Senior Aquatic Consultant

Ricardo Energy & Environment

Bristol, UK 🇬🇧

London, UK 🇬🇧

Ricardo Energy & Environment is a leading sustainability consultancy combining energy, climate change, environmental and chemical risk expertise with strong IT and economics capability. Operating across the world, we work in partnership with our customers to help transform the way they work, empowering business leaders with award winning consultancy advice. With unrivalled sector insight and a reputation for producing innovative solutions, we offer a stimulating and rewarding environment in which to work.

The Water & Environment practice of Ricardo Energy & Environment offers a comprehensive range of specialist services within the environmental consultancy sector. Nationally and internationally recognised for our expertise in planning and overseeing complex and sensitive projects, our skills have been utilised by a wide range of clients within the public and private sectors including the European Commission, government, water companies and developers.

Ricardo are committed maintaining and developing a positive and encouraging environment for our staff to thrive in, providing regular company wide and team specific communications, actively seeking feedback from our employees and our customers and encouraging staff to provide regular feedback to their colleagues. Our passionate HR team develop and assist with numerous schemes aimed at improving our employee health and wellbeing as well as their ability, motivation and flexibility to undertake their role to the best of their abilities. At Ricardo, we are acutely aware of the importance of our roles in safeguarding and enhancing our environment and fully believe in our mission to create a world fit for the future.    

Our environmental team have worked tirelessly to support key clients with essential work throughout the Covid-19 outbreak following a smooth transition to home-based, and where necessary, flexible working patterns. Our ecology team are looking to re-enforce and grow our dynamic and experienced team as we look to support clients entering periods of significant investment in environmental services.    


Our Water & Environment practice has a strong project portfolio and we are looking for an experienced Aquatic Ecologist at Senior Consultant grade to join our team. You will join colleagues in providing technical support on a variety of water management and ecology projects, across a wide range of clients in the water, developer and public sectors. You will be expected to contribute as part of a wider national team, working closely with colleagues in Manchester, Bristol, Harwell and London in particular.

The position offers a diverse role, supporting projects and clients across the UK, and occasionally beyond. Experience in Habitats Regulations Assessments (HRA), Marine Ecology or fisheries expertise would be an advantage, whilst also supporting projects encompassing a hydro-ecology focus.

Key accountabilities:

Your role will involve project management and implementation of ecological assessments, plus the coordination of associated surveys, consultation and mitigation in support of our clients’ proposals and operations. You will be involved in managing the technical work of more junior staff and sub-consultants and (depending on experience) managing projects and their direction too. There will also be team leadership opportunities as the team expands.

The nature of the role and the dynamic of the team provides a wealth of opportunities to explore your interests and carry out a range of tasks and functions within aquatic ecology, as well as a range of related disciplines. There is also a degree of flexibility over which facets of the role you become most invested in: be it a more technical focus; project management; developing bids and tenders; or, a more generalist role. Conversely, there will be times where you need to be adaptable and open minded regarding the work you undertake, particularly during busy periods of large projects or bids.

There is also the opportunity to take on a range of management, technical and pastoral roles within the team and the wider company. For example, we recently took the opportunity to train volunteers in each of our offices to undertake roles as mental health fist aiders, to support the wellbeing of our staff throughout the company.

The key competencies and experience and desirable experience for the role are both listed below. The list in not necessarily exclusive and we are willing to discuss applications from candidates who are particularly strong in certain areas, but who may not meet all the criteria listed below. Ideally you will already be working at a senior level, 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.

Key competencies and experience:

  • In depth knowledge of UK and EU Wildlife Legislation, planning policies, licensing requirements and best practice survey techniques;
  • Capable at leading Ecological Impact Assessments and Habitats Regulations Assessments;
  • A good understanding of WFD assessments, in particular the biological metrics and indices that inform ecological status;
  • EcIA and WRMP options appraisal understanding and/or experience would be an advantage;
  • Leading, planning and co-ordinating field surveys, analysing and interpreting survey results and planning and co-ordinating ecological mitigation works;
  • Demonstrable specialist ecological knowledge, such as fisheries or marine ecology preferable;
  • Membership of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; be able to produce meticulous and accurate technical reports as well as communicate confidently with a variety of clients and stakeholders

Be organised with proven ability to multi-task and handle several projects simultaneously

Ideally you will also:

  • have experience of leading and motivating a team of both site and office based staff;
  • have a proven work winning track record, experience of preparing bids and tenders and generating new business opportunities;
  • Mentoring junior colleagues;
  • Building client relationships and generating opportunities;
  • Preparing bids and managing project budgets; and
  • Collaborating with our multi-disciplinary teams within the region.

Skills and behaviours:

A self-starter, as you’ll be part of a small and very busy team. Excellent team working skills are therefore essential together with strong communication skills, sound understanding of ecological impact assessment and a close attention to detail.

Whilst fieldwork skills are needed for this role, there will be a large component of office-based coordination, data analysis, client contact and report writing.

This is a fast-paced and challenging environment offering you the opportunity to make your mark. You will have support from the wider business for your career to develop into a wide range of future opportunities within Ricardo Energy & Environment.

What we can offer you:

This is an exciting and rewarding place to work, with the opportunity to make a difference. What sets us apart is our People. You will work with an exceptional team of talented, dedicated and supportive individuals. You will have a fantastic opportunity to develop your career with us through our broad range of projects, mentoring opportunities and a personalised approach to your learning and development.

Our People are important to us and we take pride in our wellbeing programmes and policies that support individuals including flexible working, carers policy, mental health first aiders and readily available support through our extensive Employee Assistance programme.

Ricardo Energy & Environment has an ambitious diversity, equality and inclusion approach as explained in this message by our CEO.

Once you have submitted your application a member of our Recruitment Team will be in touch. Please be aware that the timing can vary dependent on the volume of applications that we receive for each role and in some cases, we may start to review applications prior to the closing date.




IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development