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Principal Fish Ecologist

Company: AECOM    Location: Leeds
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Principal Ecologist to join the Aquatic Ecology Team of a large and successful international consultancy with multidisciplinary offices throughout the UK.

The successful applicant will be based in AECOMs in either Leeds, Manchester, or Altrincham office and will have a good understanding of all disciplines of freshwater ecology, in particular, fish identification, fisheries survey methodologies, fish passage, weir removal and mitigation, in addition to sampling, identification and interpretation of macroinvertebrates and macrophytes in freshwater habitats. They will be able to analyse and interpret data and provide robust technical opinion based on it.

The successful applicant will join a growing, friendly and highly motivated team and contribute to a diverse range of projects, including baseline data collection for major infrastructure and utility projects, habitat restoration projects for regulators and the private sector, pollution response surveys and water quality investigations. A prime responsibility of the appointee will be to co-ordinate the activity of more junior members of the team in the field and laboratory, contribute to and review tenders and technical reports, develop monitoring strategies and provide specialist input to multi-disciplinary teams. The appointee would also liaise with the aquatic team leader in the Basingstoke office and our UK Aquatic Ecology team to support a coherent nationwide approach.

The role offers excellent career progression opportunities within AECOM and working with the Aquatic Ecology Team management you will have the opportunity to influence how the team continues to grow and develop. Technically you will have a good understanding of all disciplines of freshwater ecology to include, but not limited to, fish, algae, macroinvertebrates and macrophytes in freshwater and transitional habitats.

Role Responsibilities:
The appointee would contribute to opportunities in aquatic ecology being developed by the company for a range of clients by:

+ Contributing in a prominent role to a team of aquatic ecologists based in AECOMs nationwide offices and laboratory facilities;

+ Support the Aquatic Ecology Team lead with business development;

+ Provide a technical lead in the north of the UK for aquatic ecology; fish, macroinvertebrates, macrophytes and aquatic habitat assessments.

+ Mentoring staff, supporting their written, analytical and field skills and developing their identification techniques in all freshwater disciplines;

+ Authoring and reviewing input to reports, devising monitoring strategies and working within multi-disciplinary teams to provide specialist input;

+ Developing data analysis and processing;

+ Lead in the production of Environmental Impact Assessment documents in line with CIEEM guidelines;

+ Developing project management skills by way of AECOM in-house training schemes;

+ Undertaking other tasks to support the wider environmental business, as required.

Minimum Requirements

+ Demonstrable experience of contributing to the production of ecological impact assessments and/or appropriate assessments;

+ Demonstrable experience of contributing to (and leading where appropriate) WFD (Ecology/Biology) assessments;

+ An understanding of the industry standard monitoring techniques and analyses for fish, and experience in fish survey requirements and methodology including electric fishing and/or seine netting;

+ An understanding of the industry standard monitoring techniques and analyses for macroinvertebrates (RICT, BMWP, ASPT, WHPT) and macrophytes (MTR, CSM, Leafpacs);

+ Knowledge of legislation relating to the aquatic environment and its implementation, particularly the Water Framework Directive;

+ Good personal time management, communication skills with internal and external clients and team members locally and nationally;

+ Willingness to learn new skills and to be flexible in terms of travelling and working hours as AECOM projects can be distributed across the UK;

+ The appointee will be qualified to degree level in a relevant subject and have substantive experience in an aquatic ecology role;

+ A higher degree in Aquatic Ecology or related discipline would be an advantage;

+ Previous commercial and/or regulatory experience would be desirable;

+ The appointee will be conversant with Microsoft Word and Excel, and wider experience of scheduling / programming using specialist computer programs where appropriate would be an advantage;

+ A full UK driving licence

Preferred Qualifications

Additional desirable but not essential attributes for the role:

+ Formal project management training and experience;

+ Experience of the scoping / requirements for fish passage improvements, including where appropriate fish pass design, installation and monitoring;

+ Experience of surveying and identifying fish, macrophytes, benthic diatoms and/or phytoplankton / zooplankton would be advantageous;

+ River Corridor / River Habitat Survey;

+ Experience of working outside the UK on projects under international performance standards;

+ Protected Species Licence(s);

+ ArcGIS experience;

+ Phase 1 Habitat Survey;

+ CSCS Card.

What We Offer

AECOM is a place where you can put your innovative thinking and business skills into high gear and work alongside other highly intelligent and motivated people. It´s a place where you can apply your skills to some of the world´s most challenging, interesting, and meaningful projects worldwide. It´s a place that values the diversity of our areas of practice and our people. It´s what makes AECOM a great place to work and grow. AECOM is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

_NOTICE TO THIRD PARTY AGENCIES: Please note that AECOM does not accept unsolicited resumes from recruiters or employment agencies. In the absence of a signed Recruitment Fee Agreement, AECOM will not consider or agree to payment of any referral compensation or recruiter fee. In the event a recruiter or agency submits a resume or candidate without a previously signed agreement, AECOM explicitly reserves the right to pursue and hire those candidate(s) without any financial obligation to the recruiter or agency. Any unsolicited resumes, including those submitted to hiring managers, are deemed to be the property of AECOM.