15 Jul 2013 BSG Ecology’s Invertebrate Specialists
At BSG Ecology we routinely field requests for invertebrate surveys. These can take many forms, but typically include: surveys of sites with potential to support invertebrate species or invertebrates associated with habitats of principal importance (NERC Act 2006); assessment of biological water quality of ponds, lakes, streams and rivers, using freshwater invertebrates as indicators of ecosystem health; or more bespoke surveys of protected or otherwise notable invertebrate species (e.g. white-clawed crayfish, or rare dragonfly or butterfly species).
We have recently had the pleasure of welcoming three new members to the team who all have a strong background in entomology. These complement our existing specialists, spread across our offices, who are experienced in numerous subject areas, not least crayfish surveys, butterfly surveys, and survey and site assessment affecting brownfield sites. This recruitment drive emphasises the growth of demand for invertebrate assessment work, and the importance of being able to deliver a comprehensive and tailored entomological service to our clients. Through this team, supported by other accomplished ecologists and associates with specialist knowledge in this subject area, we are well positioned to tackle a growing portfolio of invertebrate surveys and site assessments. Here’s a little bit about the new recruits…
Dr Jim Fairclough (Principal Ecologist & Lead Entomologist, based in our Hathersage Office)
Jim’s PhD investigated the British invertebrate community associated with dung and dung enriched habitats. During this, Jim became familiar with the diverse community of invertebrates across a range of groups (but especially the beetles) that utilise the dung habitat for at least part of their life-cycle. Prior to joining BSG Ecology Jim led the ecology team at the multidisciplinary consultancy, Golder Associates (UK) Ltd. As well as day to day management of a diverse portfolio of projects, many of which involved production of ecology chapters to support Environmental Statements, Jim was instrumental in developing the entomological service at Golder. Here Jim took part in aquatic and terrestrial surveys and species identification of critical groups. Throughout his career, Jim has provided training in invertebrate survey and identification, and his particular specialism is in wetland habitats, for which he has been long involved in development of mitigation strategies for great crested newts and water vole. Jim has been working for BSG Ecology for the last 3 months, and has already undertaken invertebrate assessments across Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Hertfordshire and Gwent.
Dr Jessica Kent (Senior Ecologist, based in our Oxford Office)
Jessica was trained in freshwater macroinvertebrate and fish identification whilst undertaking a professional placement year at the Environment Agency, during her degree in Ecology and Environmental Management at Cardiff University. Her passion for freshwater ecology was directed under the mentorship of Professor Steve Ormerod, and her BSc dissertation focussed on macroinvertebrate community structure in streams of contrasting pH. She subsequently completed a PhD at the University of Birmingham, which examined the impact of acid deposition on the ecosystem function of benthic communities in streams in mid-Wales, and explored the potential barriers to biological recovery in streams that had been treated with lime. Whilst employed by AMEC E&I UK Ltd, Jessica was involved in a number of large-scale freshwater biological quality monitoring projects, most notably at the Royal Parks in London. Jessica joined BSG Ecology in June, and has already assisted with the collection and identification of invertebrates at sites in Derbyshire and Bradford.
Rachel Taylor (Senior Ecologist, based in our Newport Office)
Rachel has a long-standing interest in aquatic invertebrates. Her BSc dissertation examined the invertebrates in otter diet. Rachel continued to work with invertebrates through her MSc, for which she produced a dissertation on the Medicinal Leech Hirudo medicinalis population in two sites in South Wales, having first trained and received a licence from CCW (now NRW). This paved the way for a spell of work with Swansea Ecology Research Team. Most recently Rachel undertook a project to provide baseline aquatic invertebrate data for a newly restored fen at Oxwich NNR, Gower Peninsula. Rachel joined BSG Ecology in April and has since been involved in several major wind farm projects and invertebrate assessment for a large anaerobic digestion project on the Gwent Levels.
For further information please contact:
Dr Jim Fairclough – Hathersage: 01433 651869
Rachel Taylor – Newport: 01633 509000
Neil Beamsley – Newcastle: 0191 303 8964