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Freshwater Ecologist

  1. Warrington
  1. Environment & geoscience

Freshwater Ecologist

SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business is one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, with over 50,000 employees worldwide.

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 proactive responses to interesting projects, influence environmental protection at a project level and and work within a strong culture of wellbeing, 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 working. The role would be based from our Warrington Office but working with key specialists from our other national office bases (including Derby, Peterborough or Glasgow, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Epsom, Oxford, Peterborough, London and Swansea).

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 and preferably relevant post-graduate qualification.
  • A minimum of 2 years consultancy experience.
  • Highly experienced in freshwater field survey programme management with a focus on the implementation of protocols for the collection of ecological and water quality samples.
  • Working knowledge of UK aquatic invertebrate sampling and analysis procedures with proven experience of benthic invertebrate sample collection and management e.g. kick sampling, field sample sorting/preservation, and qualified to undertake bankside identification to family level.
  • Experience of undertaking watercourse walkover surveys including the collection of physical habitat data in line with Water Framework Directive (WFD) reporting requirements.
  • Ability to undertake fish habitat survey and identify fish in the field.
  • Management of health and safety and quality assurance procedures for site field survey and office-based work activities
  • Experience of producing and managing the delivery of technical reports detailing ecological and water quality data.
  • 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.
  • Chartered (e.g. CEnv, CSci, CEcol) or with a professional registration actively working towards chartered status.  

Desirable requirements: 

  • Experience in the delivery of environmental assessments e.g. EcIA, with a focus on freshwater habitats and species. Experience of working on large infrastructure projects is desirable.
  • Working knowledge of the WFD and the tools used in the assessment of ecological status, plus WFD compliance assessment experience is desirable.
  • Experience of hydro-ecological investigation, HRA and water resource management.
  • Experience of managing the delivery of freshwater fieldwork programmes and undertaking river and wetland habitat/ecological walkover and species surveys. Accredited RHS/MoRPh surveyor status is desirable.
  • Knowledge of programme, resource and financial management
  • Experience of bid preparation is desirable
  • Have a valid driving license, be available to travel across the UK and occasionally overseas.


  • The role involves, but is not limited to:
  • Leading technical inputs to aquatic ecological field surveys, assessments and reporting.
  • Co-ordinating ecological inputs to projects.
  • Undertaking technical reporting for a wide range of projects.
  • Working collaboratively with other Atkins’ businesses.
  • Responding to enquiries and providing input to bids for the future success of the business.
  • Maintaining excellent professional relationships with both colleagues and external clients and regulators, which can lead to securing repeat business.
  • Working effectively as part of a team and with other professionals (environmental scientists, engineers, planners) throughout Atkins to provide a consistent and integrated service to our clients.
  • Developing your technical and project management 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, have good interpersonal skills and an ability to communicate effectively.
  • Client focused and a high level of relationship management skills.
  • Strong reputation and high‑level technical performance.
  • Flexible and prepared to take on new challenges.
  • Excellent communication, report writing and presentation skills.
  • Chartered status or working towards getting chartered through CIEEM, CIWEM or equivalent.

What we offer

Atkins recognise that there are many well qualified people who are looking to further their career, but who cannot commit to full time employment. We support flexible working arrangements and are interested to discuss how we can accommodate individual requirements.As part of this commitment, we understand the need for a diverse and flexible workforce, where a work-life balance is important. So, by default Atkins offers flexible working, where there is no fixed 9 ‘till 5, no need for a 5-day week, no requirement for a full-time contract, and no requirement to spend all your working time in the office.  Our IT systems support home-working, so where you have parental or carer duties; or you simply need to be elsewhere for a parcel, servicing your car, or waiting in for a tradesperson; Atkins will work for you.  Similarly, Atkins’ corporate social responsibility provides the opportunity to give something back to the community, and we run professional networks supporting groups such as local schools, charities, parents, those coming out of the armed-forces and women in engineering.

Training and Development

Atkins develops individuals through a portfolio of training and development activities designed to help its staff make the best of their abilities and talents. This includes our in-house Academy system, competency framework system and our Professionals Programme (for senior staff). Personal development is reviewed through a bi-annual appraisal process and mentoring support. We actively support staff in achieving membership of relevant professional institutions and attaining chartership and were one of the first companies awarded the status of Chartered Environmentalist Employer Champion.

Rewards and Benefits

We offer a competitive salary that is regularly tested against other consultants with a default 25-days leave each year plus bank holidays and options to buy some or sell of that leave.

To support and safeguard your physical and mental wellbeing we provide an employee assistance programme offering advice and support in times of need.  Our offices run their own sports and social clubs providing a wide range of activities.  You will also have access to our Flexible Benefits, where you can opt in to a wide range of benefits to complement your work/life balance: such as medical insurance, gym membership, the cycle-to-work scheme, child care vouchers, charitable giving, additional pension contributions etc.

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


We encourage the opportunity to discuss a flexible working pattern for this vacancy, and we ask you to explore the flexible working options during the interview process.

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 recognise that there are many well qualified people who are looking to further their career, but who cannot commit to full time employment. We support flexible working arrangements and are interested to discuss how we can accommodate individual requirements. 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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Job Type

Full Time



Career Area

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Environment & geoscience




United Kingdom


SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business is one of the world’s most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies with over 50,000 employees worldwide. At Atkins, we offer more than just a j



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Abhishek  Manmadhan View ** DEFAULT listwidget.vacancypartial.shortlist - en-GB **

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