What employment sector do you work in?


How long have you had a green job for nature?

25 years

Salary Range

£25,001 – £30,000

Please describe the work that you do.

As Scotland Project Officer, I support and represent CIEEM (Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management) members in Scotland and raise the profile of CIEEM in Scotland.

I support the Scottish committee to run member network events and an annual conference.

Alongside the Scottish Policy group, I contribute to policy consultations and developments as well as attending meetings with stakeholders and government representatives.

What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?

I work alongside wonderful volunteer members that give up their very valuable time whether that is organising member network events, responding to policy consultations or taking part in student and career events.

I also love the variety of the work. In any one week, I can be working on member network events, policy work, conferences, training, student and career events and more.

The only dislike – trying to fit it all into 3 days!

What inspired you into this career? 

I always loved the outdoors and spent my childhood playing outdoors in Cornwall.

I was Young Environmentalist of the Year runner-up in a national competition when I was 15 for a project on how to reduce waste. So that set me off on an ecological path.

Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far? 

I worked in ecological research – at CEH (UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology) and then at Aberdeen University – for most of my career. I specialised in environmental drivers of biodiversity change: particularly invasive species, grazing and nitrogen pollution impacts. However, after publishing lots of papers I found I most enjoyed public engagement and science communication so research switched to citizen science projects. The endless challenge of getting funding and the length of time to publish were certainly the biggest challenges in research.

What education/training did you have?

I got a First in Environmental Biology at Reading University. Like many students, I wasn’t sure what to do next. Luckily, I was offered a NERC fully funded place to study Ecology at Bangor University. My MSc project was with CEH and before I knew it I was off to my first position at CEH Banchory in Aberdeenshire where I did a part-time PhD on a riverine invasive plant (Mimulus guttatus), integrating correlative analyses, manipulative experiments and modelling to provide key insights into invasion ecology as part of a big EU study.

What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession? 

Get out there and meet people by attending CIEEM member network events, and get involved with local wildlife recording groups and conservation groups. Ecology is a really small world, everyone really does know everyone. So those connections are so important. People are also keen to share their knowledge and experience so make the most of those opportunities.

Tags: Scotland, NGO Sector, Policy, Related Roles

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