New Executive Director Announcement

Monday, 24 May 2021

The Freshwater Biological Association Appoints Simon Johnson as New Executive Director

The Freshwater Biological Association (FBA) announced today that Simon Johnson has been appointed new Executive Director. Simon is an experienced leader with a proven record of accomplishment and following the retirement of Bill Brierley will assume responsibilities from Monday, 2 August 2021.


Simon Johnson, Executive Director, FBA

Simon brings over 26 years of catchment and fisheries management experience. His first industry job in 1995, was as a fisheries ecologist working for Dr Martin Perrow of ECON at the School of Biological Sciences (University of East Anglia). Since that time, Simon has worked with a network of organisations throughout the United Kingdom to restore and conserve freshwater habitats. This has involved the biomanipulation of large shallow lakes through to the rehabilitation of forgotten chalk streams and the restoration of spate rivers.

Simon has extensive senior leadership experience, gained at Eden Rivers Trust, Wild Trout Trust and as Cumbria Catchment Director (Environment Agency). For the last two years, he has been working in private practice developing and delivering an ambitious portfolio of riverscape restoration and natural flood management partnership projects in Cumbria.

Evan Dollar, Chair of the Board, FBA said, “I am absolutely delighted that Simon has agreed to join us, and to help take our much-loved association forward.

“We now have our eyes firmly on our centenary in 2029, and am sure, that in the interim period, Simon will help us deliver on our charitable objects, and in so doing, positively impact the freshwater environment now, and for future generations.”

Since 1929, the FBA has been connecting scientists and stakeholders to better understand and manage freshwaters. During this time many of our ponds, lakes, rivers, and becks have faced increasing impacts from a range of threats including pollution, invasive species, habitat loss, demand for water and climate change.

“I am tremendously honoured to be joining the FBA and am looking forward to working alongside the board, staff, fellows, members and all stakeholders with an interest in conserving freshwaters,” said Simon Johnson.

“Working together, we can turn many of these threats into opportunities. In a spirit of friendly collaboration, the FBA will play its part by delivering knowledge-based action to drive better and faster outcomes for our precious freshwater ecosystems.” 

The Freshwater Biological Association is a thriving membership association and registered charity, dedicated to understanding and conserving freshwaters across the globe. They have long worked to protect our global freshwaters by facilitating innovative research in the field and making information about these environments easily accessible.

Our vision is to be the leading independent UK organisation for freshwater information and advice by promoting the sustainable management of freshwater ecosystems and resources, using the best available science.