staff

Jim Martin B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc., Ph.D., MCIEEM
Managing Director

Jim Martin

Jim Martin

Dr Jim Martin completed his PhD on the conservation of Ireland’s threatened plant species at Trinity College Dublin in 1998 and then commenced a one-year post-doctoral position with Teagasc. He spent two years at the National Agricultural Research Institute in Guyana, South America, instigating biological research projects. Jim has been Managing Director at BEC Consultants since 2003. He has been a senior ecologist on projects such as the Irish Semi-natural Grasslands Survey and National Survey of Native Woodlands. Jim is an accomplished botanist and is very experienced in GIS. He is also proficient in Appropriate Assessment and the preparation of Natura Impact Statements. He has developed expert knowledge on many terrestrial habitats in Ireland, particularly grasslands, fen meadows and hydrophilous tall herb communities. Jim has carried out surveys of alien invasive species (AIS) and has prepared AIS management plans where such non-native invasive species are recorded on a development site, in collaboration with specialist species-removal practitioners.

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Steve Waldren B.Sc. (Hons), Ph.D.
Company Director

Steve Waldren

Steve has held the position of Company Director since the company’s inception in 2000. He plays a key role for the company in providing the secretariat for the Irish National Platform for Biodiversity Research and his expertise in rare plants has been utilised in projects such as Mitigation Measures for the nationally threatened Schoenoplectus triqueter. He acts in an advisory capacity on other projects within the company. Steve is currently the Curator/Administrator of Trinity College Botanic Gardens, and is involved with a range of conservation and research organisations including BGCI/IABG European Botanic Garden Consortium and the Irish Genetic Resources Conservation Trust. His main areas of research are ecological and population genetics, physiological ecology, plant biogeography, island floras and conservation biology.

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Philip Perrin B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc., Ph.D., CEnv., MCIEEM
Director of Ecology

Philip Perrin

Philip joined BEC Consultants in 2003. He is an experienced botanist specialising in woodlands, uplands and saltmarshes. He is currently project co-ordinator for the SAMFHIRES project and working on the Irish Vegetation Classification. His main roles previously were lead ecologist for the National Survey of Upland Habitats (2009-2014), National Survey of Native Woodlands (2003-2008) and the Ancient and Long-established Woodland project (2009-2010). He is skilled in statistical analysis of vegetation data using ordination and clustering techniques and has developed national scale vegetation classification systems for Irish native woodlands, semi-natural grasslands and upland habitats.

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Simon Barron B.Sc. (Hons), CEnv., MCIEEM
Director of Ecology

Simon Barron

Simon joined BEC Consultants in 2004. He has over 18 years’ experience as a professional ecologist. He is experienced in botanical field surveys, mammal surveys and assessing the conservation value of sites. He is project manager for the National Survey of Upland Habitats and has been Project Manager/Lead Ecologist for a number of habitat mapping projects including the County Monaghan Wetland Survey and Killarney National Park Habitat Map. He has completed a number of long-term rare plant rescue translocations for Schoenoplectus triqueterGroenlandia densa and Hordeum secalinum and continues to monitor some of these translocations. Simon is skilled in GIS mapping techniques, aerial photograph interpretation and report writing and is experienced in writing Appropriate Assessments, Natura Impact Statements and BREEAM reports.

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Fionnuala O’Neill B.Sc. (Hons), Dip. Comp. Sc., H. Dip. Appl. Sc., Ph.D., MCIEEM
Principal Ecologist

Fionnuala O’Neill

Dr Fionnuala O’Neill first worked with BEC Consultants in 2005 and joined the company in 2007. She has worked extensively on national surveys, primarily the Irish Semi-natural Grasslands Survey, for which she was lead ecologist, and the National Survey of Native Woodlands. These projects involved detailed botanical surveys, habitat mapping and assessment. She contributed to the 2013 National Conservation Assessments of several EU Annex I grassland and woodland habitats, as a result of her considerable expertise in these habitats. She is an experienced botanist and bryologist, specialising in woodland flora. Fionnuala has conducted habitat surveys and mapping for pre-construction studies, including Environmental Impact Assessments, constraints studies and route selection studies. She has lectured extensively at University College Cork and teaches botany and plant chemistry through BEC Consultants.

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John Brophy B.A. (Mod.), M.Sc., MCIEEM
Senior Ecologist

John Brophy

John joined BEC Consultants in 2012, bringing with him extensive experience in freshwater and marine ecology. He has over eight years’ experience in ecological consultancy, including proposal preparation, field surveying, GIS and report writing. He has carried out field surveys across Ireland for freshwater invertebrates (Q-index), otter, macrophytes, marine invertebrates, and marine and freshwater fish. John has carried out surveys of aquatic and terrestrial alien invasive species (AIS) in advance of site works. Surveys have been carried out as part of Ecological Impact Assessments contributing to the preparation of Environmental Impact Statements, and Appropriate Assessments and Natura Impact Statements, as required under the EU Habitats Directive. With BEC Consultants, John was heavily involved with the Rare Mollusc Survey. He holds a Freshwater Macroinvertebrate Species IdQ from the Natural History Museum, London and a JNCC-recognised Marine Mammal Observer Certificate.

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Orla Daly B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc., MCIEEM
Senior Ecologist

Orla Daly

Orla joined BEC Consultants in 2009. She was lead ecologist on two ancient woodland research projects and has contributed to numerous projects including the Irish Semi–natural Grassland Survey, National Conservation Assessments 2013, Woodland Monitoring Survey and Killarney National Park Habitat Map. She has been involved in several surveys for the Marsh Fritillary butterfly, a species listed on Annex II of the EU Habitats Directive. Since 2010, she has been primarily involved in the National Survey of Upland Habitats as GIS Coordinator/Field Ecologist, conducting vegetation mapping, relevé recording and conservation assessment of Annex I habitats. Orla has extensive practical GIS experience and is completing a part-time Postgraduate Diploma in GIS at the University of Ulster. She also holds an M.Sc. in Biodiversity and Conservation.

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Fiona Devaney B.Sc. (Hons), Ph.D.
Consultant Ecologist

Fiona Devaney

Dr Fiona Devaney is a highly competent ecologist with fifteen years of experience in research, fieldwork and consultancy. Since joining BEC Consultants in 2009, she has amassed considerable knowledge of the biodiversity of a wide range of habitats, having contributed to projects on grassland, coastal, woodland, upland and freshwater habitats. She has worked extensively on national habitat surveys, primarily the Irish Semi-natural Grasslands Survey and the Sand Dune Monitoring Survey, and contributed to the 2013 National Conservation Assessments of several EU Annex I grassland, coastal and upland habitats. She is currently a Work Package Leader for the SAMFHIRES project and was lead ecologist on the SMAATIE project. Fiona is involved at all stages of detailed botanical and habitat surveys, including post-survey analysis, digital mapping and EU Annex I habitat condition assessments. She has extensive experience of working with large datasets and maintaining, digitising and storing field data while ensuring data consistency and accuracy. She holds an honours degree in Botany and a Ph.D. on dune slack ecohydrology.

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Emmi Virkki B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc.
Assistant Ecologist

Emmi Virkki

Emmi Virkki

Emmi has worked with BEC Consultants since 2016. She is a recent graduate from UCD where she did her B.Sc. (Hons.) in Environmental Biology and M.Sc. in Environmental Science. She has experience in freshwater macroinvertebrate sampling and identification, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), report writing, relevé recording, mapping and conducting Annex I habitat conservation assessments. She has conducted Appropriate Assessments and has contributed to a range of other BEC projects including Vegetated Shingle Monitoring, Grasslands Monitoring, the Flora (Protection) Order Bryophyte Survey and The turf-cutting impact review for SACs/ NHAs on Blanket Bogs. Her M.Sc. thesis investigated the differences in macroinvertebrate communities between non-native Stratiotes aloides and native Nuphar lutea in Lough Derg.

Marcin Penk B.Sc., M.Sc., Dip. Stat., Ph.D.
Associate Ecologist

Marcin Penk

Dr Marcin Penk is a research assistant on Saltmarsh Function and Human Impacts in Relation to Ecological Status (SAMPHIRES), an EPA-funded collaborative project between BEC Consultants Ltd and the Department of Botany, Trinity College Dublin (TCD). He has also undertaken marine invertebrate identification for BEC Consultants. Marcin previously worked for five years as an aquatic ecologist with EcoServe, preparing tenders and reports and conducting a wide range of fieldwork including marine and freshwater macroinvertebrate sampling and marine mammal and freshwater pearl mussel surveys. He has extensive experience in macroinvertebrate identification. In 2013, he completed a Ph.D. on the glacial relict opossum shrimp Mysis salemaai in Trinity College Dublin, and subsequently worked as a researcher in the School of Natural Sciences.   Marcin holds a Freshwater Macroinvertebrate Species Identification Qualification (IdQ) from the Natural History Museum, London.

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Maria Long B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., MCIEEM
Associate Ecologist

Maria Long

Dr Maria Long has been a self-employed ecologist since 2002 and has a broad range of botanical and ecological skills. She has worked with BEC Consultants on several projects since 2005, including the National Survey of Native Woodlands, Irish Semi-natural Grasslands Survey and the Marsh Fritillary Survey. Presently her main focus, with BEC Consultants, is on molluscs. She led the Rare Mollusc Survey and is currently the Lead Malacologist on the Vertigo Monitoring Project. This four year project includes surveys of sites across Ireland for all three protected Vertigo species. Maria’s M.Sc. examined coastal management planning and her PhD investigated the effects of cessation of grazing on plant and mollusc communities.

Rory Hodd B.Sc., Ph.D.
Associate Ecologist

Rory Hodd

Dr Rory Hodd has worked as an ecologist and botanist since 2010, during which time he has worked on many projects with BEC Consultants, particularly as a key member of the National Survey of Uplands Habitats (NSUH) team and on other habitat-related projects. Rory is recognised as a national bryophyte expert, and also has expertise on vascular plants and habitats, especially those of the uplands. He is currently working with BEC on two key projects, carrying out a survey of Flora Protection Order bryophytes throughout Ireland and as lead ecologist on a project to monitor eight Annex plant species in Ireland. Rory holds a BSc (Hons.) in Botany and a PhD, which focused on montane vegetation and bryophytes, both from NUI Galway.

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