Fisheries scientist joins the battle to restore our rivers and chalkstreams

A three year grant from the John Ellerman Foundation has enabled leading fisheries charity, Salmon & Trout Conservation UK (S&TC UK) to strengthen its science team. This newly created post will help to further drive forward its ongoing campaign to clean up our rivers and precious chalkstreams.

Lauren Mattingley, who is the new scientific assistant with S&TC UK based in Fordingbridge will support the research work of both Dr Janina Gray, as well as Nick Measham, who is overseeing the national Riverfly Census, which reported the shocking state of our rivers and chalkstreams this year.

Lauren who achieved an MSc in Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology from the University of Aberdeen is a rising star in fisheries research, having used science to encourage actions that reduce anthropogenic pressures on charismatic marine species, such as dolphins. She recently played a significant role in shaping fisheries policy based on her research to improve the management of aquatic resources in northwest Sri Lanka. She is therefore well qualified to help provide the scientific evidence and data needed to support S&TC UK’s role in protecting our freshwaters, fish stocks and wildlife from the increasing human pressures from abstraction, fish farming, sewage treatment works and diffuse pollution from agriculture.

Paul Knight, Chief Executive of S&TC UK said, “We are delighted to welcome Lauren to our team and are hugely grateful to the John Ellerman Foundation for their support. With only 17% of our rivers classed as having good ecological status, we have a massive task ahead of us to increase the number of rivers included in our Riverfly Census. Strengthening our science team at this time is crucial so that we can continue to provide the evidence needed to protect our water environments now and in the future.”

Lauren Mattingley, is equally delighted to be joining S&TC UK.  She said, “Science roles of this nature are rare and I am therefore thrilled to join the team.  Already I have found serious gaps in the quality of data provided by Government agencies, and it is shocking that important policy decisions are being based on inconsistent and inferior data. This needs to change, which is why the research carried out by S&TC UK is so vital to gauge the extent of the problems we are facing and to identify workable solutions to restore degraded watercourses to their pristine condition.”