What employment sector do you work in?
How long have you had a green job for nature?
Please describe the work that you do.
My role includes undertaking international biodiversity assessment on behalf of developers and due diligence on behalf of financial lenders, to comply with international standards (e.g. IFC PS6).
Projects include transport (rail, road and airport) and energy (wind, solar, hydropower and geothermal). I have worked on projects located in South and Central America, Europe, Africa and Asia. I manage bids, projects and staff and provide guidance and training to junior staff.
What do you most like about your job? Any dislikes?
The role is varied and I particularly enjoy researching exotic plants and animals in all areas of the planet. I enjoy designing mitigation and management techniques to avoid and minimise impacts and restore/enhance areas to ensure either no net loss, or, ideally, net gain, of biodiversity on our projects.
What inspired you into this career?
My inspiration started when I was young and went for family walks in the English countryside. I would notice the different plants and birds and changes due to the seasons that made me appreciate the natural world.
My interest in international biodiversity developed when I travelled to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. I then pursued a career that helped me protect and enhance biodiversity across the globe.
Have you faced any challenges in progressing your career so far?
International biodiversity is a very niche and specialised subject. It is difficult to develop a standard approach to solving global issues. Therefore part of the challenge in my career has been communicating the differences between what we do in the UK vs what can be done in developing countries.
What education/training did you have?
I studied Maths, Biology and Chemistry at A Level which got me into university.
I then achieved a 2:1 (Hons) in BSc Zoology (Animal Science) from the University of Leeds.
A few years later I achieved a Merit for studying MSc Applied Ecology from the University of Exeter.
What advice would you give to someone coming into the profession?
Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions at all stages of your career but especially at the beginning. Build your experience in various topics and then you have multiple choices for what you specialise in.
Get out in the field as much as you can!