M, Hails, R.S., Cryle, P., Harlow, J. & Clarke S.J. (2015): REVIEW: Towards a risk register for natural capital. Journal of Applied Ecology 52(3) 641-653

Clarke, S., Harlow, J., Scott, A., Phillips, M. (2015). Valuing the ecosystem service changes from catchment restoration: A practical example from upland England. Ecosystem Services. 15. 93–102.

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