Isabel (“Izzy”) Bishop is Freshwater Research Lead at Earthwatch.
The theses of her BSc in Geography (University College London), MSc in Aquatic Resource Management (Kings College London, and PhD (University College London) all focussed on the conservation of freshwater environments.
Izzy has always had a fascination with rivers, streams, ponds, and wetlands, but her scientific interest in fresh water began during her BSc degree. Supervised by freshwater researchers at UCL’s Environmental Change Research Centre, she worked with her local community in her Shropshire hometown to investigate whether their garden ponds were contributing to regional aquatic plant diversity. Her MSc in Aquatic Resource Management was industry-focussed, and this experience inspired her desire to move towards more applied research on the long-term impacts that humans have on freshwater ecosystems. Her PhD, which was co-funded by the Scottish government, explored the causes of the disappearance of a rare aquatic plant from the British landscape. Her research led to her making specific recommendations related to the future conservation of the species and the lakes in which it persists.
A geographer by training, Izzy is deeply motivated by a drive to understand complex interactions between environmental and social systems. In her role at Earthwatch, she works alongside Steven Loiselle to lead the global freshwater citizen science project FreshWater Watch. This project brings together more than 40 agency and research institutes over six continents, and Izzy enjoys working with citizen scientists and stakeholders across the world to help protect and restore freshwater environments in the face of global change.