Research was a focus of the FBA from its inception until the 1970s, at which point it turned to the development of practical solutions to management issues in freshwater systems. In the days of research, the FBA contemplated the freshwater environment from every angle; from microscopic algae, to macroinvertebrates, to fish communities, the deciphering of details of their lifestyle, abundance, behaviours, and the very essence of their physical and chemical environments were at the very forefront of the FBA’s work. Some of the most revered freshwater scientists, such as T. T. Macan, Winifred Frost, E. D. Le Cren, W. Pennington, and John Lund, spent time conducting research at the FBA. Equally, in its current position as a freshwater management and information charity, the FBA has made vital contributions to both training and dissemination for academics, corporations and enthusiasts alike. In biomonitoring, with the development of the River Invertebrate Prediction and Classification System (RIVPACS), the FBA has created a statistical model suitable for use in a multitude of habitats, useful for scientific professionals interested in the estimation of ecological health. In the continuation of our training courses, it is ensured that the ideals of our origins, based in research and education, are executed. In an effort to progress its conservation efforts, the Mussel Ark Project was started in 2007.
This successful captive breeding program was developed with the aim to halt the decline of the species in the wild through targeted restoration and increase numbers of wild individuals through captive rearing and reintroductions. Currently, the project is in its twelfth year of operation.