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Meet the MARS team: Anne Lyche Solheim

March 27, 2014
Anne taking samples from a Norwegian lake for the WISER project, 2009.

Anne taking samples from a Norwegian lake for the WISER project, 2009.

Anne Lyche Solheim is a senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA).  Her specialisations include the ecological assessment of freshwaters for the Water Framework Directive, and the co-ordination and implementation of major European Union projects including WISER and REBECCA.  We spoke to Anne about her work for the MARS project and her plans for future research.

1. What is your focus of your work in MARS? 

As a leader of the MARS Work Package 8, communication and dissemination of results to stakeholders is my main focus.

However, I am also involved in the Work Package 3 experimental work in deep lake mesocosms to study the impacts of combined eutrophication and climate change pressures on the risk of harmful algal blooms in stratified lakes.

2. Why is your work important?

MARS is a policy support project, so it is vitally important that our results are effectively communicated and discussed with water managers at river basin level as well as national and European Union level.

The aim is to provide support for the 3rd river basin management plans required by the Water Framework Directive concerning how to find the best mix of mitigation and adaptation measures to counteract multiple pressures on European waters and ensure good status and provision of ecosystem services.

3. What are the key challenges for freshwater management in Europe? 

The key challenges are to improve the poor ecological status presently occurring in the majority of European lakes and rivers, and also to implement the ecologically best measures to mitigate against and/or adapt to floods and droughts.

To meet these challenges the whole water catchment and all sectors using the water for food and energy production must be taken into account.

4. Tell us about a memorable experience in your career.

The two years I worked as a visiting scientist at JRC-Ispra in 2006-2007, contributing to the Water Framework Directive intercalibration of classification systems for ecological status assessment in lakes and also gaining better understanding of the impacts of climate change.

These years were an eye-opener on the importance of science-policy communication, and a door-opener to international water management related projects.

5. What inspired you to become a scientist?

A television programme on the negative impacts of water pollution in Norway’s largest river and downstream estuary.

6. What are your plans and ambitions for your future scientific work? 

To do the MARS deep lake mesocosm experiments and find out whether climate change will cause harmful algal blooms to occur at lower nutrient levels than earlier.

Otherwise, to contribute to the European Freshwater Ecosystem Assessment and the EU Biodiversity strategy 2020 by assessing the potential for harmonisation of the Water Framework Directive and the Habitats Directive based on an analysis of their systems of typology and status assessments.

Finally, to influence the Water Framework Directive revision in 2018 using outputs from MARS and other projects and processes.

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