Principal Ecologist (Ornithology) - Curran Recruitment
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Principal Ecologist (Ornithology)

Website Scott Cawley

Leading and directing on the technical specification, management and co-ordination of ornithological aspects of multiple complex projects including renewable energy and strategic infrastructure


To carry out a range of ecological consultancy services which will include: 


  • Primary responsibility for leading and directing on the technical specification, management and co-ordination of ornithological aspects of multiple complex projects including renewable energy, strategic infrastructure and other projects. This will include managing all aspects of ornithology from delivery of constraints stage through to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Appropriate Assessment (AA Screening, NIS) reports. 
  • Leading on the provision of expert ornithological advice and recommendations both in-house and to clients, in particular where risks may be posed to a project timescale or delivery.
  • Primary responsibility for, leading and directing on the design, commissioning, scheduling, supervision and management of specialist ornithological surveys and survey programmes on large and complex projects around the island of Ireland. 
  • Co-ordinating, supervising and managing other ecologists’ (in-house staff and external sub-contractors) work to ensure safe and efficient delivery of work on time and within budget.  The role will require managing work schedules/resourcing, providing assistance, guidance and technical review of other team members’ work and providing on the job training and feedback to other staff.
  • Carrying out specialist ornithological surveys as necessary.
  • Carrying out complex and detailed data analysis and interpretation including use of GIS, statistical analysis and appropriate analytical methods for analysing and preparing digital materials e.g. collision risk modelling and population viability analysis. 
  • Preparation of ornithological impact assessments and development of mitigation strategies.
  • Responsibility for the preparation of affidavits and evidence for oral hearings for projects, as well as acting as expert witness at oral hearing.
  • Lead on in-house technical standards in relation to ornithology.
  • Technical and peer review of ornithological work and reports
  • Maintaining up to date knowledge the latest research and advancement in ornithology, industry changes, best practice, guidelines, legislation and policy, and providing leadership on same to other staff members.

General Ecology

  • Responsibility for undertaking and for the project management and delivery of Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIA), Biodiversity chapters and Appropriate Assessment reports (AA Screening, NIS, NIR) which will include; management and coordination of site surveys, assessing impacts of proposed developments and activities, and recommending mitigation measures.
  • Working closely with other members of staff and multi-disciplinary design teams to provide appropriate ecological design solutions and advice.  This will require dealing with project team members (engineers, architects, planners, environmental consultants, hydrologists, archaeologists, landscape architects etc.) and interacting with environmental, planning and development-related issues including those outside of the field of ecology.
  • Liaising with clients, project managers and other project stakeholders including statutory bodies.
  • Maintaining up to date knowledge on industry changes, best practice, guidelines, legislation and policy, and providing leadership on same to other staff members.
  • Management and oversight of project finances including monitoring and tracking budgets, meeting targets and monitoring of profitability for individual projects.
  • Reporting regularly to line manager, project managers or Pod Leads on significant issues arising.
  • Fulfil line management function, involving oversight of work schedule/resourcing for direct reports, undertaking annual and quarterly performance reviews, managing HR issues.
  • Reporting regularly to Chief Technical Officer on significant issues arising.
  • Requirement to work as part of a team promoting the business and maintaining the company’s reputation and standards.
  • Contribute to development and delivery of internal training and CPD.
  • Supporting the Tendering team in scoping and pricing bird surveys and preparing fee quotes/tenders for ornithological work.

While the main focus of the role will be on ornithology, there will also be a requirement to input into a range of other ecological areas as business needs arise. 

Qualifications and Requirements

Candidates must have:

  • An honours degree in ecology or a related discipline (post graduate qualification highly desirable)
  • 8-10 years’ experience in ecological consultancy 
  • Full membership of Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (Chartered Ecologist (CEcol) status, or working towards CEcol, desirable)
  • Experience working on renewable energy and large infrastructure projects
  • Experience in the oral hearing process and in the role of expert witness
  • Excellent technical report writing skills, including proven track record in writing reports for EcIA and AA
  • Excellent working knowledge of Irish and EU wildlife and planning legislation
  • Excellent working knowledge of ornithological survey design and implementation to relevant industry best practice guidelines
  • Excellent working knowledge of impact assessment and mitigation practices for renewable energy projects and large infrastructure development for European and Irish protected species
  • A proven track record in management of the ornithological aspects of EcIA and AA for large projects
  • Ability to critically review others work to ensure quality and accuracy of technical information
  • Excellent problem solving skills and initiative
  • A proven track record in excellent communication, line managing and mentoring other staff
  • Strong organisational, project and time management skills (including technical, financial and quality aspects)
  • A passion for ecology, a scientific approach to work and attention to detail
  • Ability to work well in a busy environment unsupervised and using own initiative
  • Ability to take instruction and willingness to learn new skills
  • Flexible friendly attitude and willingness to adapt to the changing needs of a growing business
  • Commitment to a high level of client care and service delivery; and
  • Commercial awareness of the ecological consultancy market

Package & Benefits

  • Competitive salary commensurate with experience
  • Paid membership of CIEEM
  • Access to Employee Assistance Programme and wellbeing platform
  • Employer’s contribution towards the cost of private health insurance* 
  • Company pension scheme with employer’s contribution*
  • Long-term illness benefit* 
  • Death in service benefit
  • Fieldwork clothing allowance
  • Family leave supports
  • Paid sick leave
  • Opportunities for training and professional development
  • Varied and diverse work tasks in a dynamic, growing company with a flexible and friendly work environment 
  • Excellent future career opportunities


    Maeve Curran

    Engineering recruitment industry specialist in the Irish and international markets.