Skip to navigation Skip to content

Rachel Helliwell

Staff picture: Rachel Helliwell
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Environmental and Biochemical Sciences
Senior Research Scientist
rachel.helliwell@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

 

Rachel Helliwell is a senior research scientist in the Hydrology and Biogeochemistry Group. She has over 23 years of research experience in catchment science. The key aim of her work is improve knowledge of catchment biogeochemical processes and hydrological cycles affecting the interactions between landscapes, their management and the resulting impacts on water quality and quantity. She is also interested in understanding the future impact of environmental drivers (e.g. climate, land management) on biogeochemical processes, hydrology and hydrochemistry.

Much of Rachel’s work has strongly applied and policy relevant aspects; for example, she has co-ordinated and participated in a number International and national funded projects in support of the EU Water Framework Directive and the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6.

Rachel has communicated the results from her research through engagement with a range of stakeholders to maximise its relevance and impact; co-ordinated the Scenarios Working Group on behalf of the Main Research Providers in Scotland and instigated collaborative research activities between Government/ Academics/ Industrial partners/ Environmental agencies and Practitioners.

Current research interests

Rachel is currently working with the Water Industry Team at the Scottish Government to develop the Hydro Nation International programme, an initiative geared towards the delivery of Sustainable Development Goal 6 (Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030). She is responsible for projects in India and Malawi and currently coordinates a decentralised waste water treatment project, designed with a local community for a rural school in India.

Rachel is particularly interested in co-designing her research with stakeholder groups to ensure it is relevant, fit for purpose and the translation of scientific information is effectively communicated to regulators, policy makers, industry and the general public. She is currently focusing on the development of new initiatives to build capacity in her area of work and ensure a sustainable legacy of projects beyond the period of funding.

As part of her commitment to the Scottish Government's Strategic Research Programme, Rachel is leading a project on river temperatures in Scotland. The research has shown evidence that Scottish rivers are warming. Increases can be attributed to rising air temperatures in spring, less snow accumulation during winter, and earlier snow melt. A factsheet has been disseminated amongst estate managers, policy makers and regulators, to highlight the root of the problem and demonstrate management options to enhance the resilience of rivers to change. A number of positive actions to keep rivers cools are recommended.

Bibliography

  • Wright, R.F.; Aherne, J.; Bishop, K.; Dillon, P.J.; Erlandsson, M.; Evans, C.D.; Forsius, M.; Hardekopf, D.W.; Helliwell, R.C.; Hruska, J.; Hutchins, M.; Kaste, O.; Kopacek, J.; Kram, P.; Laudon, H.; Moldan, F.; Rogora, M.; Sjoeng, A.M.s.; de Wit, H.A. (2010) Interaction of climate change and acid deposition., In: Kernan, M., Moss, B. & Battarbee, R. W. (eds.). Climate Change Impacts on Freshwater Ecosystems: Direct Effects and Interactions with Other Stresses. Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, Chapter 7, pp152-179.
  • Helliwell, R.C.; Lilly, A.; Bell, J. (2007) Soils of Lochnagar: their development, distribution, properties and influence on surface water chemistry., In: Lochnagar: The Natural History of a Mountain Lake Developments in Paleoenvironmental Research (DPER) (ed. Neil L. Rose). Volume 12, Springer, pp93-120.

  • Helliwell, R.C.; Vinten, A.J.A. (2018) World Water Day 2018 report., World Water Day Conference, Edinburgh, 22 March 2018.
  • Helliwell, R.C.; Pagaling, E. (2018) Stockholm Wise List learning journey - pharmaceutical "waste" and carbon emissions., Contract Report, 22pp.
  • Donnelly, D.; Helliwell, R.C.; Bowes, J.; Hallard, M. (2018) An assessment of the performance of the PLUS+ tool to evaluate WFD compliance in Scottish standing waters., Report for RESAS, 26pp.
  • Helliwell, R.C.; Gibbs, S. (2017) Review the changing demand on water supplies, the impact of abstraction, the resilience and sustainability of ground water in Malawi., Report for the Evaluation of the Malawi Climate Justice Fund Project, 8pp.
  • Helliwell, R.C.; Ferrier, R.C.; Greig, B. (2017) Hydro Nation Commercial Advisory Services - Support structure paper., Report to Scottish Government, 15pp.
  • Helliwell, R.C.; Donnelly, D. (2016) Assessment of the capacity of Loch Shiel to accommodate additional inputs of phosphorus without comprising the current WFD /RAG status, Contract Report on behalf of Marine Harvest.
  • Donnelly, D.; Helliwell, R.C. (2016) Loch Garry draft report., Contract Report, 29 August 2016.
  • Donnelly, D.; Helliwell, R.C. (2016) Loch Ness draft report., Contract Report, 21 September 2016.
  • Jackson-Bake, L; Balana, B.; Dunn, S.M.; Helliwell, R.C.: Martin-Ortega, J.; Perni, A.; Slee, B. (2014) Synthesis of work in the River Dee catchment, UK., Deliverable 7.13 of the EU FP7 REFRESH Project.
  • Sarkki, S.; Grunewald, K.; Alados,C.L.; Nijnik,M.; Ficko, A.; Formanek, P.; Malis, F.; Wielgolaski, F.E.; Laine, K.; Skre, O.; Inkeroinen, J.; Miller, D.R.; Brown, I.; Castellazzi, M.; Munoz-Rojas, J.; Helliwell, R.C. (2014) Questionnaire based investigation of stakeholder needs as linked to ecosystem services, governance, and science in European treeline areas., Report of COST Action ES1203 on Enhancing the Resilience Capacity of SENSitive Mountain FORest Ecosystems under Environmental Change (SENSFOR), 6ECST, Brussels, 64pp.
  • Helliwell, R.C.; Avery, L.; Conniff, A.; MacNay, D.; Gorman, H. (2013) Reducing pollution from forestry related activities in the Gallloway and Eskdalemuir forests: a review of best management practices to reduce diffuse pollution., CREW Report.
  • Balana, B.; Martin-Ortega, J.; Perni, A.; Slee, B.; Helliwell, R.C.; Jackson-Blake, L.; Cooksley, S.L.; Dunn, S.M. (2013) Cost-effectiveness analysis report for the Dee sub-catchment (Scotland) including analysis of disproportionality., REFRESH PROJECT: Adaptive Strategies to Mitigate the Impacts of Climate Change on European Freshwater Ecosystems.
  • Jackson-Blake, L.; Dunn, S.M.; Hershkovitz, Y.; Sample, J.; Helliwell, R.C.; Balana, B. (2013) Biophysical catchment-scale modelling in the River Dee, Scotland, Deliverable 5.3: REFRESH website.
  • Mitchell, R.J.; Beesley, L.; Briggs, R.; Cuthbert, A.; Dawson, J.J.C.; Helliwell, R.C.; Hewison, R.L.; Kerr, C.; Leith, I.D.; Owen, I.J.; Potts, J.M.; Newman, G.; Smith, D.; Shephard, L.J.; Sturgeon, F.; Taylor, A.F.S.; White, D.; Williams, A.; Williams, E.; Black, H.I.J. (2013) Testing soil quality indicators., Report to SEPA.
  • Helliwell, R.C.; Irvine, R.J. (2013) Towards developing a common understanding of scenarios in research and practice in Scotland., Report to staff at MRP and Scottish Government, 28 January 2013.
  • Rowe, E.C.; Jones, L.; Stevens, C.J.; Vieno, M.; Dore, A.J.; Hall, J.; Sutton, M.; Mills, G.; Evans, C.D.; Helliwell, R.C.; Britton, A.J.; Mitchell, R.J.; Caporn, S.J.; Dise, N.B.; Field, C.; Emmett, B.A. (2013) Measures to evaluate benefits to UK semi-natural habitats of reductions in nitrogen deposition., Final Report on REBEND Project. Defra Tender Reference: AQ0823. CEH Project: NEC04307.
  • Helliwell, R.C.; Aherne, J.; MacDougall, G. (2012) Evaluation of the future impact of acid deposition from the proposed Hunterston power station on the status of surface waters in the UK., Final report on behalf of CREW (Centre of Expertise for Waters), Scottish Government, Project No. C203010.
  • Jackson-Blake, L.A.; Dunn, S.M.; Helliwell, R.C. (2012) Strategies to mitigate the impacts of climate change on European freshwater ecosystems. Interim report on the biophysical catchment-scale modelling in the River Dee, Scotland., EU FP7 REFRESH Project. Integrated Biophysical Modelling (WP5) Reporting.
  • Martin-Ortega, J.; Perni, A.; McKee, A.; Helliwell, R.C.; Cooksley, S. (2012) Social and Economic effects of improving water quality in the Loch of Skene and the Leuchar Burn. Sharing local knowledge and views (II)., REFRESH Project: Adaptive strategies to Mitigate the Impacts of Climate Change on European Freshwater Ecosystems. 2nd Dunecht REFRESH Workshop Feedback Leaflet.
  • Martin-Ortega, J.; Perni, A.; McKee, A.; Helliwell, R.C. (2012) Proceedings of the workshop for informing the disproportionality analysis and flagging the wider benefits of improving water quality in the Loch of Skene and Leuchar Burn sub-catchment, UK., REFRESH Project: Adaptive strategies to Mitigate the Impacts of Climate Change on European Freshwater Ecosystems Tasks 6.4 & 6.5 Interim Report.

Printed from /staff/rachel-helliwell on 22/08/19 12:15:18 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.