SHAASAN Webinars

SHAASAN Webinar 2 – Sustainable Hydropower in Asia hosted by the Institute of Hydroecology MWR & CAS (China) and University of Southampton (UK)

***Register for SHAASAN Webinar 2 via our Eventbrite page***


The second webinar from SHAASAN will be held on 14 September (2021) and will introduce the challenges of developing sustainable hydropower in Asia. The webinar will start with an introduction to the “Sustainable Hydropower for Africa, Asia and South America Network” (SHAASAN) from Paul Kemp, a Professor of Ecological Engineering at the University of Southampton (UK). This will be followed by presentations from speakers based in Cambodia, China and Vietnam.

Meet the speakers:

Jianbo Chang:

Dr. Jianbo Chang, a Professor and Head of the Institute of Hydroecology at Wuhan University, has more than 30 years of experience in researches on the mitigations of negative effects of dams. As an expert in ecological restoration and conservation, he had contributed to the designation of the Eco-environmental Monitoring Network of Three Gorges Project, the planning of Follow-up Works of the Three Gorges, and the programming of the National Nature Reserve for Endemic and Endangered Fishes of the Upper Yangtze. He had organized workshops of fish passages on behalf of FAO twice in 2009 and 2013 in China.

Presentation title: Researches and construction of fish passage in China

Abstract: In China, from the middle of the 1970s to the early 1980s, there was a nationwide debate on building a passage in the Gezhouba Dam to help some fish species swimming upstream for spawning. With the discovering of a new spawning ground of Chinese sturgeon nearby the dam, the debate was summarized as the fish passage is not necessary, which caused a neglection in related studies lasting for over 30 years. The situation was changed by the young generation with increasing interest in the field. It can be expected that fish passages could play a key role in sustainable hydropower development.


Peng Bun Ngor:

Peng Bun Ngor has been involved in inland fisheries research in Lower Mekong Basin since 1998 with Mekong River Commission and Cambodian Inland Fisheries Research and Development Institute as a Deputy Director. He is about to start a new position as a Dean of Fisheries Faculty, Royal University of Agriculture, Phnom Penh.

Presentation title: Fish assemblage response to flow change in the Lower Mekong Basin

Abstract: This presentation assessed flow seasonality and predictability in three sites located in three rivers displaying a gradient in flow alterations caused by upstream dams and investigated how fish assemblages responded seasonally and inter-annually to this gradient. We found that dams disturbed natural flow seasonality and predictability. While the river displaying the lower seasonality–predictability was characterized by a distinct seasonal variation in assemblage composition with high species turnover, rivers with stronger flow seasonality–predictability exhibited broadly similar seasonal patterns in fish assemblage composition with low species turnover and regular annual peaks of fish migration. These results challenge the expectation of higher species turnover in systems displaying higher flow seasonality and predictability and may be partly due to the strong adaptation of fish assemblages to these specific systems. These findings also suggest that hydropower-related pulsed flows that can mimic as far as possible natural pulsed flows are critical to reduce downstream effects on aquatic organisms.


Guangqui Jin: 

Guangqui Jin is a Professor, doctoral supervisor and Vice Dean of Dayu College of Hohai University. In 2015, he was selected as one of the “Six Talents Summit” programs of Jiangsu Province and his research interest lies in the study of the ecology of hyporheic and coastal zones. Among the 60 academic publications to date, his paper published in Advances in Water Resources was selected as “China’s 100 Most Influential International Academic Papers” in 2010.

Presentation title: Ecological effects of lakes and wetlands under hydrologic processes

Abstract: Hydrological cycle of Poyang and Dongting Lake has profoundly changed in recent years due to climate change and human activities. The water level of Poyang and Dongting Lake declined and the dry season is prolonged, which seriously affected the local ecological environment, such as zoobenthos collapse. Based on the long-term field observations, the results determined that the structure and distribution characteristics of plankton and zoobenthos strongly varied with hydrological conditions. This study also summarised the response patterns of wetland vegetation and migratory birds to the dynamic hydrological conditions. The future research should discuss the influence of hydrological law on ecology in a finer time scale.


An Vi Vu:

An Vi Vu is a vice Head of the Fisheries Ecology and Aquatic Resources Division, Research Institute for Aquaculture No.2 in Vietnam. He undertakes research into ecology of freshwater fishes, impacts of anthropogenic activities on aquatic ecosystems, and mitigation measures to protect and conserve river fishes in the Mekong Basin. Fishes and fisheries are important for Mekong people, his research aims to improve management and conservation of fisheries resources for the benefit of all.

Presentation title: Diversity in migration patterns of Mekong fishes

Abstract: Fishes often migrate to feed, reproduce, and seek refuge from predators and prevailing environmental conditions, and as a result migration tactics may vary within and between species. This presentation examines the diversity in life-history tactics of some Mekong fish species by otolith microchemistry. Some Mekong fish species showed facultative migration strategies with up to four migration tactics within a species. Both migrant and resident contingents were found co-existing within the same species. Management, conservation, and mitigation strategies to maintain connectivity in the large tropical rivers, such as fishway design, should consider the diversity of migration tactics at the individual level for better outcomes.



SHAASAN Webinar 1 – Sustainable Hydropower in South America hosted by the University of Concepción (Chile) and University of Southampton (UK)

This event took place on 14 July (2021) with Prof. Paul Kemp introducing SHAASAN – the Sustainable Hydropower for Africa, Asia and South America Network, which aims to improve the sustainability of hydropower by protecting the fisheries on which low-income fishing communities in developing nations depend for food security. This first webinar focused on hydropower development within a South American context, with speakers from Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Brazil.


Meet the speakers:

Oscar Link:

Oscar is a Civil Engineer and holds a PhD in Engineering. He has over 20 years of experience working as a Hydraulic Engineer with a focus on rivers. He is Professor at Universidad de Concepción in Chile and conducts fundamental and applied research on sustainability of hydropower related with reservoir sedimentation, river morphology, riverine connectivity and fishways design, in an effort to compatibilize clean energy production with species conservation.

Presentation title: Techniques for sustainable hydropower development in Chile: from projects planning to technical fishways

Abstract: The Chilean hydrography presents an outstanding available hydropower for clean energy production, but at the same time, Chilean rivers host endemic freshwater fish species in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. Challenging aspects for fish conservation in scenarios of hydropower development deals with their small body size, swimming capacity and life cycles. I will present techniques to mitigate the main negative impacts of planned hydropower projects in Chile.


Luz Jiménez-Segura and Scott Winton:

Luz is a Biologist with a Masters in Ecology, Management and Conservation of Wild Fauna from the Federal University of Minas Gerais; a Doctor of Science from the University of Antioquia; Senior Researcher at Colciencias; and Professor at the University of Antioquia. Since 2000, she is leader of the ichthyofauna research group, the academic platform from which she has directed 25 investigations on Andean river ecology, dynamics of freshwater fish and its impact on the governance of artisanal fishing in Colombia. Research that has allowed it to support the training of undergraduate and postgraduate students, in addition to supporting processes of governance of fishing and organizing fishing communities in Andean River basins. She had led research with the public and private sectors to resolve environmental conflicts generated by the mining-energy industry in some Andes Basins and, accompanies the Colombian business sector and environmental authorities in making decisions on issues related to the environment.

Scott is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag). His research focus is on the ecology, biogeochemistry and conservation of freshwater aquatic ecosystems, including topics such as greenhouse gas emission, nutrient cycling and transport as facilitated by large-bodied animals. He holds a PhD in Environmental Science and Policy from the Duke University Wetland Center in the Nicholas School of the Environment (North Carolina, USA).

Presentation title: Sustainable Hydropower in the Andes River Ecosystems SHARE

Abstract: In order to understand how the reservoirs in Andean rivers modify water conditions, in addition to the functioning of the ecosystem and the ecosystem services that provide a fundamental input in the planning of hydroelectric development in Colombia, the initiative “Sustainable Hydropower in Andean River Ecosystems” was born. ” – SHARE. A proposal made up of a multidisciplinary group of researchers who, with the support of the National Environmental Licensing Authority – ANLA and Empresas Públicas de Medellín – EPM (one of the most important energy generating companies in Colombia), contribute to the understanding of associated questions How do reservoirs change the quality of water in tropical Andean rivers? And if there are changes in the structure of the aquatic communities in the Andean rivers with reservoirs? In addition, SHARE seeks to generate inputs that contribute to decision-making associated with watershed management by the environmental and energy sector in the Andean countries.

SHARE has been carrying out a series of tasks that range from reviewing and compiling the information available in the ANLA databases to complementing some information gaps with field days, added to the collection of new information that allows evaluating the role that reservoirs exert on climate change (greenhouse gases). In addition to this, and taking as a precedent that the construction of reservoirs is a global phenomenon, we have been disseminating this initiative to different actors (academics, environmental authorities and energy generating companies) who have focused their work efforts in Latin America so that link to our initiative with the purpose of generating sustainable hydroelectric energy proposals in the different Andean river ecosystems. This presentation will show the progress in the development of activities that allow meeting the objectives of this initiative that integrates the generator sector, the academic sector and the environmental authority. This research is co-founded by University of ETH Zurich, University of Antioquia, ANLA, The Nature Conservancy, Empresas Públicas de Medellín and University of Saint Gallen-Centro Latinoamericano Suizo.


Raquel Fontes:

Raquel is a freshwater fisheries biologist with 15 years of experience working as an environmental analyst at Cemig Group, energy generating company in Brazil. She coordinates Peixe Vivo Program that foresees the creation and expansion of more effective measures to improve fish conservation and management programs, and mitigate impacts arising from hydropower plants.

 Presentation title: So many fish, so many problems

Abstract: Brazilian rivers are home to an enormous diversity of fish and have great potential for hydropower generation, the main source of electric energy. However, hydropower generation is one of the most impactful human activities for riverine fishes. I will present the main impacts of hydropower plants on the fish in our country and the challenges for mitigating them.


Hector S. Vera-Alcaraz:

Hector is Biologist and has been working in ​​Zoology since 2003. His specific area of ​​work is Phylogenetic Systematics with emphasis on neotropical fishes. Other research areas are Aquatic Ecology and Conservation Biology. In addition, he works in education teaching and supervises undergraduate and graduate students. He has expertise in scientific collections for study in museums, management and curation of scientific collections, ecology of continental aquatic environments, fish ecology, theory and methods of phylogenetic systematics, systematics and taxonomy of neotropical fishes. His field of research is Systematics of Neotropical Fishes, and has published scientific articles in taxonomy with descriptions of new species of fishes from Paraguay and Brazil. Currently, Hector is researching the phylogenetic relationships of the fish family Callichthyidae (Siluriformes), a group of armored catfishes that is distributed from Panama to Argentina, and uses morphology (mainly osteology) and genetics as sources of evidence (mainly mitochondrial and nuclear genes). He also works on the taxonomy of these armored catfishes to reveal their classification and description of several new species, mainly of the genus Corydoras. Lately, he is dedicated to update the fish species inventory of Paraguay, doing scientific collection, preservation, restoration, and dissemination of the testimonial collections of the National History Museum. He also works in Biodiversity Conservation and Aquatic Ecology, doing some projects for the Ministry of the Environment (MADES) researching in National Parks and urban areas, monitor and ecology of aquatic communities, and scientific representation for the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).

Presentation title: Fish biodiversity and Hydropower dams in La Plata basin, South America

Abstract: The Río Paraguay and the Río Paraná, including the whole basin of the Río de La Plata, holds more than 400 species of fishes and is considered an area of endemism for Neotropical fishes. This presentation will review the biodiversity state of the freshwater fishes of this region and will also explore the main implications of the management of river systems for hydropower dams to the conservation of these taxa.



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