Calum McNeil, Freshwater Scientist

Calum MacNeil 

Freshwater Scientist

Role at Cawthron

Calum is a freshwater and invasion ecologist. He researches how freshwater communities function and how the arrival of invasive species can disrupt native ecosystems. Throughout his career in the United Kingdom, Isle of Man, Netherlands, the United States, and New Zealand, Calum has developed considerable expertise in river health monitoring and catchment management, including environmental risk assessments and water quality monitoring using invertebrates, fish and chemical analysis, as well as pollution detection and control. He has worked with citizen science and farming groups to design river health monitoring programmes and recently developed biosecurity and risk assessments for freshwater fish farming and translocations.

Technical skills, experience and interests

  • Freshwater invasive species, especially freshwater shrimp species
  • Roles of predation and parasitism in biological invasions
  • Trout and salmon diets and ecology
  • Freshwater macroinvertebrate community ecology and taxonomy
  • Biosecurity and risk assessments related to freshwater translocations and fish farming
  • River health monitoring for citizen science groups and government
  • Freshwater legislation and resource consents
  • Science communication


  • BSc Biology. Stirling University, Scotland, U.K.
  • PhD Ecology, Queens University Belfast, Northern Ireland, U.K.
  • T90 Essential Enforcement (water) – Environment Agency of England and Wales

Professional Affiliations

  • Invasivenet
  • New Zealand Freshwater Sciences Society
  • Deputy Editor-in-Chief of ‘Management of Biological Invasions’
  • Associate Editor ‘Aquatic invasions’, ‘Bioinvasion Records’
Calum McNeil, Freshwater Scientist