Personal profile


My PhD research showed that the ratio of nitrogen to potassium in lake water influences the success of swamp plants through changes in biomass partitioning. After working on denitrification pathways in tree-dominated swamp, finding that rates were limited by labile carbon, I moved back to UEA from Louisianna and in the early 1990s began work on Papyrus swamps in East Africa. My preoccupations here were to trace the movement of eroding soil particles through swamps into lake water using magnetic susceptibility and to trace Papyrus C4-carbon through food webs using stable isotopes. I ran scientific expeditions to Lake Naivasha, Kenya, until 2001 and have since worked on wetland productivity in Tanzania and on aspects of the ecology of other African lakes, including introductions to fisheries and the conservation status of Papyrus-dwelling birds.

PhD Positions

Click here for current PhD opportunities in the School of Environmental Sciences. However, feel free to email me to discuss projects outside these areas and alternative sources of funding.

Additional Contacts

Fax: +44 (0)1603 591327

Key Research Interests

Limnology and ecology of East African lakes; nutrient and carbon cycling in shallow freshwater lakes; ecology and nitrogen dynamics in perennial swamp plants, particularly Phragmites and Papyrus. 

Significant Publications

  • Boar, R.R., Britton, J.R., Grey, J., Foster, J. et al. (in press) From introduction to fishery dominance: the initial impacts of the invasive carp Cyprinus carpio in Lake Naivasha, Kenya, 1999 to 2006. Journal of Fish Biology 71(D), 1-19. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2007.01669.x
  • Maclean, I.M.D., Hassall, M., Boar, R.R. and Lake, I.R. (2006). Effects of disturbance and habitat loss on papyrus-dwelling passerines. Biological Conservation 131, 349 – 358. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2005.12.003
  • Boar, R.R. (2006). Responses of a fringing Cyperus papyrus L. swamp to changes in water level. Aquatic Botany 84 (2), 85-92. doi:10.1016/j.aquabot.2005.07.008
  • Hickley, P., Muchiri, S.M., Britton, J.R. and Boar, R.R. (2004). Discovery of carp (Cyprinus carpio) in the already stressed fishery of Lake Naivasha, Kenya. Fisheries Management and Ecology 11, 139-142.doi:10.1046/j.1365-2400.2003.00379.x
  • Lambdon, P.W., Hassall, M., Boar, R.R. and Mithen, R. (2003). Asynchrony in the nitrogen and glucosinolate leaf-age profiles of Brassica: is this a defensive strategy against generalist herbivores? Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 97, 205-214. doi:10.1016/S0167-8809(03)00036-7
  • Harper, D.M., Childress, R.B., Harper, M.M., Boar, R.R., Hickley, P., Mills, S.C., Otieno, N., Drane, T., Vareschi, T., Nasirwa, O., Mwatha, W.E., Darlington, J.P.E.C. and Escuté-Gasulla, X. (2003). Aquatic biodiversity and saline lakes: Lake Bogoria National Reserve, Kenya. Hydrobiologia 500, 259-276. doi: 10.1023/A:1024722821407 

Publications: EPrints Digital Repository

Key Responsibilities

  • Deputy Director of UG Teaching and Chair of UAC
  • Course Director, BSc Environmental Geography and International Development
  • Chair of the UEA Travel and Expeditions Committee

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land