Phillip Blaen

Phillip Blaen

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Doctoral Researcher

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Title of PhD: Hydroecological response of Arctic rivers to climate change

Supervisors: Alexander Milner, David Hannah

Phillip Blaen’s research involves understanding how climate change will affect the insects that live in Arctic rivers. He is focussing on building links between aquatic invertebrate (chironomid) populations and their habitat conditions using primary data collected during field seasons to Svalbard in 2010 and 2011. By identifying the major environmental factors which drive these invertebrate populations, he will be able to infer how future climatic changes may affect Arctic freshwater biodiversity in the 21st Century.

Phillip’s current work is funded by a studentship awarded by the UK National Environment Research Council.


  • BSc Geography (Birmingham, 2008) First Class Honours
  • MSc Environmental Science and Management (University of York, 2009) Distinction


Phillip Blaen previously studied Geography to degree level at the University of Birmingham before undertaking a Masters in Environmental Science and Management at the University of York. While at York he developed a keen interest in the hydrology and ecology of Arctic rivers which resulted in a one-month fieldwork expedition to Svalbard as part of his Masters dissertation. This research led to his current PhD work at Birmingham.


Hydrology, ecology, Arctic and alpine river systems , glacial environments, freshwater macroinvertebrate communities

Research group

Water Sciences

Other activities

Phillip Blaen recently convened a national British Hydrological Conference at the University of Birmingham entitled ‘River Temperature: research and management in a changing climate’, funded in-part by a £600 grant from the University Graduate School. With over 40 delegates, the conference attracted speakers and audience members from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds including hydrology, engineering, climatology and freshwater biology.

Phillip is also organising the BHS Peter Wolf Early Career Hydrologist's Conference, a two-day event to be held at the University of Birmingham in April 2012.

In his spare time, Phillip likes to spend as much time as possible in the mountains where he enjoys climbing and skiing.


Blaen, P.J., Hannah, D.M. & Milner, A.M. Water temperature dynamics in High Arctic rivers, UK Arctic Science Conference, September, 2011 (Poster Presentation)

Blaen, P.J., Brown, L.E., Hannah, D.M. & Milner, A.M. Water temperature dynamics in High Arctic river basins (Paper in prep.)

View all publications in research portal