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Ian Thornhill, Lead Investigator, Bath Spa University, UK

Ian’s main research interests tend to focus on urban and freshwater ecology, with a specific focus on pond ecosystems. Specifically, he researches ecosystem functioning, biodiversity conservation and landscape-scale processes.

In recent years his research has been supported by citizen science; the involvement of volunteers in scientific pursuits. As well as supporting research in the physical sciences, citizen science has also enabled Ian to consider what motivates people to engage with science.

Read more about Ian HERE

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Matthew Hill, Co-investigator, University of Huddersfield, UK

Matt is a hydro-biogeographer whose research focuses on aquatic ecosystems, ranging from meta-ecosystem structure and functioning, to the landscape-scale biotic and abiotic processes influencing patterns in taxonomic and functional biodiversity. Matt also has research interests in biodiversity conservation and management, focused at the aquatic network scale. 

Read more about Matt HERE, and on his ResearchGate page HERE


Paula Novo, Co-investigator, Scotland's Rural College, UK

I have an interdisciplinary background in agriculture, development studies and economics and policy. My research focuses on the economics and governance of natural resources with a focus on water and conservation research. I develop my research work along the following main research lines: i) governance of environmental public and common goods and implications in terms of wellbeing and values; ii) monetary and non-monetary valuation of natural resources and iii) resilience and climate change adaptation. I use a mixed methods approach combining quantitative, qualitative and participatory methods and I have conducted empirical research in Scotland, Spain, Mexico, Nicaragua, Suriname and Ethiopia.

Read more about Paula HERE and on her ResearchGate page HERE


Rafael Calderon-Contreras, Lead Investigator (Mexico)

Autonomous Metropolitan University, Mexico City

Rafael is a full-time tenured assistant professor at the Social Science department of the Autonomous Metropolitan University, where he has developed lines of research on social-ecological resilience, access to natural resources, analysis of territorial, environmental and climate change policy and GIS. Rafael has extensive research and consultancy experience in analysis of governance and access to natural resources, with particular interest in the practices and processes that allow social-ecological systems to adapt and withstand the impacts of climate change. He is currently leading financed projects on the role of green and blue infrastructures for urban resilience and coordinates an international network for social-ecological systems and sustainability research.

Read more about Rafael HERE


Dr. M.Azahara Mesa-Jurado, Co-investigator El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR), Mexico

Azahara is a researcher working in water management and economic valuation of natural resources, with a special focus on water resources. The aim of her research is to contribute to water management decision-making processes in the context of global change. Also, her personal interests are enhancing the importance of ecosystem services conservation and the inclusion of local communities in decision-making processes of natural resources management. She has worked extensively on water scarcity regions including the Guadalquivir River basin (Southern Spain) and currently
in the tropical region of Southern Mexico. 

Read more about Azahara HERE


Dr. J. Salvador Hernández Avilés, Co-investigator, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

Salvador has worked in Limnology for 30 years, studying different kinds of aquatic ecosystems in Mexico. He has conducted research studies relating to microbial aquatic ecology USA and Italy and the treatment of wastewater in Mexico. His research interests include limnology, aquaculture, aquatic microbial aquatic ecology and the ecological treatments of wastewater. 

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Sarah Hobbs, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Bath Spa University, UK

Sarah's background is in ecology and community engagement and her research interests combine the two via community participation and citizen science. Sarah has worked in environmental education, ecological consultancy and community based biodiversity projects. Her PhD formed part of the Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) project and explored motivations for participation in biodiversity recording schemes and urban hedgehog habitat use. 


Ana Castro-Castellon, Research Assistant, Bath Spa University, UK

Ana is a multidisciplinary trained microbiologist, freshwater ecologist, chemist and environmental engineer. Her research interests focus on water quality and restoration. Working for the water industry, she investigated ecological dynamics of phytoplankton blooms and their management; and the quality of water from catchment to people’s homes. Ana’s PhD focused on the underlying physico-chemical and biological mechanisms, at a range of physical scales, of a floating wetland in an urban reservoir used as a biofilter process prior to a water treatment works. The wetland installation added value to the existing environmental services. Ana works part-time for RESPiRES, and for her own consultancy.

Read more about Ana HERE


Arantza Daw, Research Assistant, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

I am a biologist interested in Limnology. I have participated in marine projects covering the dynamics of phytoplankton in coral reefs. I have also worked on topics related to the ecology of microorganisms in crater lakes. Recently, I developed my Master’s degree project on rivers of Huasteca Potosina in Mexico, focusing on biological indicators (macro algae, diatoms and benthic macroinvertebrates) for ecological assessment, considering the physico-chemical and hydromorphological elements of the system.


Mariana Pineda Vazquez, Research Assistant, Co-investigator, Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM), Mexico City

My background is in Biology, natural resources and rural development with experience in ethnobiology, environmental education, sustainability assessments, ecosystem services and human-nature interactions. I have worked in Mexico’s indigenous and mestizo communities, in rural and urban areas using qualitative methodologies. My main research interests are the socio-ecosystems approach, community-based natural resources management, perceptions and values given to nature and the use of participatory methodologies in order to link scientific knowledge with the social and environmental needs of current societies in rural and urban contexts.

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María Teresa Gómez Osorio, Postdoctoral Research Assistant,

Autonomous Metropolitan University, Mexico City

Teresa’s background is in biology and has a broad experience in remediation of contaminated sites. She is interested in understanding how environmental information influences decision making and how it can be further integrated in environmental policy. Teresa is convinced that solutions to environmental problems can only be developed with a close collaboration between scientists and key stakeholders like communities.

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Victor Hugo Salinas, Research Assistant, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City

My background is in biology with a MSc oriented in limnology, and focused on freshwater ecology. I have worked with water quality and hydromorphological analysis to evaluate ecological quality in aquatic systems in central Mexico. My research focuses on taxonomy and ecology of epicontinental diatoms and their use as bioindicators. My PhD project consists in the use of eDNA metabarcoding of diatoms from periurban lotic systems in the Basin of Mexico to design biomonitoring protocols for ecological quality assessment.

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