staff

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.

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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 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.

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John Brophy B.A. (Hons), M.Sc., CEcol, MCIEEM
Principal 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 and is currently leading the National Saltmarsh Monitoring Project 2017-2018. 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), 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 and an M.Sc. in Biodiversity and Conservation from Trinity College Dublin.

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Marcin Penk B.Sc., M.Sc., Dip. Stat., Ph.D.
Senior 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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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, 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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