April 2013

Scottish Rivers Handbook to be published soon

The Scottish Rivers Hanbook is in it's final draft stage and will soon be published both as hardcopy and electonic pdf. The book introduces the different basic components: water, sediment, dead and living vegetation, which constantly interact to shape the character of the river landscape. It investigates processes of water and sediment movement from hill slopes to river channels, answering questions around why rivers are the size and shape that they are, and the dynamics of their movement.

March 2013

TCV Natural Talent Apprentice in Natural Flood Management

We are pleased to introduce Lawrence Belleni who has been appointed as TCV's new Natural Talent Apprentice. He will be working alongside CRESS over the next 18 months looking into options for natural flood management in the Allan Water Catchment following on from the Scoping study undertaken two years ago. Check out the tcv Natural Talent blog for updates


Jan 2013

Spey catchment pilot study: The River Mashie

CRESS is working with The Spey Catchment Initiative to complete study on the River Mashie. This aims to identify and develop river restoration options for this subcatchment of the Speysystem and to pilot field survey techniques that can be scaled up for rapid assessment of larger catchments

October 2012

The Scottish Beaver Trial

Scottish Beaver Trial: Independant monitoring

The fourth year of monitoring for the Scottish Beaver Trial has been finished. The surveys will be completed in Autumn 2013 and the results presented to the Scottish minister for review in 2014.


September 2012

Graduation Cap

PhD Students

Two new PhD students are now working alongside CRESS. The positions are jointly funded by SEPA and the University of Stirling. Both are interdiciplinary and will be looking at the interactions between hydromorphology and ecology.

August 2012

Fisheries Surveys

CRESS has undertaken electrofishing surveys of streams feeding Loch Sealg to assess the potential environmentalimpact of a proposed windfarm development.

March 2012

High _res _logo _2 Jpg

Scottish Rivers Handbook

CRESS is working with the James Hutton Institute to produce the Scottish Rivers Handbook. The publication has been funded by CREW, the Centre of Expertise for Waters and will be made free of charge once completed.

March 2011

Allan Water Nautral Flood Management Scoping Study

CRESS are working with Halcrow to investigate the potential for using Natural Flood Management methods for reducing flood risk to communities along the Allan Water. More information on this project onour Allan Water mini-website. If you are interested in more information about the project email CRESS on allanwater@stir.ac.uk

January 2011

FRMRC International Workshop

David Gilvear will be a keynote speaker at the FRMRC International Workshop: Advances in river science 2011: accounting for sediment, habitat and morphology in integrated river management. 18 – 21 April 2011, University of Swansea, Wales. He will be talking on Catchment and river appraisal, typology and reconnaissance.

January 2011

CRESS International – Centre Director goes down under.

Dave Gilvear will be spending three months down under at the University of Melbourne (courtesy of Dr Michael Stewardson)  and University of New England (courtesy of Professor Martin Thoms). Here he will be working on an Edited book River Systems: Science and Management, writing international journal papers partially out of the work of CRESS, and working on a project using LiDAR to examine floodplain heterogeneity on the Murray-Darling.

December 2010

CRESS and stakeholders

CRESS has recently participated in two stakeholder meetings in relation to projects – the first was in  Nethy Bridge in relation to work on the Feashallach Burn and the second in Cumnock with respect to channel realignments on the River Nith

December 2010

Dr Tory Milner gains lectureship in fluvial geomorphology and hydroecology

Tory Milner having completed her PhD has gained a lectureship at the University of Worcester. Such an achievement is to be applauded because in these economic times lectureships and few and far between. As a Centre research Officer and latterly a PhD student within CRESS she will be sorely missed but there may be opportunities for research collaboration in the future. CRESS wishes her well.

September 2010

Two new PhD students to start in September

Fiona Thompson will be working on the impact of increased flood frequency and magnitude on river erosion and deposition hazards and predicting societal response and Alan Law will be examining the ecological impacts of beaver reintroduction to Scotland on aquatic systems.

July 2010

New PhD student studying the environmental history of hydro-electricity

Ed Nelson joined the university in 2010 and is working on the environmental history of hydro power. Ed's PhD is focused on the environmental impact of hydroelectricity in Scotland from 1945 onwards. In the context of renewed support for hydro under a low-carbon, renewable agenda, this interdisciplinary project will seek to investigate the emergence of environmental concerns relating to hydro in policy, scientific and societal fields, in Scotland and also Norway. Ed is based in The Centre for Environmental History but is supervised by CRESS director David Gilvear.

June 2010

PhD opportunities in River Science

The School of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Stirling is pleased to be able to offer a number of potential PhD topics in the area of River Science.

Funding is available from NERC quota and University-funded studentships. We also have a number of 5 year “research apprenticeships”, in which the appointees will study for a PhD and also receive training and experience in a broad range of research skills. Potential applicants should contact David Gilvear (www.sbes.stir.ac.uk/people/gilvear/index.html). A number of studentship projects are given below but other projects of interest to high quality applicants and closely related to the research interest within the Centre for River Ecosystem Science (www.cress.stir.ac.uk) within the school would also be considered.


Alteration of river habitats and processes due to beaver reintroduction to Scotland

Contact Prof. David Gilvear; Email DJG1@stir.ac.uk

Prediction of channel instability and societal response to channel instability due to increased flood frequency in Scotland.

Contact Prof. David Gilvear; Email DJG1@stir.ac.uk.

Hydromorphological and ecological processes within newly engineered river channels

Contact Prof. David Gilvear; Email DJG1@stir.ac.uk

Quantifying physical habitat heterogeneity in natural and modified river channels

Contact Prof. David Gilvear; Email DJG1@stir.ac.uk

May 2010

Scottish Beaver Trial


CRESS is officially a member of the 'Research & Monitoring Coordination Group' (RMCG) of the Scottish beaver trial. CRESS has responsibility for "Aquatic macrophyte", "Fluvial Geomorphology and River Habitat " monitoring.

November 2009

Stirling students promote SEPA'S flood awareness

Media release: Monday 2 November 2009

Flooding is becoming an all too regular occurrence in both urban and rural areas of Britain. So the University of Stirling’s creation of a new MSc degree course in River Basin Management is very timely and relevant.

The University’s Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, working in conjunction with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), has created a course which requires students to undertake part-time study, alongside part-time work with SEPA, as part of that organisation’s flood risk trainee programme.

To mark the launch of SEPA’s new flood awareness campaign, degree course director, Professor David Gilvear and two of his students, recently met up with Roseanne Cunningham, Scotland's Minister for the Environment, at the River Earn.

Speaking about the campaign, Professor Gilvear said: "it is critical that the general public are aware of flood risk and know what to do in the event of flooding. Stirling University is training students in the science of hydrology and river basin management to ensure that flood risk is minimised and sustainable solutions to managing the risk are implemented in the future."

In 2010 SEPA will once again be recruiting 5 staff onto the trainee programme, who will also study for their Masters in River Basin Management at the University.


October 2009

The Next Scottish Freshwater Group & The Scottish Marine Group meeting will take place next 29th October 2009 in the University of Stirling

A joint meeting of the Scottish Freshwater and Marine Groups will take place on Thursday 29th October 2009. Talks will be held in Lecture Theatre 2V1 and poster demonstrations in Laboratory 2B147 both in the Cottrell Building, University of Stirling.

For more information please contact Dr Laurence Carvalho: laca@ceh.ac.uk


May 2009

New funding available for full time MSC/Diploma in river basin management at the University of Stirling

Awards to be made end of June 2009

For more details, please click the link below:

MSC River Basin Management Funding


December 2008

New Doctoral research studentship on

"A Clean Engine for Regeneration? Hydro-electricty and Enironmental Impact, 1945-2008"

Deadline for applications: 14 February 2009

Informal enquiries in the first instance may be made to Professor Richard Oram (r.d.oram@stir.ac.uk)

For more details, please click the link below:

Hydro Studentship


October 2008

2 new PhD projects started at the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Stilring:

- Channel change, backwater evolution and macrophyte diversity in mobile rivers (CRESS/university funded with Nigel Willby and Dave Gilvear)

- Changes in dissolved and particulate carbon concentrations and fluxes in streams draining peat catchment following development of a windfarm in catchment with peat soils (Scottish Power/university funded with Ian Grieve/Dave Gilvear)


The 81st Scottish Freshwater Group will take place next 30th October 2008 in the University of Stirling

The topic of the next SFG meeting is "Environment & Health". Talks will be held in Lecture Theatre 2V1 and poster demonstrations in Laboratory 2B147, both in the Cottrell Building, University of Stirling.

For more information on the next SFG meeting, visit the link below:



April 2008

The 80th Scottish Freshwater Group meeting will take place next 3rd April 2008 in the University of Stirling.

Ian Grieve will be presenting a paper co -authored with David Gilvear, titled Effects of windfarm construction on concentrations and fluxes of dissolved organic carbon and suspended sediment from peat catchments at Braes of Doune, central Scotland. This will also be presented at the Windfarms on Peatlands Symposium in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.


November 2007

Workshop in Australia

David Gilvear has been invited to advise and develop research collaboration on remote sensing of rivers with an Australian research consortium funded by the Murray-Darling basin commission. The consortium includes scientists from Melbourne University and Airborne Research Australia. He will be visiting Melbourne at the end of November for a workshop with the project partners.


October 2007

The 79th Scottish Freshwater Group meeting took place last Thursday 25th October 2007 in the University of Stirling.

Last Thursday 25 October, the 79th Scottish Freshwater Group (SFG) meeting took place in the University of Stirling. The meeting focussed on River Restoration in Scotland and was organized by the Centre for River EcoSystem Science (CRESS) and the UK River Restoration Centre (RRC).

79th SFG meeting final program: SFGprog79_final

To download the 79th SFG meeting presentations click here.


The Scottish Freshwater Group first met in 1968 organised by Professor Peter Maitland (Fish Conservation Centre, Haddington) with the aid of Dr Donald McLusky (now retired from the Department of Biological and Molecular Sciences, University of Stirling).

The aims of the Group are to provide a forum for its 350 members to exchange information across disciplines and to promote awareness of current issues and research pertaining to the freshwater environment.

The Group holds a one day meeting twice yearly in April and October at the University of Stirling. These meetings usually consist of 7-8 talks, poster displays and occasional open discussion groups. The proceedings of some special meetings are published as scientific papers or special theme volumes. These meetings attract members from academic research institutes, industry and government agencies who share a professional interest in the freshwater environment. The meetings are also attended by undergraduate and postgraduate students.


September 2007

18 & 19 September 2007 “Working with rivers” SNH Sharing good practices

Last 18 & 19 September CRESS helped SNH in the organization of the two-day workshop “Working with Rivers” The workshop aimed to introduce the physical processes that naturally occur in rivers, how they are linked to river habitats, the impacts upon river habitat that may result from channel modifications, and to explore what are considered to be sustainable and sympathetic river management practices. Through seminar sessions, case studies and site visits, some of them undertaken by Drs Gilvear and Bull, the session looked at a range of river management issues and the success or failure of different forms of intervention.