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Advisory board

Meet the conference advisory board members, a group of experts on topics of free-flowing rivers, river restoration and aquatic ecosystems.

Twan Stoffers

My passion for fish ecology, biodiversity and nature conservation runs like a thread through my scientific career. My areas of expertise include fish biology and behaviour, river-floodplain ecology, and river restoration. Communication, dedication, perseverance, and patience are all key parts of my work. My strengths are in conducting fundamental research, communicating with scientists and volunteers from various research fields, and providing constructive solutions by balancing the interests of various stakeholders. I'm always looking for new ways to get people and organisations to collaborate effectively in order to promote conservation. I believe that transboundary cooperation is essential for effective conservation of freshwater biodiversity and that this should be facilitated as much as possible through science.

Thomas Hein

Dr. Thomas Hein is full professor at the Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna since 2017 and has been managing director of the research institute WasserCluster Lunz from 2008 to 2020. He was elected as president of the IAD (International Association for Danube Research) from 2011 to 2016. He is an active member of several professional international organizations and networks. He was a Fulbright scholar in USA in 2016/2017. His research focus is on aquatic ecology integrating biodiversity and aquatic biogeochemistry of riverine landscapes and effects of river restoration measures. The research interests target aquatic ecosystem – societal interactions in riverine landscapes. He leads a CD Laboratory on Meta-Ecosystem Dynamics in Riverine Landscapes since 2021. He coordinated and was actively involved in several international and national projects, and established cooperation with many national and international organizations including NGOs, companies in the transport and energy production sector and governmental organizations such as the ICPDR (International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River). He authored up to now more than 145 publications in SCI journals and more than 120 conference proceedings, book chapters and other scientific articles. He is the speaker of the Doctoral School HR21 and coordinates an educational network within the CEEPUS (Central European Exchange Program for Universities Studies) programme and in international teaching programs at the master and PhD level. He also supervised several students at Msc and PhD level in East Africa. He can be reached at:
University for Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management
Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33,
1180 Vienna, Austria
phone: +43-1-47654-81229
Twitteraccount: @BigerScience

WasserCluster Lunz - Biologische Station GmbH
Dr. Carl-Kupelwieser-Prom. 5
3293 Lunz/See
phone: +43-7486-20060-45

Sebastian Birk

Dr. Sebastian Birk graduated as an environmental scientist and is senior researcher and lecturer at the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany). Since 2003, he is involved in various research and innovation activities supporting the implementation of European Nature Directives. Currently he coordinates the EU-funded H2020 Green Deal project MERLIN (, mainstreaming freshwater restoration across Europe. He authored more than 65 scientific publications, some of which are highly cited in their field.

Ruben van Treeck

Dr. Ruben van Treeck has worked in hydropower and fisheries research for several years before transitioning to a full position as freshwater specialist with the WWF Germany. While still being able to pursue his passion for science, he now publicly and politically advocates for healthy rivers as well. His favorite fish is burbot.

Paul Brotherton

Paul is the focal point at Wetland International Europe seeking to accelerate implementation of EU freshwater laws, restore and protect free-flowing rivers, and deploy and upscale nature-based solutions for inland waters. Paul has spent the past two decades at the intersection of conservation science, policy and communications in the EU, US and globally. Rivers run through his experiences – including the Hudson, Niger and Rhine. Before working at the global and European levels for Wetlands International, he spent more than a decade in Washington, DC as the Legislative Director for environmental champion and member of the US House of Representatives Maurice Hinchey, and the Research Director at the League of Conservation Voters. He has field experience researching wetland-dependent species, from the Everglades in the US to the Bolivian Amazon, and for almost 20 years as a volunteer for the Delaware Bay Shorebird Monitoring Program in the US.

Martin Pusch

Studies in Biology in Ulm, Freiburg and Constance. Since 1993 working at Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Research and Inland Fisheries (IGB) in Berlin. Head of working group “Functional ecology and management of rivers and lake shores”. Teaching at University of Potsdam and Humboldt Univ. of Berlin. Board member of the “Blue Rivers Foundation”. Current research topics: hydropower, river continuity, integrative water management, ecosystem services, restoration of the Oder River. Current international projects: EU Horizon Danube4all, EU Horizon Restore4Life

Kevin Mulligan

Dr. Kevin Mulligan is Research Hydraulic Engineer at the US Geological Survey Eastern Ecological Science Center S.O. Conte Research Laboratory in Turners Falls, Massachusetts (USA). Kevin’s work primarily focuses on improving the performance of fish passage structures through hydraulic modeling and experiments with live, actively-migrating fish. In conjunction to his research, Kevin has served in multiple organizer roles for the International Fish Passage Conference since its inception in 2011 and currently serves as the Chair of the American Fisheries Society Bioengineering Section & American Society of Civil Engineers Environmental Water Resources Institute Joint Committee on Fisheries Engineering and Science. Kevin is also an adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He received his Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering specializing in fish passage engineering in 2015.

Karin Olsson

Karin Olsson is an environmental scientist and limnologist that is passionate about river restorations. The last twenty years she has worked with improving the status of water ecosystems as a consultant, at the Water Authority in the Skagerrak and Kattegat Water District and now at the County Administrative Board of Scania where she is the Project Manager for the LIFE CONNECTS project dealing with the restoration of seven rivers in Southern Sweden.

Julia Boverhoff

Julia works as Freshwater Policy Associate at The Nature Conservancy in the Brussels office. In her role, she supports TNC's Europe’s freshwater policy work and, as part of the Living Rivers Europe Coalition, she helps to work towards the protection of rivers, lakes and groundwater in Europe. In particular, she focuses on aspects of the Biodiversity Strategy Freshwater related targets, but also on topics related to the broader topics on Freshwater, such as the Green Deal at large, energy and climate both in the European as well as in the global context. As an environmental lawyer by training, she previously was a Blue Book trainee at the European Commission, in the Cabinet of Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans.

Heather Bond

Heather Bond is an ecologist with specialization in water management – wetlands, river restoration, and flood risk management. She is working as Swimways Coordinator for the Trans-European Swimways Programme at Wetlands International Europe, working towards the establishment of swimways for freshwater migratory fish in Europe. Previously, she worked in environmental water quality monitoring for the Ontario, Canadian and English governments. She also monitored river levels and flows while working for the Environment Agency in England, and wrote international reports for the International Water Resources Association.

Claire Baffert

Claire works as a Senior Policy Officer on freshwater for the WWF European Policy Office. In her position, she chairs the Living Rivers Europe NGO coalition composed of 6 Brussels-based NGOs working towards the protection of rivers, lakes and groundwater in Europe. Before joining WWF, Claire has worked for several Brussels-based organisations on environmental policies and project management. Her background is in EU Politics and Administration. She is French and has been living in Belgium for twelve years. Follow me on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Foivos Mouchlianitis

Foivos Mouchlianitis is a biologist, currently working as a post-doctoral researcher in Greece and for the World Fish Migration Foundation. He holds a master's degree in the field of Hydrobiology and Aquacultures and a Ph.D. in fish reproductive biology and ecology. His research interests include fish ecology, physiology, local adaptation and evolutionary processes. He has been awarded a Fulbright scholarship to conduct his research at Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut, USA, as well as a scholarship provided by The Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation & The General Secretariat for Research and Technology. He has been involved in multiple national and international research programs, has completed two Erasmus internship programs, and has been trained in several European and American Institutes/Universities.

Birgitta Malm Renöfält

My research interests mainly concern restoration and rehabilitation of river ecosystems affected by hydropower. I am primarily interested in understanding the relationship between the impact on the natural flow regime, the impact on the physical habitat of organisms and the ecological status of the ecosystem. I strive to work from a landscape ecology perspective with the catchment area in focus.
My research projects concern aspects such as the need for high-flow pulses to maintain valuable riparian ecosystems, flow needs in channels that have been completely or partially dried up due to water diversion, and the development of measures without significant production impact to rehabilitate affected habitats.

Andreas Dänhardt

Dr. Andreas Dänhardt has graduated from Hamburg University on trophic ecology of larval fish in the Baltic Sea. He earned a PhD from the Institute of Avian Research in Wilhelmshaven for investigating the predator-prey-dynamics of common terns and pelagic fish in the Wadden Sea, before, as a post-doc back at Hamburg University, his research and teaching focus shifted to species-habitat relationships and life cycle ecology of fishes in coastal-marine ecosystems. He always considered a close link between research and the application of the results key to effective conservation and management action. Andreas is a voluntary member of the Expert Group Swimway within the trilateral Wadden Sea cooperation.

Josh Royte

Senior Conservation Scientist for The Nature Conservancy in Maine. Focus on the conservation of diverse geographies from forests and rivers and restoration planning and monitoring to detect change and suggest alternative paths. He supports multiple partnerships local to global including collaborations for Penobscot River restoration, World Fish Migration Foundation, and advises freshwater conservation and restoration in Europe.

Erica Borum

Erica Borum builds technical capacity across National Forest System Lands and beyond by teaching the Forest Service’s Stream Simulation methodology at road-stream crossings for the purposes of aquatic connectivity and infrastructure resiliency. She resides in Colorado, USA and has worked as an engineer for the USDA Forest Service for over 16 years restoring streams at road crossings by replacing undersized culverts with structures that replicate that specific stream system for the purposes of aquatic organism passage. She holds a patent, has a great affinity for the outdoors, and loves science.

Andras Krolopp

Andras Krolopp, Head of Biodiversity Policy, TNC Europe
Andras Krolopp is covering EU and European governmental relations with special focus on Biodiversity policy, as it impacts both European, but also the global agendas. He is specially focusing on the EU Biodiversity Strategy, Nature Restoration Law and all relevant Freshwater related issues. Globally, he follows the Convention on Biological Diversity negotiations with focus on protection, restoration and biodiversity finance.
Prior joining TNC, Andras was working for IUCN (Brussels) first as Deputy Head for the Countdown 2010 Initiative, later as Senior Policy Advisor covering EU biodiversity and regional policies. He was also seconded to the Hungarian and Belgian Governments during their EU presidencies and covered Biodiversity Finance in preparations and during CBD COP in 2010.
Andras has an MSc in Environmental Management and degrees in Biology and Geography.

Jean-Marc Roussel

Jean-Marc Roussel has worked in aquatic ecology for 30 years. After graduating from University of Rennes (France) with a Ph.D. in environmental sciences, he completed post-doctoral studies in University of Fredericton (NB, Canada). He is director of research at the French Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), and associated researcher at the French Biodiversity Agency (OFB). His expertise includes population and community ecology, in temperate and tropical ecosystems, with particular interest in species of high conservation value such as diadromous fish. He leads applied research programs on biodiversity, ecological services associated with aquatic ecosystems and ways to restore them. Since 2012, he has been running the multidisciplinary research program on the Sélune River in France, which aims at understanding the consequences of the two large dam removal on the river and its valley ( He has published 70 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals, available online at

Jeff Duda

Jeff Duda is a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at the Western Fisheries Research Center in Seattle, Washington. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biology from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and is a certified senior ecologist with the Ecological Society of America. At USGS for 25 years, Jeff conducts research to determine the ecological effects of human activities and natural disturbance regimes on a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial organisms and ecosystems throughout the United States.

Since 2004, Jeff has developed research programs in freshwater, estuarine, and marine ecosystems to understand the ecological outcomes of largest dam removal in U.S. history on the Elwha River. He also examines dam removal at continental and international scales, synthesizing what is known about the science of dam removal in several publications and a database called the Dam Removal Information Portal. He has published over 75 scientific journal articles and reports, which can be found online at his USGS Profile

Kerry Brink

Kerry Brink is trained as an aquatic ecologist, with a PhD from South Africa and is now based in Europe. Under the WWF Living European Rivers initiative, Kerry coordinates and engages with WWF offices and partners across Europe to build the movement and implement dam removal and nature based solutions. In addition to her focus on implementation, Kerry has co-authored the From Sea to Source 2.0 book and recently contributed to scientific publications relating to Swimway programme and freshwater connectivity.

Kristine Lund Bjørnås

Kristine is a research scientist at the Salmonid Fishes department at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA). Her specialty is hydraulic modelling as well as individual-based modelling of fish populations using inSTREAM. She has a Ph.Lic. from Karlstad University where she used these models to evaluate which habitat rehabilitation or flow release measures that would be most effective to strengthen local salmon and trout populations. Before working in NINA, Kristine worked on the Norwegian Red List of Species and as a hydraulic consultant on projects concerning flood protection and river restoration.

Marc Ordeix

Marc Ordeix (Vic, Catalonia, 1966) holds a PhD in Forestry and Natural Environment Management (Fish migration in Mediterranean rivers: a case study of the fish pass assessment in Catalonia (NE Iberian Peninsula) (University of Lleida, 2016)) and a Bachelor’s in Biology (University of Barcelona, 1989). Marc has analyzed and controlled wastewater treatment plants (1991-2001), combining it with the accomplishment in numerous research projects, mainly of aquatic ecology. Since 2001, he coordinates the CERM, focused on freshwater ecological assessments (riparian vegetation, macroinvertebrates, fish), river restoration and environmental education & citizen science. Initially affiliated to the Ter River Museum, since 2016, the CERM is also associated to the UVic - UCC, being part of its Aquatic Ecology research group (GEA).
He is a Research Professor, teaching Hydrogeology in the Degree of Environmental Sciences (2005-2018), and on Animal Biology (Fauna) and in Environmental restoration techniques, in the Degree of Biology and Biotechnology from UVic-UCC (since 2016). He is also Co-director of the Chair of Water, Nature and Welfare, representing UVic-UCC (since 2019).

Roland Jansson

My research focuses on the ecology of streams and rivers. Most projects focus on aspects of the restoration ecology of streams and rivers in boreal and subarctic regions: How can riverine ecosystems degraded by human activities be restored or rehabilitated to conserve their species in the face of climate change? This includes reinstating natural processes in free-flowing rivers, assessment of projected effects of climate change on riparian ecosystems, as well as environmental flow options in regulated rivers.

Shannon Boyle

Shannon Boyle has served as the National Fish Passage Coordinator and more recently as an Aquatic Connectivity Specialist for the Fish and Aquatic Conservation Program at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service headquarters. She began her fisheries career studying the fish community impacts of winter water level drawdown in lakes in the Northeast US and Quebec. Since then, related to river restoration and management, she coordinated juvenile salmonid monitoring on the Klamath and Trinity rivers in northern California and worked on hydropower relicensing in the western US as a fish biologist for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. She holds a B.Sc. from McGill University and a Master of Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Stefanie Januchowski-Hartley

Steph Januchowski-Hartley is the World Fish Migration Day 2024 Project Coordinator! She is also studying an MA in Creative Writing and Education at Goldsmiths, University of London where she is exploring ways that UK schools could shift away from current conflations of nature and science toward more holistic learning that strengthens learners’ capacities to care for rivers (and other environments). She loves fish (and all life!) and most days you can find her writing, drawing, or talking about them with others!

Olle Calles

Olle Calles currently holds the position of Professor in Aquatic Ecology, River Ecology, and management research group (RivEM), at Karlstad University in Sweden. He is an expert in remedial measures in regulated rivers and is currently leading several projects on river restoration including dam removal and fish passage solutions.

He is also involved in the large EU-projects RIBES (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network) and LIFE Connect (EU-LIFE). The applied research questions are typically identified and developed in collaboration with representatives from the authorities and stakeholders, and deal with real-world problems trying to find practical and cost-efficient solutions to these problems. His expertise is often asked for by authorities, companies and organizations, and public outreach is a central theme in his work.

Jeroen Tummers

Jeroen is an ecologist specialized in fish migration, freshwater ecology and connectivity. He works as an Advisor Freshwater Ecology at Arcadis Netherlands on a broad range of projects related to habitat restoration, longitudinal and lateral connectivity and fish migration. Before that, he worked at an NGO for species conservation research and had a postdoctoral position at Durham University, UK, working on the EU-wide AMBER project for adaptive management of riverine barriers. He did his Ph.D. at the same university on the effectiveness of restoring longitudinal connectivity for fish migration in degraded river systems.

Michele Thieme

Michele Thieme is Freshwater Deputy Director for WWF-US, leads the organization’s Free-flowing Rivers Initiative, and supports WWF’s efforts to conserve freshwater ecosystems and manage river basins to support biodiversity and human livelihoods. She works with groups around the world to build the resiliency of freshwater systems with a particular focus on river-related infrastructure, dams, and planning, as well as evaluation of basin health. WWF-US’ freshwater team focuses on interventions that support transboundary water governance, finance for bankable nature solutions, corporate water stewardship, and river conservation with the aim of maintaining and restoring healthy, connected freshwater ecosystems for people and nature. Michele has 25 years of experience in freshwater and spatial planning with over 30 scientific publications. She holds a B.S. in biology from University of Virginia and a Master’s in Fisheries Science from University of Arizona.

Tom Buijse

Prof. Dr. Tom Buijse is a specialist in ecological restoration of inland waters and fish-based assessment. He graduated from Wageningen University in 1987 as population biologist and obtained his PhD degree in 1992 on fish population dynamics. From 1993 onwards his research and consultancy concentrated on ecological rehabilitation of large rivers such as the Rhine, Danube and Volga and fish communities as indicator for freshwater ecosystem quality. His expertise on the potential to restore freshwater ecosystems was subsequently applied to implement the European Water Framework Directive in the Netherlands and to develop fish-based assessment methods for rivers. April 2020 he has been appointed as special professor freshwater fish ecology at the WUR to optimize fish resources and species diversity in inland waters His present research focuses on the hydromorphological rehabilitation of rivers and tuning the implementation of environmental legislation with other socio-economic demands such as flood protection and navigation and fisheries management. From 2011-2015 he coordinated the 4-yr large integrated EU-funded research project REFORM (Restoring Rivers for Effective Catchment Management) involving 26 European partners and has participated in several other EU-funded projects (FAME, EFI+, MARS, MERLIN). His 35-yrs research and consultancy experience covers rivers, floodplains, lakes and deltas.

Kaspars Abersons

Kaspars Abersons is a fishery biologist working as a researcher in Institute “BIOR” which is one of the biggest research institutes in Latvia. His academic interest and topic of PhD thesis is river lamprey, yet his everyday work is mostly related to river restoration and management. Currently Kaspars is a leading fish expert in several river restoration related projects and member of national scale working groups focussing on reduction of the impact of fish migration barriers and small hydropower. During the last years he has been involved in several national and international projects focusing on restoration of longitudinal connectivity, providing sufficient ecological flow, reduction the impact of hydromorphological alterations and other important aspects of river quality.

Charles Crundwell

Charles Crundwell has worked for the Environment Agency or its predecessors in the UK for 30 years. In this time, he has developed expertise in both salmonids, coarse fish and eels, protection restoration and management. His current main focus is with twaite shad and sea lamprey, resulting from his work on the EU Life / Heritage Lottery funded Unlocking the Severn project (, that saw the re-connection of 200km of the historic spawning grounds of the river Severn after the construction of the river navigation over 180 years ago. Before that project he was the Agency lead on the Interreg North Sea Region – Living North Sea project, looking at collaboration and reconnection of habitats for fish in this shared resource. Other roles Charles is currently working on are the fish passage challenges in England and is a member of the Agency’s National Fish Pass Advisory Panel, the implementation of the Eel Regulations sitting on the National Eel Screening Helpdesk, helping with the implementation of eel protection measures. He is the species lead for the twaite shad (Alosa fallex) in the Agency and advises external parties on other notable species including sturgeon.

Martin Tschikof

Martin Tschikof studies the impacts of river and floodplain restoration measures on water quality and multi-functionality. Using modeling, empirical, and participatory methods, he aims to derive appropriate recommendations for ecosystem-based management. He is an ecologist by training and holds an international joint MSc. degree in Limnology and Wetland Management. Currently, he is a research assistant at the Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management and a candidate at the doctoral school “Human River Systems in the 21st Century” at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna. He has been involved in several national and international research projects with a strong reference to the Danube River Basin.

Yusdiel Torres-Cambas

I am a biologist with a keen interest in the study of freshwater ecosystems, focusing on systematics, ecology, and conservation. My research encompasses a diverse range of methodologies, spanning field and laboratory work, phylogenetic analysis, geocomputation, species distribution modeling, and spatial conservation prioritization.

My doctoral studies at the University of Havana, Cuba, was centered on the order Odonata, and topics related with the taxonomy, conservation and biogeography of these insects in the Antilles. Subsequently, I was awarded with a Georg Foster Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which allowed me to undertake a project on freshwater biodiversity conservation planning across Cuba. I conducted this research at the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Berlin (IGB) and the Technical University Braunschweig also in Germany.

Presently, I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Community and Ecosystem Ecology within the IGB, where my work primarily focuses on freshwater species distribution modeling. I am actively engaged in various projects, including Danube4all, which is dedicated to implement a comprehensive restoration action plan for the Danube basin.

Chris Bowser

Chris Bowser is the Education Coordinator for the NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program and the Hudson River Research Reserve, in partnership with the Water Resource Institute of Cornell University. Chris’s current work with the NYSDEC focuses on environmental education and citizen science in the Hudson River Valley. He and his team coordinate an annual estuary‐wide monitoring day involving 5000 students and educators at over 90 shoreline sites, lead teacher training workshops on incorporating Hudson River topics into school curriculum, and design on‐site and distance learning programs for the Norrie Point Environmental Center. He started community‐science project where volunteers collect daily information on migrating American eels into Hudson River tributaries from NYC to Albany. This project is supported by 1,000 annual volunteers who have released over one million eels above barriers to migration. Bowser’s professional experience includes working as a Peace Corps reforestation volunteer in Mauritania, serving as Education Director for the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, mapping river shorelines, conducting environmental education workshops in Haiti and Ireland, and teaching at environmental science at Marist College and Bard College. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in environmental science from Clark University. He was awarded a 2014 Environmental Quality Award by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the 2020 Leadership Award from the New York State Outdoor Education Association.

Katarina Mravcova

Katarina Mravcova is a researcher in Water Research Institute (VUVH), Bratislava, Slovakia leading the department of River morphology and protection of waters. She is involved in several river and wetland restoration projects, international and bilateral projects and coordinates Strategic Integrated Project "LIFE Living rivers" focused on implementation of River basin management plan (RBMP) in Slovakia. Her original background is geography, cartography and GIS. She participates in restoration studies, proposals of hydromorphological measures, inputs to RBMP on HYMO topics and is a member of the ICPDR HYMO Task group as well as several national expert groups.

Amelie Huber

Amelie Huber is freshwater project manager at Euronatur Foundation in Germany. She co-coordinates the Save the Blue Heart of Europe campaign, a civil society network mobilizing grassroots activism, science, legal action and policy advocacy to halt destructive hydropower development on Europe’s last free-flowing rivers in the Western Balkans. Amelie holds a PhD in Political Ecology from the Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (ICTA-UAB) in Barcelona and has carried out extensive research on the social impacts and politics associated with hydropower conflicts in the Eastern Himalayas.