ZSL's Institute of Zoology,
My research is centred around the critically endangered European eel, which has experienced dramatic population declines. Eels have a complex life cycle, and to complete their life cycle they need to migrate upstream as juveniles.
Anthropogenic river infrastructures (e.g. dams, weirs, water pumps) can act as a barrier to young eels migrating upstream and reduce the connectivity of rivers.
Legislation to promote the protection of the European eel has encouraged the installation of eel passes as a secondary installation at anthropogenic river structures to facilitate eel migration over these barriers.
Alongside our partners at the Environment Agency, we are working to optimise eel passes.
By running robust tests on potential barrier mitigation solutions, we are developing practical solutions to mitigate the impact of anthropogenic barrier structures and increase river connectivity.