Nadeem Shah, BSc, MSc, PhD

Project Manager



Tel: +44 (0)300 067 5900
Tel direct: +44 (0)300 067 5983
Fax: +44 (0)131 445 5124

Forest Research
Northern Research Station
Midlothian EH25 9SY

Nadeem graduated with BSc honours in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Glasgow where he then worked as a research assistant in agricultural and environmental chemistry.

He completed an MSc (Res) in Environmental Engineering Science and a PhD on the Natural Attenuation of Contaminants in Groundwater with the Groundwater Protection and Restoration Group (GPRG) at the University of Sheffield. The research combined elements of geochemistry, hydrology and subsurface microbiology; the microbiological component was strengthened by a collaborative period of study at the Swiss Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne.

He then spent four years with the GPRG investigating the biodegradation potential of an underground fuel spill in a chalk aquifer, utilising novel techniques in isotope biogeochemistry at the UFZ Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig.

Nadeem's research focuses on the effects of forestry on water quantity and quality and the role of woodland in protecting and enhancing the water environment. The provision of forests and water related advice, and liaison with government agencies, academic institutions and research providers are key components of his work.

Current role

Project Manager

Current programmes

Forest hydrology

Affiliations and achievements

  • Member of the British Hydrological Society
  • Member of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences
  • Member of Forestry Commission’s Forests and Water Guidelines Review Group
  • Member of the CAMERAS Freshwater Science Strategy Working Group
  • Member of the Forestry Commission’s Equality and Diversity Forum.

Research areas

  • The role of woodland in mitigating diffuse pollution
  • The effects of bog restoration on drainage water chemistry
  • The role of riparian and floodplain woodland in flood alleviation
  • The effects of short rotation forestry on water quality and quantity
  • The impact of native woodland expansion on water quality and quantity
  • The impact of drain restoration on flood hydrology
  • The long term impact of conifer afforestation in on water quality and ecology
  • Soil water retention under forest soils
  • Stump harvesting and its effects on water quality

Main recent publications

Nisbet, T., Silgram, M., Shah, N., Morrow, K., and Broadmeadow, S. (2011). Woodland for Water: Woodland measures for meeting Water Framework Directive objectives (PDF-1912K). Forest Research Monograph, 4, Forest Research, Surrey, 156pp.

Tom Nisbet, Martyn Silgram, Nadeem Shah, Katrina Morrow, Samantha Broadmeadow (2011). Woodland for Water: Woodland measures for meeting Water Framework Directive objectives (PDF-1440K). Summary report. Environment Agency, Bristol.

Thornton, S. F., Bottrell, S. H., Spence, K. H., Pickup, R., Spence, M. J., Shah, N., Mallinson, H. E.H. and Richnow H. H. (2011). Assessment of MTBE biodegradation in contaminated groundwater using 13C and 14C analysis: Field and laboratory microcosm studies. Applied Geochemistry, 26, 828–837.

Tom Nisbet, Huw Thomas and Nadeem Shah. Short Rotation forestry and Water. In: McKay, H. (ed.) (2011). Short Rotation Forestry: review of growth and environmental impacts (PDF-3255K). Forest Research Monograph, 2, Forest Research, Surrey, 212pp.

Shah, N.W. and Broadmeadow, S. (2010). Hydrological Benefits. In: Forest Research (2010). Benefits of green infrastructure (PDF-1211K). Report to Defra and CLG. Forest Research, Farnham.

Shah, N.W., Thornton, S. F., Bottrell, S. H. and Spence, M. J. (2009). Biodegradation potential of MTBE in a fractured chalk aquifer under aerobic conditions in long-term uncontaminated and contaminated aquifer microcosms. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 103, 119–133.