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There will be five workshops offered as pre-conference events, these include:

Integrating ecological and physical values in river management: the importance of understanding interdisciplinarity for early careers

Date: Saturday 18 November 2017
Time: 10.00am - 4.00pm
Venue: NIWA
Cost: No Charge

This workshop is supported by the European Commission through the Marie Sklodowska-Curie action, ‘Knowledge Exchange for Efficient Passage of Fish in the Southern Hemisphere’ (RISE-2015-690857-KEEPFISH).

ECoENet is an international research network consisting of research students and early career researchers (ECRs) working within Ecohydraulics and the wider river sciences. EcoENet aims to help ECRs find opportunities and overcome challenges as they begin their careers. We have placed emphasis on holding workshops where we involve ECRs in brainstorming sessions focused on identifying opportunities and challenges, either from their individual experiences or following ideas provoked by keynotes from established researchers.

The findings of our recent workshop at the International Symposium on Ecohydraulics (ISE 2016) identified that ECRs need to develop their careers on an international scale in a way that crosses traditional disciplinary boundaries (Wilkes et al., 2016). We propose a 1-day pre-conference workshop in which Dave Gilvear will provide the basis for a group discussion on integrating ecological, physical and social values in river science. We will use a participatory action research (PAR) approach to engage ECRs in brainstorming sessions focussed on identifying opportunities and challenges around the topic area.
By combining the findings of these PAR-type approach workshops we aim to develop an online platform with tools and resources to help ECRs find opportunities and overcome challenges they identified. Through our close association with the wider river science community and by assisting ECRs early on in their careers our members can have a real impact on the future direction of river science for the benefit of academic knowledge and environmental management outcomes.
If you’d like to find out more about ECoENet, please visit our multiple online platforms or get in touch via email:

EcoENet Website:
Twitter: @ecoenet
General EcoENet enquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Andrew Neverman, Massey University, NZ - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Roser Casas-Mulet, The University of Melbourne, Australia - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Martin Wilkes, Coventry University, UK - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Ana Adeva Bustos, NTNU, Norway - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Andrew Neverman, Roser Casas-Mulet, Ana Adeva-Bustos, Martin Wilkes, Alexander Heinrich Mccluskey, Davide Vanzo, Camille Macnaughton, Valerie Ouellet

MesoHABSIM course

Dates: Sat 18 Nov and Sun 19 Nov
Venue: Claudelands
Cost: $129 per person 

MesoHABSIM is a physical habitat simulation model that describes the utility of instream habitat conditions for aquatic fauna, allowing the user to simulate a change in habitat quality and quantity in response to alterations of flows or river morphology through human use of rivers. The accompanying SimStream software integrates field collected data with biological literature-based data, and performs calculations necessary to quantitatively evaluate the impact of human actions such as hydropower operation, water withdrawals, channelization shipping and climate change on the fauna.

MesoHABSIM has been widely applied across the USA, and more recently in Europe, to provide information for instream flow management as required by law and by regulators. For industrial users, this method offers more scientifically definitive answers regarding the costs and risks of future operations. MesoHABSIM has been peer-reviewed and published in scientific journals and by the Instream Flow Council. In addition, MesoHABSIM was recently included as a part of the Ecologically Sustainable Water Management (ESWM) framework by The Nature Conservancy. In the state of New Hampshire, MesoHABSIM has been written into state law as the water Quality Standard for the Souhegan and Lamprey Rivers. The course has already been offered in the USA, Canada, Ecuador, Mexico and Spain.

The objective of our course is to introduce the participants to the concept of the methodology as well as using the Sim-Stream software. We will walk the group through the process of data collection, organization, analysis and interpretation. To accommodate a wide range of participant needs we can offer a two-day, application training, including software use and, if time permits, field data collection of a nearby river
We expect that at the end of the two-day course the participants can apply the method with some additional oversight and guidance. Those who attend for two days will only have an overall familiarity with the method. Environmental consultants, researchers, conservationists and agency personnel interested in sustainable management of water resources will all benefit. With the exception of a basic knowledge in computer software and river ecology, no particular skills are necessary.

More information about the MesoHABSIM method and the info on past and future courses can be found at our website:

Environmental efficiency of mitigation measures implementation in hydropower: how much do we know?

This workshop is supported by Water New Zealand. 

Water New Zealand Logo for Workshop

Date: Sunday 19 November 2017

Duration: 9:00am - 2:30pm
Venue: Claudelands
Cost: $50 per person and includes morning tea and lunch

Based on the current knowledge on the efficiency and success of implementing mitigation measures in hydropower, we will bring together practitioners and scientists to share their experiences and views on the current status and way forward regarding efficiently implementing mitigation measures to meet environmental objectives. Taking into account a broad range of environmental objectives and climatic contexts, we will focus the discussions on three case studies focused on different mitigation types. Participants will be able to express their opinions and share their experiences through both mediated and open discussions. We consider this will be a very useful exercise to identify future environmental management directions in hydropower and to develop a long-lasting platform to discuss the way forward to efficiently implement mitigation options. We highly encourage participants from all sectors that may have some experience or interest on environmental design of hydropower to participate.

Ana Adeva Bustos, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Roser Casas-Mulet, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Martin Wilkes, Morten Stickler, John Conalin, Atle Harby, Hans-Petter Fjeldstad, Knut Alfredsen, Andrew Neverman.

Developing a decision support framework to guide eutrophication management and nutrient limit setting

Date: Sunday 19 November 2017
Time: 10.00am - 2.00pm
Venue: Claudelands Events Centre

Eutrophication is widespread in New Zealand and impacts on values such as recreation, life-supporting capacity of waterways, and food-gathering, while productive use of land use often releases nutrients responsible for eutrophication. Relating nutrient loads to eutrophication effects is critical for establishing nutrient load limits under NZ’s national water quality policies but, quantitatively, such relationships are highly uncertain. Research in NIWA’s Strategic Science Investment Fund Research Programme on Eutrophication Science for Water Reforms: Linking Nutrient Loading to Effects in Freshwater & Estuaries is using a combination of experiments, statistical modelling, and integrated mechanistic modelling is quantifying relationships between nutrient loads and eutrophication responses across environments from streams to estuaries, and aims to present these in a structured accessible form suitable for nutrient limit-setting. To this end we are in the process of co-developing (with Regional Councils, central government and Iwi partners) a nationally-applicable decision support framework (DSF) that provides a structured approach for identifying nutrient-sensitive environments in the catchment-estuary system. This will guide users to fit-for-purpose tools for determining load changes required to achieve desired eutrophication states. The DSF will be applied in a catchment where community limit-setting deliberations are being conducted, to test and ensure suitability of the DSF and associated predictive tools. 

This workshop will outline our progress with the DSF development and seek feedback from workshop participants. The DSF will provide a tool of particular relevance to NZ resource management practitioners but we also welcome input from interested international participants.
There is no fee for attending this workshop. Lunch will be provided.
To register your interest for this workshop please contact Dr Fleur Matheson (NIWA): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Dr Sandy Elliott (NIWA): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NZ Functional Trait Database workshop

Date: Sunday 19 November 2017
Time: 10.00am - 3.00pm
Venue: Claudelands Events Centre
Register your interest

Many of the biological communities in degraded stream and river ecosystems have exceeded critical tipping points and are now locked in a resistant state making recovery and restoration difficult. One way of approaching ecosystem restoration is through understanding the functional traits across stressed and resilient communities. Multiple research groups around the country are currently compiling information on various functional traits (e.g., the role of traits in trophic food webs, characterizing life history and reproductive traits such as oviposition). This workshop will provide an opportunity for those involved or interested in functional trait information to come together to discuss current knowledge and to identify key gaps in information with the goal of developing a comprehensive national database of traits for New Zealand freshwater fauna and flora. The workshop is also intended to foster discussion on how the database, and functional traits, can be used to facilitate future research, restoration practice, and policy around freshwater management. To make the best use of participant’s time, skills and interest, some preparation work will need to be completed prior to the workshop. There will also be post-workshop opportunities for further involvement in the development of the traits database.
This workshop will have limited spaces so please register your interest using the google form below. There is no cost associated with attending this workshop as it has been funded via a New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge grant. Lunch and light snacks will be provided.

If you have any questions about the workshop please contact Helen Warburton (University of Canterbury) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The workshop will be co-facilitated by project leaders from the University of Canterbury (Helen Warburton, Catherine Febria, Kristy Hogsden) and NIWA (Elizabeth Graham, Brian Smith).


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