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

Jim Martin

Jim Martin

Jim completed his Ph.D. thesis at the Botany Department of Trinity College Dublin in 1998 and then commenced a one-year post-doctoral position with Teagasc. Before taking up his current position he spent two years at the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) in Guyana, South America, and six months working on the raised bog designations team for the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). During his time with BEC Consultants Jim has successfully led a number of large-scale national ecological projects including the National Survey of Native Woodland (2003-2008), the Irish Semi-natural Grasslands Survey (2007-2013), and the Monitoring and assessment of three EU Habitats Directive Annex I grassland habitats (2015-2018). Jim is an accomplished ecologist and is experienced in habitat mapping and GIS. He is currently working on iHabiMAP (Habitat mapping, assessment and monitoring with high resolution imagery) a four year project funded by the EPA to investigate habitat mapping in grassland, upland, and sand dune habitats using high resolution satellite data and data collected with unmanned aerial vehicles. Jim has also worked on projects in the areas of restoration ecology, Environmental Impact Assessment Reports (EIAR), Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIA), Appropriate Assessments (AA), the preparation of Natura Impact Statements (NIS), and alien invasive species surveys. Jim is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (MCIEEM)

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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. Philip is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (MCIEEM), and a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv).

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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, is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (MCIEEM), and a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv). He is experienced in botanical field surveys, mammal surveys and assessing the conservation value of sites. He project managed the National Survey of Upland Habitats (2009-2014) 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. For three years Simon acted as Scientific Assistant for Blanket Bogs to National Parks and Wildlife Service (2015-2018) developing a management system for turf-cutting occurring within SACs. 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 screening reports for 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
Director of Ecology

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. Fionnuala is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (MCIEEM).

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John Brophy B.A. (Hons), M.Sc., CEcol, MCIEEM
Director of Ecology

John Brophy

John joined BEC Consultants in 2012, bringing with him extensive experience in freshwater and marine ecology. He has over 14 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 and the Vertigo Monitoring Project, which surveyed Vertigo angustior, Vertigo geyeri and Vertigo moulinsiana. He was also project manager for the National Saltmarsh Monitoring Project 2017-2018.

John is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (MCIEEM), as well as a Chartered Ecologist (CECol). He holds a Freshwater Macroinvertebrate Species IdQ from the Natural History Museum, London and is intercalibrated with the EPA for carrying out Small Streams Risk Score (SSRS) assessments.

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

Orla Daly

Orla joined BEC Consultants in 2009. She has extensive experience in vegetation mapping according to the Irish habitat classification, EU Annex I habitats and to vegetation community level. She has worked on several national monitoring surveys, including the Woodland Monitoring Survey 2017-2018, for which she was Project Manager, Juniper Monitoring, Grassland Monitoring, Vegetated Shingle Monitoring and Rare Plant Monitoring. In 2018, she assisted with the compilation of National Conservation Assessments for EU Annex I grassland, coastal and woodland habitats. During her time on the National Survey of Upland Habitats, Orla surveyed fifteen upland SACs across Ireland, conducting vegetation mapping, recording relevés and conducting conservation assessments. She was lead ecologist on numerous county Marsh Fritillary butterfly surveys, a species listed on Annex II of the EU Habitats Directive. She has conducted surveys of alien invasive species (AIS) and written habitat management plans (e.g. Knockree Nature Conservation Management Plan). She has extensive data-handling expertise, and is accomplished in the management, creation and integration of spatial datasets. With the company, Orla is the over-arching individual responsible of GIS quality control. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in GIS with the University of Ulster, an M.Sc. in Biodiversity and Conservation from Trinity College Dublin and is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (MCIEEM).

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Jessica Hamilton B.Sc.

Jessica Hamilton

Jessica Hamilton

Jessica joined BEC Consultants in 2022. She has a bachelor’s degree in Field Biology from Munster Technological University (formerly IT Tralee) and is currently studying for her M.Sc. in Environmental Sustainability at University College Dublin. Alongside botany, she is also passionate about Irish invertebrates and has good entomology skills and is an avid biological recorder.

Since joining BEC Consultants, Jessica has been working on a range of projects that BEC is undertaking including the monitoring of Annex I Grasslands, The National Fen Survey, Vertigo National Monitoring Project and Woodland Re-assessment.

Prior to joining BEC, she has worked on a range of other projects. In 2021, Jessica worked for Trinity College Dublin, and carried out the re-monitoring of permanent woodland plots in Killarney National Park (Hamilton et al., 2022). She has also previously worked for Envirico Ltd where she worked on a range of projects including offshore breeding seabird surveys, invasive species surveys, invertebrate surveys, vegetation surveys and community biodiversity projects.

Jessica also an active member of the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI). As well as running her local group (BSBI Kerry), she has co-authored resources on Annex I Grasslands that occur in Ireland which were produced as part of The Irish Grasslands Project.

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Katharine Woods B.A. (Hons)

Katharine Woods

Katharine Woods

Katharine is a recent graduate from Trinity College Dublin and holds an honours degree in Environmental Sciences for which she was awarded a Gold Medal for exceptional academic achievement. During her time in Trinity, Katharine worked on the 30-year Woodlands Monitoring Project resurveying over 80 permanent plots across a variety of woodland habitats in Killarney National Park. Her undergraduate thesis focused on the impacts of Rhododendron ponticum on woodland flora and community composition in oak woodlands in Killarney National Park.  Katharine joined BEC Consultants in May 2022 and, since then, has been involved in a number of projects including the Woodland Reassessment Survey, Grassland Monitoring Survey and National Fen Survey.

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

Marcin Penk

Dr Marcin Penk completed a PhD in aquatic ecology in the Department of Zoology at Trinity College Dublin in 2013 and is currently a Research and Teaching Fellow in the School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin. He is leading the EPA-funded Small Scale Study on ‘Preliminary carbon stocks of Irish saltmarshes’, and participates in the EPA-funded SAMFHIRES project (Saltmarsh Function and Human Impacts in Relation to Ecological Status). He has undertaken freshwater and marine invertebrate surveys for BEC Consultants, including freshwater pearl mussel and crayfish. Marcin has previously worked for five years as an aquatic ecologist with EcoServe, preparing tenders and reports and conducting a wide range of freshwater and marine surveys. He has extensive experience in macroinvertebrate identification and holds a Freshwater Macroinvertebrate Species Identification Qualification (IdQ) from the Natural History Museum, London.

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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, as lead ecologist on a project to monitor eight Annex plant species in Ireland and has carried out monitoring of a range of coastal, grassland and woodland habitats. Rory is recognised as a national bryophyte expert, having undertaken surveys of rare bryophytes listed on the Flora Protection Order (FPO) throughout Ireland. He also has much expertise on vascular plants and the full range of Irish habitats. 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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