Plenary Speakers


Florian Leese: DNA-based monitoring of freshwater ecosystems in Europe and beyond


Florian Leese is Professor of Aquatic Ecosystem Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. He started his research career in classical taxonomy and freshwater ecology at the Max Planck Institute for Limnology and much of his early research was spent on formal species descriptions. He shifted to population genetics for his PhD research at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research, and then moved to the Daphnia lab of Ralph Tollrian as a postdoc in 2008 (Ruhr University Bochum, Germany). In 2013, he shifted back from model to non-model organisms when he was promoted to junior research group leader of the "GeneStream" team. In close cooperation with the Otago Zoology team (New Zealand), his research team started to use different genetic tools to quantify effects of multiple stressors on freshwater biota. This focus has continued since 2015. In particular, however, he seeks to more explicitly bridge the application gap of these methods to improve environmental monitoring. As Chair of COST Action DNAqua-Net, he leads a network of experts to identify best practice strategies for environmental DNA or other genetic methods for routine biomonitoring.


Andrea Reid: Indigenous fisheries: Rights, resilience & revival 

Dr Andrea Reid is a citizen of the Nisga’a Nation and a new Assistant Professor with the University of British Columbia’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. She is helping to launch and lead the Centre for Indigenous Fisheries, working to build a national and international hub for the study and protection of culturally significant fish and fisheries. Her research programme adopts highly interdisciplinary and applied approaches to improving our understanding of the complex interrelationships between fish, people and place. Reid’s PhD in Biology (Governor General’s Gold Medal; Carleton University ’20) centered on multiple stressor effects on Pacific salmon, using tools and insights from Western and Indigenous sciences in tandem. Reid is a cofounder of Riparia, a Canadian charity that connects diverse young women with science on the water to grow the next generation of water protectors. She is also a National Geographic Explorer and a Fellow of The Explorers Club.


Robert lestyn Woolway: Global lake responses to climate change

Dr Iestyn Woolway is a climate scientist and Research Fellow at the European Space Agency Climate Office (UK). He graduated from Bangor University (Wales) in 2011 with a BSc and MSc in Physical Oceanography and then undertook a PhD in Physical Limnology at University College London between 2011 and 2015. He then moved to the University of Reading to work as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Climatology, within the world-renowned Department of Meteorology, working on a project investigating temperature changes across different surfaces of the Earth, with a particular focus on lake surface water temperature. In 2018, he was awarded a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship, based at the Centre for Freshwater and Environmental Studies at Dundalk Institute of Technology (Ireland), where he investigated extreme events in lake ecosystems. In 2020, he started his current position at ESA. His research now focuses on the physical interactions between climate and water, with a particular interest in lake thermal responses to climate change. Using a combination of in-situ, satellite, and modelled data, his research aims to answer key questions that relate to climate-induced changes in lakes worldwide.  

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SEFS is the official meeting of the European Federation for Freshwater Sciences (EFFS)