Prof. Dr. Ken Irvine, born in Dublin, has worked on a range of lakes and catchments in Europe and Africa, gaining broad experience of the global challenges facing water and habitat quality. After gaining a PhD in 1987 at the University of East Anglia (U.K) for a study on shallow lake food webs, he worked as a Nature Conservation Officer for the U.K. Nature Conservancy Council, before moving to study ecosystem structure and estimating the secondary production of Lake Malawi in Africa. From there, in 1994 he moved to Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and spent a decade and a half grabbling with the intricacies of policy and ecology to support the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive. His alter ego continued to work on the African Great Lakes of Malawi and Tanganyika, and the ecology of the Makgadikgadi salt pans of Botswana. In 2011 he moved to IHE Delft Institute of Water Education in the Netherlands to engage more fully in research and teaching to support capacity development. He heads up the Aquatic Ecosystems Group whose research is mainly on the biogeochemical processes, ecological assessment and capacity development within African wetlands. This necessarily requires a social-ecological perspective for the understanding and management of wetlands. The Aquatic Ecosystems Chair Group is an invited observer to the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel, and together with them, Ken was on the editorial team in producing The Wetland Book (Springer), which will be major source of information on global wetlands. As part of a special anniversary issue produced by the editorial board of Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, Ken was lead author in an open access article on tropical conservation. Other recent outreach work includes working on capacity development within the Danube basin, Integrated Water Resource Management in India and S.E. Asia, and development of an Integrated Management Plan for the Lower Mara, Tanzania. Through his work at IHE, he continues to learn about the complexities and wicked problems of sustainable use of water and ecosystems. This has led to a collaboration with colleagues involved in citizen science and a new project in Women and Water for Change in Communities in Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda.
Recent publications span ecology to policy and includes working with colleagues from other disciplines, institutes and Chair Groups.