Predicting the dispersal and invasiveness of non-native freshwater fishes

Victoria Dominguez Almela

PhD at BU looking at the impact of invasive fish species and predicting their dispersal with the final goal of developing appropriate environmental management measures. This project covers the study of the dispersal mechanisms of invasive species using individual based models (IBMs), GIS mapping and R-based analysis.

The results from my first chapter revealed the importance of modelling to improve our understanding on invasive species and it predicted the dispersal dynamics of a non-native fish species using a combination of IBM and approximate Bayesian computation (Dominguez Almela et al, 2020).

Following this study, I used IBMs to predict how invasive species can be optimally managed. Major extant knowledge gaps in trade-offs between management effort and invasion outcomes were overcome, demonstrating that eradication of invaders is possible, but requires substantial management efforts (unpublished Dominguez Almela et al).  A complementary study looking at the landscape context specifically is under work now.

A final aspect of my work includes an empirical study assessing the ‘dispersal-enhancing’ traits of bitterling (non-native freshwater fish) in their invasion range to quantify the importance of trait plasticity in driving natural rates of diffusion. Progress to date has included completion of swimming performance and functional response experiments for these fish.

Left image: Assessing swimming performance on fish by using flumes based at Cardiff University

Right image: Picture 2. Sampling fish on the Gt Ouse River with the Environment Agency

PHSG 2nd Annual Conference: Poole Harbour Environment and Econmics

PHSG Marine Protected Areas Conference 2017

‘Poole Harbour provides both for a diverse ecology and a productive maritime economy. The Harbour is exceptional in the extent to which it illustrates the interface between environment and economics in the coastal zones of North West Europe. Positioned at the eastern end of the “Jurassic Coast” World Heritage Site, the entire Harbour has various conservation designations while at the same time providing for commercial shipping, motor yacht manufacture, fishing & aquaculture, tourism, a military base, and a range of other significant maritime industries. It also lies over an oil field, receives effluent from both a large conurbation and an agricultural catchment, and supports a variety of recreational activities, not least sailing and angling. These features along with the intensity with which they interact make Poole Harbour a powerful case study for the elucidation of sustainable development in practice.

Thirteen years ago the Poole Harbour Study Group held a conference which resulted in the book The Ecology of Poole Harbour. This 2018 conference aims to expand the scope of that and last year’s Marine Protected Areas conference, by examining the relationship between the environment and the economy which it supports.

The conference is part of the Poole Maritime Festival and among the events during the day Borough of Poole council will present key findings from their forthcoming marine supply chain mapping report.

Presentations (15 minutes), mini-presentations (3 minutes) and posters may examine any aspect of the Harbour environment and/or its maritime economy. Particularly welcome are contributions which engage with the interactions between the two, whether from business, policy, or conservation perspectives. Presentations may also cover aspects of the river catchment or Poole Bay which have direct implications for the Harbour itself. Contributions subsequently written up will be published in proceedings

For further general information please contact the Conference Secretary Dr Alice Hall

To submit, a presentation or poster proposal, please send a 50 word summary to PHSG Chair, John Humphreys (email, who would also be happy to provide advice on any early stage presentation idea.

Poole Harbour Study Group has been encouraging and disseminating objective research on Poole Harbour for over twenty-five years. Members include all the main statutory organisations along with universities, NGOs and commercial enterprises.’

(Environment Agency, Dorset Wildlife Trust, IFCA, Phc)