Helen Bennion is a freshwater diatomist and palaeolimnologist. She has over 20 years experience working on the impacts of eutrophication on lakes over a range of time-scales and employing lake sediment records to assess environmental change, reference conditions and restoration targets. She is interested in the application of science to lake management and conservation, and is an invited member of the Environment Agency expert panel on diatom quality assurance. She has published over 100 scientific papers and reports.

Current Position

Principal Research Consultant (Ensis Ltd), Reader in Environmental Change (UCL)

Professional Affiliations

  • Elected Member of the International Advisory Committee of the International Paleolimnology Association
  • Member of the Freshwater Biological Association

Selected Publications

Battarbee, R.W., Anderson, N.J., Bennion, H. & Simpson, G.L. (2012) Combining limnological and palaeolimnological data to disentangle the effects of nutrient pollution and climate change on lake ecosystems: problems and potential. Freshwater Biology 57, 2091–2106.

Dong, X., Bennion, H., Maberly, S., Sayer, C.D., Simpson, G.L. & Battarbee, R.W. (2012) Nutrients exert a stronger control than climate on recent diatom communities in Esthwaite Water: evidence from monitoring and palaeolimnological records. Freshwater Biology 57, 2044–2056.

Bennion, H., Carvalho, L., Sayer, C., Simpson, G. & Wischnewski, J. (2012) Identifying from recent sediment records the effects of nutrients and climate on diatom dynamics in Loch Leven. Freshwater Biology 57(10), 2015–2029.

Sayer, C.D., Bennion, H., Davidson, T.A., Burgess, A., Clarke, G., Hoare, D., Frings, P & Hatton-Ellis, T. (2012) The application of palaeolimnology to evidence-based lake management and conservation: examples from UK lakes. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 22, 165–180.

Battarbee, R.W. & Bennion, H. (2011) Palaeolimnology and its developing role in assessing the history and extent of human impact on lake ecosystems. Journal of Paleolimnology, 45, 399–404.

Battarbee, R.W., Morley, D., Bennion, H., Simpson, G.L., Hughes, M & Bauere V. (2011) A palaeolimnological meta-database for assessing the ecological status of lakes. Journal of Paleolimnology, 45, 405–414.

Bennion, H. & Simpson G.L. (2011) The use of diatom records to establish reference conditions for UK lakes subject to eutrophication. Journal of Paleolimnology, 45, 469–488.

Bennion, H., Battarbee, R.W., Sayer, C.D., Simpson, G.L. & Davidson, T.A. (2011) Defining reference conditions and restoration targets for lake ecosystems using palaeolimnology: a synthesis. Journal of Paleolimnology, 45, 533–544.

Bennion, H., Simpson, G.L., Anderson, N.J., Clarke, G., Dong, X., Hobaeck, A., Guilizzoni, P., Marchetto, A., Sayer, C.D., Thies, H. & Tolotti. M. (2011) Defining ecological and chemical reference conditions and restoration targets for nine European lakes. Journal of Paleolimnology, 45, 415–431.

Davidson T.A., Bennion, H., Jeppesen, E., Clarke, G.H., Sayer, C.D., Morley, D., Odgaard, B., Rasmusen P., Rawcliffe, R., Salgado, J., Simpson, G.L. & Amsinck, S.L. (2011) The role of cladocerans in tracking long-term change in shallow lake trophic status. Hydrobiologia 676, 299–315.

Kelly, M., Bennion, H., Burgess, A., Ellis, J., Juggins, S., Guthrie, R., Jamieson, J., Adriaenssens, V., & Yallop, M. (2009) Uncertainty in ecological status assessments of lakes and rivers using diatoms. Hydrobiologia 633, 5–15.

Moss, B. Hering D., Green, A.J, Adoud, A., Becares, E., Beklioglu, M., Bennion, H., Boix, D., Brucet, S., Carvalho, L., Clement, B., Davidson, T., Declerck, S., Dobson, M., van Donk, E., Dudley, B., Feuchtmayr, H., Friberg, N., Grenouillet, G., Hillebrand, H., Hobaek, A., Irvine, K., Jeppesen, E., Johnson, R., Jones, I., Kernan, M., Lauridsen, T., Manca, M., Meerhof, M., Olafsson, J., Ormerod, S., Papastergiadou, E., Penning, W.E., Ptacnik, R., Quintana, X., Sandin, L., Seferlis, M., Simpson, G., Trigal, C., Verdonschot, P., Verschoor, A. & Weyhenmeyer, G. (2009) Climate change and the future of freshwater biodiversity in Europe: a primer for policy-makers. Freshwater Reviews 2, 103–130.

Bennion, H. & Battarbee, R. (2007) The European Union Water Framework Directive: opportunities for palaeolimnology. Journal of Paleolimnology 38, 285–295.

King L., Clarke G., Bennion, H., Kelly, M. & Yallop, M. (2006) Recommendations for sampling littoral diatoms in lakes for ecological status assessments: a literature review. Journal of Applied Phycology 18, 15–25.

Leira, M., Jordan, P., Taylor, D., Dalton, C., Bennion, H., Rose, N. & Irvine, K. (2006) Assessing the ecological status of candidate reference lakes in Ireland using palaeolimnology. Journal of Applied Ecology 43, 816–827.

Bennion, H., Hilton, J., Hughes, M., Clark, J., Hornby, D., Fozzard, I., Phillips, G. & Reynolds, C. (2005). The use of a GIS-based inventory to provide a national assessment of standing waters at risk from eutrophication in Great Britain. Science of the Total Environment 344, 259–273.

Bennion, H., Johnes, P., Ferrier, R., Phillips, G. & Haworth, E. (2005). A comparison of diatom phosphorus transfer functions and export coefficient models as tools for reconstructing lake nutrient histories. Freshwater Biology 50, 1651–1670.

Bennion, H., Fluin, J. & Simpson, G.L. (2004). Assessing eutrophication and reference conditions for Scottish freshwater lochs using subfossil diatoms. Journal of Applied Ecology 41, 124–138.