Rivers and Lochs Institute

The Rivers and Lochs Institute fully integrates training and education activities with cutting edge research, ensuring transfer of new knowledge to the heart of management practice.

This will significantly contribute to the delivery of :

  • Improved management practice
  • Healthier more productive freshwater systems
  • More sustainable resource use
  • Effective, informed support for communities and rural development
  • Best practice hydro and other renewable development Better understanding of the impact of climate change
  • Informed understanding of the consequences of aquaculture development
  • Improved data that will allow more accurate targeting of conservation measures to protect threatened components of fish stocks.
  • Insights into river of origin fish in coastal and high seas mixed stock fisheries and the regional origin of fish caught at sea

The Rivers and Lochs Institute aims to develop and deliver bespoke research, education and training to support management for change and adaptation in freshwater biodiversity. It has the potential to become a world leader in this field, located in the heart of the Highlands and Islands where the importance of the freshwater environment is vital to a thriving economy.

Established in 2012 the RLI specialises in using molecular genetics to better understand freshwater biodiversity. Using molecular genetics it is now possible to :

  • determine what species are present in a river or loch by analysing a sample of water
  • establish whether a river’s stock of fish is composed of multiple breeding populations
  • determine whether breeding populations differ in run-timing, growth, sea-age and ability to deal with environmental differences related to pH, temperature, flow conditions


Contact Us

Professor Eric Verspoor
Director, The Rivers and Lochs Institute,
Inverness College UHI, 3 Longman Road, Inverness, IV1 1SA
t: +44 (0)1463 273226
m: +44 (0)7827 955591

Dr Melanie Smith
Head of Research & Postgraduate Development
Inverness College UHI, 3 Longman Road, Inverness, IV1 1SA
t: +44 (0)1463 273080
m: +44 (0)7825 833789