Ioanna (Joanna) Akoumianaki

Senior Science Policy Specialist
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
T: +44 (0)1224 395151

Joanna joined the James Hutton Institute in October 2013. She delivers demand-driven science mainly through Scotland’s Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW), a partnership between the Hutton and Higher Education Institutes (HEIs). Her work is at the interface of water resource management, water governance and policy. Joanna has studied biology and aquatic ecology (University of Crete, 1992; 1997) and catchment management and hydrology (University of Dundee, 2013). She is interested in how evidence on environmental change and its impacts on biodiversity and biogeochemical cycling can be used for tackling the causes of water resource degradation. Her PhD (University of Crete, 2004) focused on identifying the impacts of sediment runoff on benthic biodiversity and dynamics in a transitional water ecosystem supporting tourism and commercial fisheries.  Her postdoctoral research (Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, 2004-2010) explored the factors influencing the recycling of catchment-derived organic matter in transitional and marine ecosystems to inform environmental modelling. Joanna has long-term practical experience in project management and knowledge transfer from research into teaching and policy-practitioner workshops.

Joanna combines her in-depth knowledge of environmental legislation and catchment processes with the use of GIS techniques to bring scientific research into policy-making. Joanna’s experience allows her to evaluate evidence from a variety of scientific disciplines in relation to current and emerging policy perspectives in Scotland and internationally. Key to her work is liaising with colleagues, regulators and stakeholders from varying backgrounds to achieve the best possible outcome. To date, she has led and supported a wide range of projects on drinking water supplies and river basin management to address specific policy challenges facing the Drinking Water Quality Regulator (DWQR), Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), such as:

  • Governance and management of small rural water supplies in EU and internationally
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the Rural Diffuse Pollution Plan in Scotland
  • Supporting the development of the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP) 2014-20 to deliver WFD objectives
  • Benefits of private water supply grants in Scotland
  • Reviewing techniques for monitoring fine sediments in streams supporting pearl-mussel beds
  • Radon in groundwater drinking water supplies in Scotland
  • Water quality and radon in Scotland and internationally
  • Assessing the combined effectiveness of Scotland’s rural diffuse pollution measures in reducing FIO from a livestock catchment

A Review of the state of the art in scenario modelling for environmental management: potential for application in achieving the Swedish environmental objectives


Prior to appointment


  • Akoumianaki, I.; Capet, A. (2020) Models at the service of marine nature-based solutions, In: Sang, N. (ed.) Modelling Nature-based Solutions: Integrating Computational and Participatory Scenario Modelling for Environmental Management and Planning. Cambridge University Press, 152-209


Conference posters