Jill shares with us how she got into ecology, her career path, and personal interests, and what she is looking forward to in her new role.
I was incredibly lucky to secure my first job in environmental consultancy, which was entirely the result of contacts made during my part-time role I held in the Microbiology Lab in Scottish Water during my honours degree.
Having been in the environmental consultancy industry now for over 15 years, I have been lucky to have worked in a multitude of locations, roles, secondments into client offices and on some significant infrastructure projects along with discrete and interesting ecological studies.
During this time, there has been a seismic shift in public perception of key ecological principles and global threats such as climate change, plastic waste, and rewilding. Fairly academic principles taught during my degree are now, on the whole, accepted by the public as fact.
It’s such an exciting time for our Industry what with recent reintroductions of key stone species in the Scottish Highlands, Biodiversity Net Gain now a legal requirement and the pandemic shining a spotlight on the importance of access to green space and nature for our wellbeing. Growing up on the Isle of Skye, with a passionate amateur naturalist as my mum, I was always conscious of our environmental footprint but now, as a parent myself I feel the weight of responsibility that bit more.
In all areas of my life, I hate waste. Be that in the kitchen or my own well-loved garden. I always look for creative ways to design-out waste in my clients’ projects such as finding ways to reuse materials and I’m currently assisting with the development of a community garden in my village in my spare time. There is a limited budget, allowing my creative juices to flow. Expect reused wooden pallets, plant-swaps and good old-fashioned Scottish penny pinching in the name of charity!
One of the aspects of my job that I really enjoy is the chance to work on so many complex projects such as those with multiple (often conflicting) ecological sensitivities where bespoke or innovative solutions are required.
I was with my last employer for nine years, joining as a Principal Ecologist and leaving as a Director and I was very much ready for a new challenge. I am delighted to join APEM at such an interesting time in the company’s history. I am looking forward to getting to know all my new colleagues, what makes them tick and how we can work together to drive the business forward.
Welcome aboard Jill, we look forward to seeing what exciting developments you bring to APEM’s terrestrial ecology team. You can find out more about APEM’s terrestrial ecology services here.