Senior or Principal Freshwater Ecologist

Thomson Environmental Consultants Guildford, United Kingdom Freshwater Aquatic Ecology Consultancy

Company Description

Thomson environmental consultants: The independent, employee-owned consultancy, chosen by successful clients, admired by competitors, and the place to work preferred by top specialists.

With offices across the UK, our experts are committed to delivering our clients exceptional outcomes across a range of environmental services and ecological contracting.

Our services include but are not limited to: terrestrial ecology, freshwater ecology, marine ecology, habitat management, arboricultural services, geospatial and data management, environmental impact assessments.

Our people make us who we are; we are commercial but not corporate, guided by our values of Respect, Integrity, Support and Excellence. Career growth and development is highly valued at Thomson, and we nurture talent, leading to rapid career-progression opportunities. Our people benefit from access to a diverse range of industry-accredited external trainings, as well as in-house training opportunities led by our specialists. The variety of projects we deliver across the breadth of environmental services encourages cross-team working and collaboration.


We have an exciting opportunity for an experienced technical specialist to join our small but growing freshwater team, working closely with our Director of Aquatic Ecology and supporting junior aquatic ecologists in the team. It’s a varied role, allowing you to utilise and further enhance your aquatic consultant skills.

You will be responsible for the delivery of freshwater projects, including leading surveys, undertaking data analysis, and preparing technical reports. You will also support the delivery of fish population monitoring and fish rescue work. Finally, you'll be responsible for the line management and training of junior staff in the freshwater team. This is a permanent position ideally based either in our Head Office in Guildford or primarily remotely, with some travel to Guildford based on business and team needs.

You will already be working at principal or senior level, ideally with experience within commercial consultancy. As such, you will ideally have experience of undertaking business development, preparing quotes and tenders, and building client relationships. You will be a technical expert and capable of writing accurate and concise technical reports. You will ideally have technical expertise in macroinvertebrate and macrophyte identification skills, and experience in using freshwater biological indices used in describing the status or health of a river system.


Successful candidates must

  • have relevant and proven experience in a similar role, ideally within the commercial environmental sector
  • hold a degree or postgraduate degree (or equivalent) in a related subject, such as Aquatic Ecology, Hydro-ecology etc.
  • be technically competent, with an in-depth knowledge of aquatic ecology, legislation, and survey techniques
  • have excellent written and verbal communication skills; be able to produce accurate technical reports as well as communicate confidently with clients and stakeholders
  • be organised with proven ability to multi-task and handle several projects simultaneously
  • have a strong desire to succeed and a growth mindset
  • be a member of an appropriate professional institute
  • be able and willing to travel and stay away from home
  • have a full UK driving licence and use of a car

Ideally you will also

  • have macroinvertebrate identification skills to family level (TL3), preferably mixed taxon level (TL5)
  • have experience of leading and motivating a team of both site and desk-based staff
  • have a proven work winning track record, experience of preparing bids and tenders and generating new business opportunities.
  • have experience with water vole and otter surveys
  • have a river condition assessment method accreditation and/or a white clawed crayfish licence

Other information

As an Employee-Owned Trust, all Thomson employees have a stake in the business. An EOT model is a way to transfer future ownership of a company to its people – minimizing the chance of cultural or commercial disruptions. As a rapidly growing company, Thomson employees will reap the rewards, including performance-related annual bonuses. We’re proud of this unique opportunity that we offer our people which makes us stand out in the environmental consultancy world.

You’ll enjoy all the benefits we have to offer, including EOT approved bonuses (after a qualifying period), a rewarding varied role, 25 days annual leave, flexible working, regular social events and great training.


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