Forging sustainability

Kieran Monaghan

Kieran Monaghan

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

  • Researcher ID:
  • ORCID: 0000-0002-3063-7817
  • Ciencia ID:
  • Department: Biology
  • Research Group: Environmental Changes, Hazards & Conservation (ECHC)
  • ISI Web of KnowledgeSM search factor: AU=(Monaghan K*) and AD=(Aveiro)

Research interests

River ecology,
River management

Academic degrees

PhD Environmental Sciences
MSc Applied Hydrobiology
BSc Environmental Chemistry

Scientific activities

River ecology


Nature, fish, birds



LTER-RAVE - Long term monitoring in the Ria de Aveiro: towards a deeper understanding of ecological, environmental and economic processes See more

DOMINO EFFECT - Degradation of lOtic ecosysteMs assocIated with plaNtation fOrestry: An Evaluation of plantation Forest Food-wEb CommuniTies See more

Scientific Supervision

PhD (Main Supervisor): Ana Luísa Machado (CESAM member)

PhD (Main Supervisor): Liliana Sofia Luís Saro Pedrosa (ex-CESAM member)

PhD (Co-supervisor): Carolina Lima (not a CESAM member)

Academic qualifications

PhD Geography, University of Birmingham, UK

MSc Applied hydrobiology, University of Cardiff

BSc Environmental Science, University of Sussex

Recent conferences

2014 Limnologia, Santander, Spain. (oral) Four reasons to question the accuracy of a biotic index

2013 Intercol, London, UK. (oral) Revisiting Taylor's Power Law for aquatic macroinvertebrates.

2012 Ecological Society of America, Portland, USA. (oral) Calling the odds in the gamble of bioassessment: the importance of quantifying taxonomic uncertainty

 2012 Iberian Limnological Society, Minho, Portugal (oral) Building macroinvertebrate biotic indices from trait descriptions, an examples for organic pollution

2012 Iberian Limnological Society, Minho, Portugal (poster) Choosing the sharpest tool in the box: taxon-weighting improves family-level traits assessment

2011 European Ecological Federation, Ávila, Spain (oral) Deriving biotic indices from macroinvertebrate trait descriptions.

2011 Symposium for European Freshwater Sciences, Girona, Spain (oral) Species traits and habitat mediate the impact of wildfire on upland stream fishes

2010 North American Benthological Society, Santa Fé, USA (oral) The impact of wildfire on fish communities in upland Altantic-Mediterranean steams

2010 River Conservation & Management, York. (poster) The burning issue: wildfire and fish conservation in upland Altantic-Mediterranean streams.


Research Projects

INFERNO - the INfluence of Forest-firE on River commuNity Organisation
Initiated in 2008, the INFERNO project employs descriptive surveys of fish, macroinvertebrates and river habitats to assess the impact of wildfire on Portuguese river ecosystems. Response surveys of recently burned sites (summer fires in 2008, 2009, 2010) are providing information on short term patterns of impact and recovery, while a chronosequence survey (1990-2008; substituting space for time) has been used to elucidate the short-to-medium term effects.


DOMINO EFFECT - Degradation of lOtic ecosysteMs assocIated with plaNtation fOrestry: An Evaluation of plantation Forest Food-wEb CommuniTies

Initiated in 2010 the DOMINO project is based on a holistic, ecosystem study of the flow of energy between forest and aquatic systems. Based on habitat surveys and comparative community analysis in Eucalypt, Pine and Broadleaf forest ecological surveys of aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, amphibians, fish are used to describe the interconnectedness of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems (type of links and strength of links) in relation of resource availability. Seasonal change and associated spatio-temporal dynamics are given emphasis by evaluating the differences between permanent and intermittent (summer-time pools) stream habitats.

 ABSTRACTION: Assessing Biological degradation of Stream ecosysTems Resulting from Abstraction-irrigAtion: the impaCt for biodiversiTy and ecOlogical functioN


Amorim, Keizer, Miranda & Monaghan (Editors) 2011. Forest fires research: beyond burnt area statistics. ISBN 978-972-789-345-4.

Monaghan K.A. & Milner A.M. 2000. Alternative methods for the biological classification of rivers. Environment Agency R&D Technical Report, Wrc Publishers.


Research interests & career

It is my passion to try to understand,
Life in the oceans, in rivers and on land,
Not just to classify and to describe,
But imagine rules, by which all life survives,
Environmental pressures to evolutionary adaptation,
The fate of individuals to the whole population,
From genes to ecosystems, I wish to behold,
Unifying theories; life’s secrets told.

Yet the more that I learn increases an anxiety,
That current human actions reduce life’s variety,
So my efforts have focused on methods to measure,
Ecosystem quality, to help the endeavour,
To manage and conserve life’s rich tapestry,
That defines our future, like it does our history,
So that future generations may respectively thank,
That “It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank...”.

CESAM Funding: