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Kevin Bishop

Kevin Bishop
My research identifies human influence aquatic ecosystems and distinguishes it from natural variability in space and time. Forestry, mercury, and hydrology are some of the major issues I have worked with in Europe and Africa. Since March 2016, I am SLU’s Pro Vice Chancellor with responsibility for Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. This part of SLUs mission provides the scientific basis for a more sustainable future. Societies must find better ways to use natural resources while protecting other ecosystem services like biodiversity and water quality. SLUs is an international leader in the producing this knowledge and putting it to work.


Commissions of trust

European Research Council Expert Evaluator (2014, 2016)

Director of the Uppsala Water Center 2004-2016

USAID-SIDA Securing Water for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development –

     Expert on the International Investment Advisory Council 2014-2016

Associate Editor, Hydrological Processes (2010- )


Recent Invited Talks and Convening of International Conference Sessions

European Geophysocal Union, Vienna, 2015 Convener: Runoff Generation in a Nordic

   Light: 30 Years with Water’s Journey from Rain to Stream

University of Saskatchewan - Breakthroughs in Water Security Guest Lecture Series 2014.

   “Biogeochemistry in northern aquatic systems: Lessons from the sandbox for a real world”



A central feature of my teaching is the use to which science is put in the establishment of a sustainable relationship with nature while making use of natural resources.


In recent years I have been responsible for two courses.


Aquatic Environmental Assessment for 2nd year Civil Engineering Students in the joint Uppsala University/SLU program for Environmental and Water Engineering.


Environmental Assessment for students in the joint Uppsala University/SLU program Master’s Program in Sustainable Development.


PhD Literature Seminar on Environmental Assessment


I also supervise MSc theses have have hosted interns from other countries who team up with graduate students and post-docs for 3 to 6 months.



I have been leading two major research Programs,
The Sino-Swedish Mercury Management Research Framework –
(SMAREF, see link below) and

Quantifying Weathering Rates for Sustainable Forestry (QWARTS, see link below)


My own research has four major foci

1) Hydrological connectivity that steers the dynamics water movement and the constituents it carries from catchments to surface waters at scales ranging from hillslopes and riparian zones to landscapes, especially in the context of sustainable forest management of nutrients.


2). Carbon cycling with the ultimate goal of predicting how climate/weather/landuse influences the aquatic conduit for carbon output and greenhouse gas evasion from landscapes.


3) Mercury’s cycling in the environment and the efforts to mitigate the impacts of this global pollutant. Fostering cooperation between Chinese and Sweden on methylation, land-atmopshere exchange, bioaccumulation and management of contaminated sites. (see SMaREF below)


4) The role of trees in Water security for the Ethiopian highlands with a focus on the hydrological regime at both locally and continental scales.



I began my education in practical forestry and went on to complete my undergraduate degree in Philosophy. A Marshall scholarship took me to England where I studied geography and hydrology, My Ph.D. thesis at Cambridge University “Episodic increases in stream acidity, catchment flow pathways and hydrograph separation” led me to SLUs Vindeln Forest Research station where a few weeks of planned field work led to several years in residence. I was appointed as the first Professor of Environmental Assessment at SLU in 1997. In 2010 I took up a professorship in Aquatic Climatology at Uppsala University. For the next six years, I split my time between SLU and UU and SLU, while also the director of the Uppsala Water Center in an effort to further inter university cooperation in the field of water. In 2017 I returned full time to SLU to serve as the Pro Vice Chancellor.



Research Students - Principal Supervisor (Completed: 14 Ph.D. & 3 Lic. – Ongoing: 5 Ph.D)

Stephan Köhler, SLU, The Role of Natural Organic Acids on pH and Buffering,  (Ph.D. 1999)

Filip Moldan, SLU, Modeling Reversal of Acidification on the Gårdsjön Covered Catchment,  (Ph.D. 1999)

Hjalmar Laudon, SLU, Separating Natural from Anthropogenic Acidity in the Spring Flood,  (Ph.D. 2000)

Lars Rapp, SLU, Improving Critical Loads for Surface Waters, (Ph.D. 2001)

Johanna Lindberg, SLU, Implementation of Environmental Quality Guidelines, (Lic. 2001)

Per-Erik Mellander, SLU, Soil Frost, Boreal Silviculture and Spring Water Stress in Trees (Ph.D. 2003)

Johan Temnerud, Örebro Univ., Landscape controls on surface water DOC and its ligands (Ph.D. 2005)

Neil Cory, Separating natural from anthropogenic Al in boreal surface waters (Ph.D. 2006)

Magnus Carlsson, Functional Assessment of Wetlands (Lic. started 2003)

Martin Erlandsson, Assessment of Acidification (Ph.D. 2009)

Marcus Wallin, Evasion of Greenhouse gases from headwater streams (Ph.D. 2011)

Rasmus Sorensen, Forest harvest effects on hydrology and methylmercury (Ph.D. 2009)

Solomon Gebrehiwot, Relating stream flow to forest cover change and community perception in the Koga watershed, Upper basin of the Blue Nile, Debub University, Awassa, Ethiopia (M.Sc. 2006)

Mattias Winterdahl Modeling climate influence on surface water DOC regimes across spatial and temporal scales (Ph.D. 2011)

Solomon Gebreyohannis Gebrehiwot, Securing dry season flow in the northwestern highlands of Ethiopia: How much can forest management help as the climate changes? (Ph.D. 2012)

Karin Eklöf, Effects of Forest Harvest on Water Quality, especially Mercury (Ph.D. 2012)

Adele Mputu, Aquatic Assessment of the running waters of Malebo, DRC: Linkages between fish populations, water chemistry, human influence and climate change (Lic. 2014)

Norbert Zanga, Aquatic Assessment of Lake Tumba, DRC: Linkages between fish populations, water chemistry, human influence and climate change (Lic. 2014)

Jean-Marc Mayotte, Drinking Water Security- Biological threats (Ph.D. started 2011 at Uppsala University Department of Earth Sciences)

Viveca Norén, Drinking Water Security- Management challenges (Ph.D. started 2011 at Uppsala University Department of Earth Sciences)

Julia Hytteborn - Water quality prediction using time series and modelling (PhD 2014 at Uppsala University Department of Earth Sciences)

Pianpian Wu – Mercury transfers from water to biota. (Ph.D. started 2013 at SLU)

Audrey Campeau- Does stream evasion of CO2 double the amount of terrestrial C exported by the Aquatic Conduit? The origin and age of evading CO2 has the answer. (Ph.D. started 2013 at UU Earth Sci.)

Baolin Wang - Interaction of Geochemistry and Biology on Hg Methylation in Boreal Peat (Ph.D. started 2016 at SLU)


Selected publications

A selection of publications (from over 200 refereed international journal articles)


Ameli, A., J.J. McDonnell, and K. Bishop (2016) The exponential decline in saturated hydraulic conductivity with depth: A novel method for exploring its effect on water flow paths and transit time distribution, Hydrological Processes

Eklof, K., R. Lidskog, and K. Bishop (2016), Managing Swedish forestry's impact on mercury in fish: Defining the impact and mitigation measures, Ambio, 45 Suppl 2, 163-174, doi:10.1007/s13280-015-0752-7.

Bishop and Seibert. 2015. A primer for hydrology: The beguiling simplicity of Water’s Way from Rain to Stream at 30. Hydrological Processes  29, 3443–3446

Akerblom, S., M. Meili and K. Bishop 2015. Organic Matter in Rain: An Overlooked Influence on Mercury Deposition." Environmental Science & Technology Letters 2(4): 128-132. . DOI: 10.1021/acs.estlett.5b00009

Gebrehiwot, S.G., Bewket W., and Bishop K. 2014. Community preceptions of forest-water relationships in the Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia. GeoJournal. 79:605–618, DOI 10.1007/s10708-013-9519-5

Wallin, M. B., S. Löfgren, M. Erlandsson, and K. Bishop (2014), Representative regional sampling of carbon dioxide and methane concentrations in hemiboreal headwater streams reveal underestimates in less systematic approaches, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 28, 465-479, doi:10.1002/2013GB004715..

Bishop, K., Beven. K., Destouni, G., Abrahamsson, K., Andersson, L., Johnsson, R., Rodhe, J., Hjerdt, N. (2009) Nature as the “natural” goal for water management: A Conversation. Ambio. 38(4):209-214.

Bishop, K., I. Buffam, M. Erlandsson, J. Fölster;  H. Laudon, J. Seibert, and J. Temnerud. (2008) Aqua Incognita: The Unknown Headwaters. Hydrological Processes 22:1239-1242.



Professor at the Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment; Division of Geochemistry and Hydrology
Telephone: +4618673131, +46706382517
Postal address:
Institutionen för vatten och miljö
Box 7050
750 07 UPPSALA
Visiting address: Lennart Hjelms väg 9, Uppsala