Dr. Robert Grabowski, Reader in Catchment Science at Cranfield University , alongside Professor Anne Robertson, from the University of Roehampton’s School of Life and Health Sciences and have been awarded a prestigious grant of over £2 million by the Leverhulme Trust under its doctoral scholarship programme to study the interactions between humans and freshwater ecosystems.

The Leverhulme Trust’s grant will support the Connected Waters Leverhulme Doctoral Programme (CONNECT), a collaborative effort between Cranfield University and Roehampton University to develop a deeper, holistic view of the interaction of human agency and freshwater ecosystems.

The CONNECT program will fund 18 PhD students across Cranfield, and Roehampton for interdisciplinary research on freshwater ecosystems. The program aims to foster a new generation of scholars equipped to tackle the challenges facing freshwater ecosystems. It seeks to unravel the intricate connections between freshwater environments and human society through a comprehensive interdisciplinary lens.

Dr. Robert Grabowski said: “I am excited to be co-leading the Connected Waters Leverhulme Doctoral Programme with Professor Anne Robertson at the University of Roehampton.”

“Freshwater ecosystems are in decline worldwide. Urgent and collaborative action is needed to reverse this trend. Through innovative, multidisciplinary approaches, our PhD researchers will explore the interactions between humans and freshwater ecosystems that affect how we value, manage and restore them.”

Professor Leon A. Terry, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation, said: “It has never been more vital to explore connections between people and our natural environments, to help address the climate change challenges we all face. As a leader in sustainable innovation, this project aligns with Cranfield University’s continued commitment to developing high-impact research that will have a positive effect on our society and our world.”