Dr Matthew O’Hare is an internationally recognised expert, with over 25 years experience working across the UK and Europe, on freshwater systems subject to multiple stresses. He has also worked in Australia, Brazil and Africa (Kenya). His work has combined applied and fundamental research with practical management.
He has been heavily involved in the practical implementation of environmental policy and legislation, especially the EU Water Framework Directive. He has provided technical advice to the EU, through ECOSTAT and on innovative, strategic development as an assessor of the ‘Waterworks’ programme, an EU Joint Programming Initiative (JPIs), Water JPI (“Water Challenges for a Changing World”) and FACCE-JPI (“Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change”). He has also provided advice to individual member states, most recently as a member of the advisory board on a large project run by the Irish EPA. In the UK he has advised the Environment Agency and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency on river restoration, biomonitoring and conveyance capacity of vegetated channels.
He advocates consideration of Nature Based Solutions, where appropriate. He is experienced in designing restoration project monitoring programmes, assessing and modelling project outcomes. He emphases the importance of incorporating the dynamics effects of hydrological and fluvial geomorphology on ecological processes. This approach is facilitated by his experience in developed tools for assessing whole river hydromorphological condition, the physical habitat suitability for vegetation, and the impact of vegetation on bed roughness and other physical processes. He also has a strong understanding of physical habitat preferences of freshwater invertebrates.
Recently his advocacy of nature based solutions has drawn attention in countries especially vulnerable to the impact of climate change on freshwater systems, specifically he was invited to give keynote presentations at international conferences in Turkey and Japan; at the International Society for River Science (ISRS) meeting in Tokyo in 2018 and at ‘Ecology 2017’, Kayseri, Turkey. He is experienced in communicating to a wide range of audiences and tailors his delivery accordingly.
He has extensive project management experience having lead substantial components of EU and UK projects, including REFORM (Restoring rivers for effective catchment management), involving input from 20+ partners, 450 person months of activity, He also has hands on experience of large engineering projects such as the Waverley Railway Project.
With a strong academic background (over 60 ISI publications) he maintains a large international network in applied research as Associate Editor of the journal Aquatic Conservation Marine & Freshwater Systems.