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Assistant Freshwater Ecologist

  1. Peterborough, Derby

Our Water Management Consultancy operates at the interface between people and the water environment. Our key services cover all aspects of water management including: flood and coastal erosion risk management, integrated catchment management, regulation and assurance, strategic asset management, water resources and water quality planning, hydrogeology and hydrology, aquatic ecology, hydromorphology and river restoration, climate futures and resilience, coastal and marine environmental management, and economic appraisal. 


Atkins Background

At Atkins we offer more than just a job. We offer an opportunity to make a difference and shape the world to benefit future generations and the natural environment.

Being Highly Commended by CIEEM in 2019 and awarded CIEEM’s Large Consultancy of the Year 2018, the Atkins ecology team are one of the most respected in the UK. We have a reputation for technical excellence, innovation, award winning and actively shaping the future of the ecology industry.

We are now seeking to expand our team of aquatic ecologists within Atkins’ Water Management Consultancy. If you are looking to deliver interesting and significant projects, influence environmental outcomes at the project level and beyond, and work within a strong culture of well-being, innovation and inclusivity, this is the place for you.

As an aquatic ecologist, focused on freshwater habitats and species, you can expect to deliver river and wetland ecological assessment, enhancement and restoration, as well as hydro-ecological investigation and mitigation to drive tangible improvements within river catchments throughout the UK and overseas. Our aquatic ecologists have been involved in prestigious restoration and design projects, such as the award-winning Wensum Restoration Strategy and the creation of new wetland landscapes within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.  By joining Atkins, you will have opportunities to be involved in a range of high‑profile ventures like these.

The dynamic and influential relationship between our aquatic ecology team and our engineering design and planning colleagues provide exceptional opportunities for you to develop your technical and commercial skills.

We value flexible working within our team and would encourage working from different offices across the region, flexible working hours and working from home as part of regular operating. The role would preferably be based from our Derby, Peterborough or Glasgow Office, but working with key specialists from our other national office bases (including Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Epsom, Oxford, Peterborough, London, Swansea and Warrington).

Still unsure? See what our ecologists have to say about working at Atkins:


Essential requirements:

  • A degree in a relevant discipline with a strong focus on freshwater ecology.
  • Keen understanding of aquatic ecology assessment procedures and relevant UK and EU nature conservation legislation.
  • Experience of undertaking river and wetland habitat/ecological walkover and species surveys.
  • Numerate, literate and familiar with IT and software appropriate to the tasks undertaken.
  • A full UK driver’s license and availability for travel across the UK and occasionally overseas would be an advantage.

Desirable requirements: 

  • A relevant post-graduate degree.
  • Working knowledge of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the tools used in the assessment of ecological status.
  • Experience of undertaking Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) and/or hydro-ecological investigation.
  • Membership of a relevant professional body (e.g. CIEEM, CIWEM) working towards Chartership. 
  • Experience of:
    • project co-ordination and fieldwork management;
    • management of budgets; and
    • stakeholder liaison.


The role involves, but is not limited to:

  • Providing support to the national aquatic ecology team.
  • Undertaking technical reporting for a wide range of projects.
  • Co-ordinating ecological inputs to projects.
  • Assisting on ecological field surveys and Ecological Impact Assessments (EcIA).
  • Maintaining excellent relationships with other professionals (environmental scientists, engineers, planning consultants) throughout Atkins to provide a consistent and integrated service to clients;
  • Supporting the team with winning work from internal and external clients.
  • Developing your technical skills through Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
  • Managing your own time and workload in collaboration with other team members.

The Individual

  • Highly motivated and proactive; focussed on achieving and delivering technical excellence. 
  • Skilled at collaborative working, with good interpersonal skills and an ability to communicate effectively. 
  • Flexible and prepared to take on new challenges.
  • Excellent communication, report writing and presentation skills.

What we offer

Atkins is ranked as one of ‘The Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies to Work For’ and as one of the ‘The Times Top 50 Employers for Women’. We support flexible working and equal opportunities as we believe that diverse teams provide the best mix of interpersonal and technical skills needed to exceed our customers’ expectations. Our commitment to staff development is underpinned by numerous stable and long-term framework agreements with key clients


Atkins develops individuals through a portfolio of training and development activities designed to help you make the best of your abilities and talents. These are reviewed with individuals through an annual appraisal process. We actively support staff in achieving corporate membership of relevant institutions such as IEMA, RTPI, LI, ICE, CIEEM, and CIWEM.

Rewards and Benefits

Please refer to our website for details of our full benefits package .

This role may require security clearance and offers of employment will be dependent on obtaining the relevant level of clearance. If this is necessary, it will be discussed with you at interview.If applying to this role please do not make reference to (in conversation) or include in your application or CV, details of any current or previously held security clearance.

ATKINS, part of the SNC Lavalin Group, is committed to having a diverse and inclusive workforce. As an Equal Opportunities Employer, we value applications from all backgrounds, cultures and ability.

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