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 Fredric Morgan Windsor

Fredric Morgan Windsor

Research student, School of Biosciences


Research Overview

Providing a fusion of population, community and food web ecology, in conjunction with aspects of other disciplines such as ecotoxicology, my work looks to provide an ecologically driven, yet interdisciplinary assessment of aquatic ecosystems at a range of spatial and temporal scales. Specific themes include:

  1. Ecotoxicology of river ecosystems (persistent pollutants, plastics)
  2. Hydroecology of high latitude river ecosystems
  3. The ecology of aquatic invertebrates

Developing solutions to the problems facing freshwater ecosystems is also an important output of this research, working within the European Federation for Freshwater Science and the Cardiff University Water Research Institute provides significant outlets for research dissemination.

More information on my career and research themes are detailed under 'Research'.


Research interests

Research Overview

Having previously worked at the University of Birmingham, I came to Cardiff to complete a PhD on the transfers and effects of persistent pollutants in freshwater ecosystems. During my time at Birmingham and Cardiff I have developed a range of interests relating to the ecology of river systems, with specific focuses on community- and food web-level processes. Over this time we have collated evidence on a range of pollutants, including showing for the first time the entrance of microplastics into the basal levels of river food webs. The major focus on ecosystem-scale processes forms the basis for my work, beit investigating persistent pollutants in lowland river systems or the processes responsible for structuring communities in terrestrial ecosystems.


Hydroecology of high latitude river systems

Starting off as a ecologist interested in the invertebrate communities of high latitude stream systems in Alaska, I continue to work on the relationships between hydrological and ecological systems within these iconic stream systems. Collaborating with researchers at the University of Birmingham, University of Leeds and Coventry University we have begun to build evidence surrounding the response of these systems to climate change.

Transfer and effects of persistent pollutants in freshwater

Persistent pollutants continue to present an ecological risk to UK river systems. During my PhD I investigated the spatial distribution, source-dynamics, biological transfers and potential ecological effects of pollutants across South Wales. This research provides some of the only evidence indicating the effects of persistent pollutants at community- and food web-levels, as well as demonstrating the potential for trophic cascades within natural systems.

Microplastics in river ecosystems

As well as persistent organic pollutants, microplastics were detected during my PhD work in south Welsh river systems. This work provided some of the first assessments of microplastics in UK river systems, prompting a review of evidence by the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee of the National Assembly for Wales. We continue to investigate the interactions between organisms and plastics within freshwater ecosystems.


Current and recent sponsors, partners and collaborators include:

  • Natural Environment Research Council (GW4+ Studentship)
  • Natural Resources Wales
  • The Environment Agency
  • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • British Ecological Society
  • National Park Service (USA)
  • United States Geological Survey (USA)
  • The National Assembly for Wales


Windsor, F.M. (2014). A multi-scalar analysis of habitat characteristics associated with the Noble Chafer beetle Gnorimus nobilis in south Worcestershire. Worcestershire Record, 37, 54-66.ISSN: 1 1475-9616

Windsor, F.M., Grocott, M.T. & Milner, A.M. (2017). An inter-catchment assessment of macroinvertebrate communities across groundwater-fed stream systems within Denali National Park, interior Alaska. Hydrobiologia, 785, 373-384. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-016-2944-y

Windsor, F.M., Ormerod, S.J. & Tyler, C.R. (2018). Endocrine disruption in aquatic ecosystems: Upscaling research for addressing ecological consequences. Biological Reviews. 93: 626-641. DOI: 10.1111/brv.12360

Gordon, T.A.C., Harding, H.R., Clever, F.K., Davidson, I.K., Davison, W., Montgomery, D.W., Weatherhead, R.C., Windsor, F.M., Armstrong, J.D., Bardonnet, A., Bergman, E., Britton, J.R.,Côté, I.M., D'agostino, D., Greenberg, L.A., Harborne, A.R., Kahilainen, K.K., Metcalfe, N.B., Mills, S.C., Milner, N.J., Mittermayer, F.H., Montorio, L., Nedelec, S.L., Prokkola, J.M., Rutterford, L.A., Salvanes, A.G.V., Simpson, S.D., Vainikka, A., Pinnegar, J.K., & Santos, E.M.(2018) Fish in a changing world: Past successes and future challenges. Journal of Fish Biology. 92, 804-827. DOI: 10.1111/jfb.13546

Windsor, F.M., Tilley, R.M., Tyler, C.R. & Ormerod, S.J.(2018). Microplastic ingestion by riverine macroinvertebrates. Science of the Total Environment. 646, 68-74. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.271


University of Birmingham

  • Remote sensing of the Cryosphere (2014-2015)

Cardiff University

  • Statistical methods for Biologists (2016-2017)
  • Ecosysystem Processes (2015-2018)
  • Freshwater aquatic ecology field course (2017)
  • Water Security Massively Open Online Course (2018)


The transfers and effects of persistent organic pollutants in freshwater food webs

Funding source