RRNW Portland Speaker Series September 13th, Matthew Johnson, University of Nottingham, UK

Join us September 13th for the next installment of the Portland RRNW Speaker Series!

Speaker: Matthew Johnson, Assistant Professor University of Nottingham

Title: The Power of Biology: The Role of Animals in Shaping Rivers

Where: Hawthorne Lucky Lab   915 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland OR 97214

When: Thursday, September 13th, 5:30 pm Networking, 6:00 pm Presentation

Rivers support an impressive diversity and abundance of life which exert an important control on river form and function. Examples include plant roots stabilising banks, beavers damming rivers and invertebrates burrowing into river beds and banks. Whilst the benefits of woody debris are well known, and the significance of beavers and salmonid fish widely acknowledged, less attention is given to the numerous, small organisms that cumulatively can be highly significant in altering channel form. Here, I will discuss my research into the power that invertebrate animals exert altering the structure of river beds and banks, and the relative significance of this in comparison to the power exerted by the flow. The results will hint at the importance of healthy invertebrate communities in rivers and their often unforeseen significance to river functioning. Partnering with these organisms opens up the possibility of designing systems that are resilient to disturbance and reducing the need for further human intervention because nature’s river restorers work continuously as if their lives depended on it – because they do.

Matt is a fluvial geomorphologist with an interest in how aquatic organisms occupy, utilize and modify environments. He is currently working on projects focused on:

  • The ability of animals to alter physical processes, such as sediment transport, in rivers;
  • The sensitivity of river reaches to temperature change, with implications for the growth and development of aquatic animals, and;
  • Identifying and quantifying the physical processes that partially control the distribution and activity of animals in rivers.

Matt’s research also involves substantial field-based research, in addition to statistical and landscape modelling, and he currently maintains water temperature networks in the Peak District, Exmoor National Park and tributaries of the River Welland, UK. He also sits on the technical advisory panel of the national climate adaptation program, Keeping Rivers Cool.

The purpose of the speaker series is to provide a local networking opportunity for the stream restoration community outside of River Restoration NW’s annual symposium and to hear from an expert on a restoration-related topic, in an informal setting, with beer!  Speakers will present for 20 to 30 minutes with time for questions and discussion. Food and drinks are available for purchase. You’ll be in charge of your own food and beverages but, rest assured that the storytelling and conversation will be excellent.

This event is sponsored by Wolf Water Resources

If you are interested in sponsoring future Portland RRNW speaker series events please contact John (jrunyon@cascadeenv.com).

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Past Speakers
  • Daniel Newberry – May 2018
  • Esther Lev – December 2017
  • Rose Wallick – March 2017
  • Desiree Tullos – December 2016
  • Janine Castro – October 2016
  • Gordon Grant – May 2016
  • Matt Van Ess – March 2016
  • Mike Houck – November 2015
  • Celeste Searles Mazzacano – October 2015
  • Dan Bottom – June 2015
  • Bob Beschta – April 2015
  • Michael Pollock – December 2014
  • Laura Brophy – October 2014
  • Colin Thorne – June 2014
  • Bill Bradbury – April 2014
  • Stan Gregory – December 2013
  • Ken Bierly – October 2013
  • Janine Castro – October 2013