Kieran Khamis

Kieran Khamis

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Research Associate (KTP)

Contact details

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

Kieran is an environmental scientist with a particular interest in freshwater systems. His research is split into two key areas:

  1. assessing the impacts of environmental change (i.e. glacier retreat and droughts) on the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems, and;
  2. unravelling dissolved organic matter and nutrient dynamics in anthropogenically modified river systems (i.e. urban and agricultural).

His research is largely empirically based and involves the use of in-situ monitoring across environmental gradients in real ecosystems, alongside mesocosm scale experimentation. He has also developed new techniques for high-frequency monitoring of organic pollution using fluorescence based, in-situ sensors.


2014: PhD Alpine Hydro-ecology. University of Birmingham

2007: MSc Conservation Biology. Manchester Metropolitan University

2004 : BSc Geography. Manchester Metropolitan University


After completing a BSc and MSc at Manchester Metropolitan University Kieran worked for 3 years as an Invertebrate Taxonomist at APEM ltd. In 2010 he undertook an EU funded PhD at the University of Birmingham supervised by Professors Alexander Milner and David Hannah and Dr. Lee Brown (University of Leeds). His doctoral research focused on identifying the impact of climate change on alpine river ecosystems. He is currently working as a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham exploring the impacts of environmental change on the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems.


Research interests

  • Hydroecology of mountainous and upland environments
  • Freshwater invertebrate taxonomy
  • Community ecology
  • Water quality
  • Fluorescence spectroscopy

Other activities

  • British Ecological Society
  • Freshwater Biological Association
  • British Hydrological Society


Finn, D. S., K. Khamis, and A. M. Milner. 2013. Loss of small glaciers will diminish beta diversity in Pyrenean streams at two levels of biological organization. Global Ecology and Biogeography 22:40–51.

Khamis K, M. Hill, D. M. Hannah, A.M. Milner, L.E. Brown, E. Castella. 2014. Alpine aquatic ecosystem conservation policy in a changing climate. Environmental Science and Policy. 43:39-55.

Khamis. K, DM. Hannah, L. E. Brown, R. Tiberi and Milner A. M. 2014. Climate change and alpine aquatic ecosystem response. Science of the Total Environment. 493:1242-54.

Khamis K, A. M. Milner, D. M. Hannah and L. E. Brown. 2015. Predation modifies macroinvertebrate community structure in alpine stream mesocosms. Freshwater Science. 43:39-55.

Khamis K, Brown LE, Milner AM, Hannah DM. 2015. Heat exchange processes and thermal dynamics of a glacier-fed alpine stream. Hydrological Processes 29:3306–3317. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10433.

Khamis K, Sorensen JPR, Bradley C, Hannah DM, Lapworth DJ, Stevens R. 2015. In situ tryptophan-like fluorometers: assessing turbidity and temperature effects for freshwater applications. Environmental science. Processes & impacts 17:740–52. DOI: 10.1039/c5em00030k

Blaen PJ, Khamis K, Lloyd CEM, Bradley C, Hannah D, Krause S. 2016. Real-time monitoring of nutrients and dissolved organic matter in rivers: Capturing event dynamics, technological opportunities and future directions. Science of the Total Environment 569: 647–660. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.06.116.

Khamis K, Brown LE, Hannah DM, Milner AM. 2016. Glacier-groundwater stress gradients control alpine river biodiversity. Ecohydrology 9: 1263–1275. DOI: 10.1002/eco.1724.

Khamis K, Bradley C, Stevens R, Hannah DM. 2017. Continuous field estimation of dissolved organic carbon concentration and biochemical oxygen demand using dual-wavelength fluorescence, turbidity and temperature. Hydrological Processes 31: 540–555. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.11040

Milner AM, Khamis K et al. 2017. Glacier shrinkage driving global changes in downstream systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114: 9770–9778. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1619807114

Blaen PJ, Khamis K, et al. 2017. High-frequency monitoring of catchment nutrient exports reveals highly variable storm event responses and dynamic source zone activation. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 122: 2265–2281.DOI: 10.1002/2017JG003904

Khamis K, Bradley C, Hannah DM. 2017. Understanding dissolved organic matter dynamics in urban catchments: insights from in situ fluorescence sensor technology. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water. DOI: 10.1002/wat2.1259

Brown LE, Khamis K, et al. 2017. Globally consistent responses of invertebrates to environmental change. Nature Ecology & Evolution. DOI: 10.1038/s41559-017-0426-x

View all publications in research portal