Chair of Water Science and Policy
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Professor Chris J Spray MBE, FRSA, MA (Cantab), PhD, MCIEEM holds the Chair of Water Science & Policy at the Centre for Water Law, Policy & Science under the auspices of UNESCO. He also has a NERC Knowledge Exchange Research Fellowship with Welsh Government 2015/2016. Before joining the university in 2009, I had over 20 years of practical experience of integrated water resource management from a number of distinct perspectives - including regulation and policy (Director of Environmental Science for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency); river basin management and planning (chair of Tweed River Basin Management Planning Area Advisory Group); wetland ecosystem services (co-author of UKNEA chapter on water and wetlands); Ecosystem Approach delivery (project board for national Scottish Land Use Strategy pilot in the Borders); water science and catchment restoration (principal investigator for the Eddleston Water Restoration project, and a series of other catchment projects); participatory environmental NGOs (Tweed Forum, RSPB director/trustee); and associated research, dissemination and advisory roles for governments (e.g. ACRE) and agencies (e.g. Scottish Natural Heritage board's Science Advisory Committee). I utilise this range of experience in both my teaching and research collaborations, including contributions to graduate teaching in courses on sustainable catchment management; and on Natural Resources Management: environment & society; as well as cross-disciplinary contributions to International and National water Law courses.
Acadamic and Professional Posts held since graduation:
2015-16: NERC Knowledge Exchange Research Fellow - part-time post with Welsh Government in Cardiff
2009 - present: Chair of Water Science & Policy - UNESCO Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, University of Dundee
2004-09: Director of Environmental Science - Scottish Environment Protection Agency
1991-2004: Director of Environment (previously Conservation Manager) - Northumbrian Water Group
1990-91: Conservation Manager - National Rivers Authority (Anglian region)
1984-89: Recreation & Conservation Manager - Anglian Water Authority
1978 -84: Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Zoology - Aberdeen University
1974-78: NERC PhD studentship in Zoology - Aberdeen University
Other related Posts:
President of Institute of Ecology & Environmental Management (2004-6)
Member of NERC College 2010 -
Member of UK Government Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (1999-2002)
Past member of England Biodiversity Group and then Scotland Biodiversity Group
Chairman of Freshwater Biological Association 2010 - 2014
Chairman of particpatory catchment NGO, Tweed Forum (1992-5) and currently Trustee. Previous Chair of cross-border Area Advisory Group for River Basin Management Planning.
Trustee/Director, or past Trustee of RSPB, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, British Trust for Ornithology, River Restoration Project, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Durham Wildlife Trust, etc..
Synopsis of Current Research Interests
My research interests focus on wetland ecosystems, particularly how emerging research on wetland ecosystem services can be translated in to policy, legislation and action on the ground. This includes bio-physical aspects such as flood risk management, water quality improvements, habitat restoration and conservation, as well as linked social systems. I work to investigate how to link an ecosystem services approach to operational practice, and the delivery of multiple benefits from and for the wetland environment and the stakeholders who depend on it. Within this, I am exploring how such issues are communicated to and from key stakeholders, including the role of non-governmental organisations in participatory management and stakeholder dialogue. Much of the focus of my work is on the Tweed, an UNESCO HELP Basin on the Scottish:English border, and I work closely with Tweed Forum in this respect.
PI for two recent connected Research projects for Scottish Government and SEPA on:
These provided syntheses, and recommendations for piloting an ecosystem approach within catchment mansgement, based on an in-depth review of catchment organisations and practices across the UK, EU and globally through the UNESCO HELP River Basin network.
Chris has further extended this to be working with the Scottish Government using an Ecosystem Approach to take forward a national pilot of implementation of the Rural Land Use Strategy for Scotland, in the Borders Region (2013-1015)
MSc course in Sustainable Catchment Management
MSc course in Integrated Water Resources Management and Law
Natural Resources Management: Environment & Society - LLM/MBA
International Water Law / National Water Law modules for LLM
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Research output: Book/Report › Commissioned report
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Activity: Editorial work or peer review of publications › Editorial activity
Activity: Public engagement and outreach › Festival/Exhibition