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Professor Penny Johnes


Penny obtained a BSc in Environmental Science in 1986 at the University of Plymouth, and a D.Phil from the University of Oxford (School of Geography) in 1990 where she worked with Professor Tim Burt.  Her D.Phil research, funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) analysed the impact of agricultural practices on water quality in lowland catchments, identifying for the first time the quantitative significance of dissolved organic and particulate nutrient fractions as part of the total nutrient load delivered to waters in lowland catchments, and the importance of extreme high-flow events in the delivery of particulate-bound nutrient fractions to water bodies.  

She developed her understanding of the co-limiting role of nitrogen and phosphorus in eutrophicated waters during her postdoctoral research in the Department of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Liverpool where she worked with Professor Brian Moss to develop the UK Lake Classification and Monitoring Scheme, funded by the UK Environment Agency, developing the first of her many collaborative research programmes with the stakeholder community.  

In 1993 she was appointed to a Lectureship at the University of Reading where she was promoted to a Readership in Freshwater Science in 1998 and Professorship in Freshwater Science in 2002.  She became Director of the Aquatic Environments Research Centre at the University of Reading in 2002 (which she co-founded with Professor Paul Whitehead in 1995), and Executive Director of HYDRA in 2006, a research partnership linking hydrosciences researchers at the universities of Reading, Oxford, Imperial College London, Queen Mary College London, UCL and the NERC Centre of Ecology and Hydrology and British Geological Survey.

Penny joined the University of Bristol on 1st January 2014, taking up a Chair in Biogeochemistry.



School of Geographical Sciences

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