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Rupert Perkins  RG

Dr Rupert Perkins



School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

+44 29208 75026
Main Building, Room 1.33A, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision


I am a biologist and specialise in microalgal and cyanobacteria productivity in freshwater and marine systems. I am especially interested in finding practical applied solutions to water industry needs regarding water quality supply issues. This involves working closely with and within Water Companies to listen to their needs concerning water quality issues linked with biological causes, especially cyanobacteria. I have spent time seconded to the Welsh water and worked as their Catchment Limnologist and still work closley with them on the widespread global issue of poor water quality linked to cyanobacterial metabolites (MIB and geosmin) which cause poorTaste and Odour (T&O) supplied to customers or resulting in expensive treatment costs.

I am also active in areas of algal biotechnology reserach (marennine production by "blue" diatoms), marine eutrophication and cold climate microbial productivity (Greenland Fjords and glacial algal productivity.

I am a pssionate teacher and lecture on modules on marine biology and data analysis on the Geography degree programmes at Cardiff University.

I am the School Director for equality, Diversity and Inclusivity, an important focus I am also passionate about.





















Book sections


My main collaborations concern drinking water reservoir management working closely with the water supply industry, but am also interested in other areas of microalgal research including biotechnology, coastal eutrophication and cold climate marine productivity:

UK Water Industry: I collaborate closely with many UK Water Companies. This has included a NERC funded secondment to DCWW welsh water with whom I have worked closely since 2016 on reservoir management with a special focus on Taste and Odour metabolites resulting in poor water quality and requiring expensive treatment to avoid customer complaints. I co-lead the Reservoir Management Special Interest Group which is the successor to the UK Water Industry Taste and Odour Working Group which was establishment though my work with Welsh Water. Through various linked PhD projects I also work closely with Bristol Water and Anglian water and recently with Yorkshire water, Jersey Water and United Utlitities. I am also working with overseas water supply companies on tatse and dour and general reservoir management (New York, USA and Sanasa, Brazil). I am currently working with several water companies on an OfWat Innovation in Water Challenge (IWC) grant on using eDNA for Taste and Odour monitoring in drinking water reservoirs

Algal biotechnology: I am a work package lead on a Horizons 2020 Marie Curie project investigating the production of marrenine pigments by “blue diatoms” Haslea. This project (GHANA) is the sequel to a previous EU H2020  project (Biovadia). The project has 21 partners from 14 countries. I lead on investigating the photophysiology of Haslea diatoms in order to maximise productivity and pigment production. The project is lead by Universite du Maine (Le Mans) with whom I work closely as well as having made several secondments to work at Mount Allison University, Canada.

Coastal Eutrophication: I am a work package lead on a Global Challenges Research Fund project collaborating with Hanoi university of Science and Technology (HUST) studying cultural eutrophication in HaLong Bay.

Cold climate research: I am a partner with IcyLab, a Bristol University project investigating productivity in the vicinity of the Labrador current around Greenland. I have worked on two cruises using variable chlorophyll fluorescence and molecular (eDNA) methods to determine spatial patterns in Greenland Fjord productivity. I have also collaborated with workers from several other UK Universities on glacial microbial community productivity (ice algae and cryoconite) in Svalbard and Greenland, principally collaborating with Bristol university as a partner on the Black and Bloom project.


As a passionatre teacher I lecture on several modules and lead or assist on several field trips. The latter I feel is by far the best way to learn: learning by hands on experience.

My current teaching includes:-

Year 1: EA1308 Understanding the Living Planet. I teach on photosynthesis and freshwater and marine ecosystems. How do sepcies adapt and aclclimate to their environments and what controls biodicersity and species dominance?

Year2: EA2311 Coastal Systems. I am module lead and teach on a wide range of marine ecosystems and species ranging from esturaies and rocky shores to coral reefs and marine mammals.

Year 2 EA2307 Geographical Field Skills and Data Analysis. I teach data analysis skills, principally statistics.

Year3 / Final Year EA3211 Marine Conservation Science. I am module lead and sole contributor covering how science is used in marine conserbation. What is the quality of data avaliable, how can it be used, how does it vary relative to spatial scales of conservation management. The module uses fisheries and biodiversity as case studies to teach data analysis and use in conservation management.

Marine Geography Final Year field course (Greece/Spain). I am module lead and established this field course in Greece in which the areas of Marine Geography, primarily coastal biodiversity, hydrographic survey, water qaulity and coastal management, are synthesised to demonstrate how Marine Geographers skkillsets encompass the full rnage on required for understanding and managing coastal marine systems.

Marine Geography Second Year Field Course (Malta/Jersy). I am a main contributor teaching on coastal biodiversity through hands on survey techniques (snorkel surveys in Malata, rocky shore intertidal surveys in Jersey).

I supervise a wide range of final year BSc and MESci reserach projects ranging from freshwater reservoir systems to coral reefs and marine mammals.


  • Senior Lecturer – School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Cardiff University (2004 – current)
  • Senior Research Fellow - University of St. Andrews (June 2001 – July 200)
  • Senior PDRA – Department of Biology, University of Essex (January 1999 – January 2001)
  • Ph.D. - Department of Biology, University of Essex (October 1994 – October 1997)
  • BSc. (Hons) Department of Biology University of Essex (October 1991 – July 1994)

Professional memberships

I am a memebr of the British Phycological Society and work on their Outreach and engagemnent Committee.

I am co-lead of the Water security allainace UK Water industry Reservoir Management Special Interest Group

Academic positions

  • Cardiff University Sept 2004 – Current. Senior Lecturer in Marine Biosciences.
  • University of St. Andrews, June 2001 – July 2004. Senior Research Fellow
  • University of Essex, January 1999 – January 2001. Senior PDRA

Committees and reviewing

I am an Associate Editor of the European Journal of Phycology and the journal Marine Policy.

I have reviewed manuscripts fopr journals such as Water research, Limnology and Oceanopgraphy, Marine Ecology Progress (MEPS), Esuraine Coastal shelf Science and many others.

I am a member of the NERC Peer review College and have reviewed =grants for the US NSF and Portuguese FCT.


Catchment Management

Cyanobacterial taste and odour metabolites (MIB and geosmin)

Harmful algal blooms

Reservoir and lake nutrient dynamics

Algal productivty


Current supervision

Annalise Hooper

Annalise Hooper

Research student

Inge Elfferich

Inge Elfferich

Research student