Richard Mason

Loughborough University


The effect of Caddisfly on Sediment Transport in Rivers


Prof. Steven Rice and Prof. Paul Wood

PhD Summary

The important influence that animals can have on river geomorphology and hydrology is increasingly being recognised, particularly in regards to large organisms such as fish and beaver. In comparison the effects of invertebrates may seem inconsequential but past research has shown that certain types of caddis can have significant effects on sediment transport. This PhD will investigate whether case building behaviour in caddis can alter processes of fine sediment transport in rivers and whether these effects are significant for understanding and managing river systems. The work will involve microscale measurements in laboratory flumes coupled with in situ experiments in rivers across a range of caddis species and grain sizes.

What inspires you?

I grew up in rural Wales and have always loved being outside. My interest in rivers began as a whitewater kayaker and was developed during my undergraduate degree at Nottingham University where I became interested in the geomorphological and ecological functioning of rivers.

Previous Activity

After completing my undergraduate at Nottingham I worked for four months as an intern on a wetland in Washington, USA conducting biological and geomorphological surveys. I spent the rest of the year teaching whitewater kayaking at a USA summer camp.

Why did you choose Docotoral Research?

I have an inquisitive mind and find research exciting and rewarding. I also like to be in control of and be able to plan my own work and particularly enjoyed my undergraduate dissertation.

Why did you choose a CENTA Studentship?

As well as offering the specific research question that I was interested in pursuing, CENTA provides excellent opportunities in terms of funding and training which will be instrumental in helping me to make the most of my PhD.

What are your future plans

I do not have definite future plans yet but I would like them to include some element of research and be in the field of river ecogeomorpology. I believe that having a NERC/CENTA funded PhD behind me will put me in a good position wherever I decide to go next.