Principal Consultant – Aquatic Ecologist (Ricardo Energy & Environment)

Our vision is to create a safe and sustainable world

Energy & Environment, one of Ricardo plc’s five operating business units, is a leader in sustainability consultancy, solving complex environmental challenges through industry-leading analysis, advice and data. With more than 40 years of heritage in addressing air quality, environmental and sustainability issues, our customers value us for our deep understanding and breadth of services covering the entire value chain from evidence, policy & strategy to implementation.

We are currently looking for an experienced Principal Aquatic Ecologist to join our Ecology team within the Water Practice.

Key responsibilities

  • Act as technical lead for the production of consent related technical assessments such as the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA), Water Framework Directive (WFD), European Protected Species (EPS) and/or Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) Assessment.
  • Provide technical leadership across the Ecology team to deliver inputs across all project stages from bidding/feasibility/optioneering, extensive field survey programming, detailed design and assessment.
  • Provide leadership that will drive and develop technically excellent services and identify new opportunities across the market to sustain continued growth and expansion in the team.
  • Have a willingness, appetite and enthusiasm for new challenges and for being central to the growth and continual technical development of our Ecology team

Key competencies and experience

  • A first degree in a relevant subject, such as ecology or other biological sciences, and/or a relevant postgraduate qualification;
  • Have at least 10 years’ commercial consultancy experience and have Full Membership of CIEEM and/or Chartered Ecologist status.
  • Extensive knowledge of UK and EU Wildlife Legislation, planning policies, licensing requirements and best practice survey techniques.

Skills and Behaviour

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; be able to produce meticulous and accurate technical reports.
  • Excellent team working skills are therefore essential together with strong communication skills.
  • Be able to represent Ricardo and its clients to key stakeholders, including wide-ranging technical engagement and consultation with regulators, local authorities, NGOs and the general public.


  • Post graduate qualification (Masters or Doctorate).
  • Experience in providing clients with the accurate and proportionate technical and consenting advice in relation to DCOs and significant infrastructure projects in the UK.
  • Experience in Project Direction and technical reviews.

Working here

Ricardo is an exciting and rewarding place to work and you have the opportunity to make a difference. You will work with teams of talented, dedicated, and supportive individuals. Alongside having 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. We are always keen to hear from people who have driven, ambition and a flair for innovative thinking.

Wellbeing and work life balance

We offer flexible approaches to work, whether that’s working from home, being in the office, or as a hybrid worker. We’re happy to discuss flexible working arrangements. Wellbeing is at the core to our culture, allowing employees to flourish and to achieve their full potential. 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.

Principal Aquatic Ecologist in Flexible | Agile Consulting Solutions at Flexible, UK (