Judy is an aquatic ecologist whose main areas of interest include the environmental effects of flow regulation on river biota, biota-habitat relationships and the assessment of the effectiveness of river restoration measures and how this can increase resilience to climate change. Her interest in river restoration appraisal was the subject of her PhD at the University of Hertfordshire. Judy has been on the advisory board of the River Restoration Centre since 2007 where she continues to seek best practice, including effective appraisal and promoting restoration schemes that work with natural processes. Judy has spent several sabbaticals volunteering as an educator, providing training in the monitoring and assessment of the aquatic environment including coral reefs and Alaskan coastal waters.
Judy is a national research scientist for the Environment Agency. As an applied researcher Judy works with many academics to address real-world issues and to distill research into application. Recently this has included a focus on intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams. These dynamic ecosystems transition between wet and dry states are expected to increase with climate change. Working in collaboration existing extensive data sets are being used to explore long-term patterns across spatial scales and develop novel tools and techniques to assess the quality of these systems.
River restoration remains a strong focus of Judy’s work seeking to understand which restoration measure will help us increase the resistance and resilience of our aquatic systems. Both research areas entailed working closely with hydrologists, geomorphologists and social scientists highlighting the importance of working across disciplines to improve our understanding of river systems.