Senior Bat Ecologist (MKO)

MKO is Ireland’s largest Planning and Environmental consultancy. At MKO, our Ecology Team is one of Ireland’s largest, full-time professional ecology practices and works nationwide. Our expertise extends to our dedicated bat unit whose experience and access to the latest equipment allows us to manage surveys from the most sensitive locations to the largest sites. To ensure compliance with the latest best practice guidance, we have invested in the latest handheld and remote identification technology and software to improve bat survey accuracy and results, including full spectrum detectors, automated heterodynes and thermal scopes.

Our team, which includes trained bat handlers, conduct all types of bat surveys including transect surveys, building inspections, remote surveys, site supervision or a combination of all the above. Surveys are tailored to each site, the type of proposed development and the time of year.

We are recruiting a Senior Bat Ecologist to join our dedicated bat team. The successful candidate will be working on public and private sector projects across the renewable energy, transport and infrastructure sectors, as well as conservation and heritage projects. The available position will offer the successful candidate the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects, utilising the skills they may have acquired through formal training, personal interest and previous work experience.

The role offers an exciting opportunity for an ambitious professional to lead a team whose primary focus is the protection of Irish bat species, while collaborating closely with our wider ecology, environment and planning teams. Interdepartmental collaboration is key to a successful project and allows us to influence projects at an early stage to enhance habitats for bats and other wildlife.

Benefits associated with the role include paid professional membership(s) and access to company bonus and pension schemes. A training budget is also available to the successful candidate.

The key responsibilities of the role will include:

  • Project managing bat surveys, impact assessments and other projects from inception to completion.
  • Pricing, scoping, planning and undertaking bat surveys in the terrestrial and marine environments.
  • Preparing written ecological reports, impact assessments, management plans, etc. and delivering fit-for-purpose project outputs within set deadlines. Finding solutions to ecological challenges on projects, particularly bats.
  • Mitigation design and licencing.
  • Interacting, building and maintaining strong relationships with project stakeholders, clients and other project team members. Engaging with the relevant authorities on bat related projects and acting as the main point of contact for the wider bat team.
  • Managing project budgets to ensure the scope of work is completed in the allocated time, with variances highlighted and project invoices issued.
  • Prioritising assigned workload while balancing client expectations, available resources and project deadlines.
  • Reviewing outputs from other bat team members and providing guidance and mentoring for more junior team members.
  • Contributing to the team training plan and keeping up to date with the latest guidelines/publications.

The key requirements of the post will be:

  • A third-level qualification in ecology, zoology, natural sciences, or other related fields that give the candidate the necessary skills to fulfil the role.
  • A minimum of 5 years post-graduate experience in fulfilling similar functions, ideally in a similar consultancy role.
  • A broad range of ecological experience on large-scale projects in key sectors.
  • Excellent report writing and analytical skills, and proven project management abilities.
  • A specialism in bats with a broader working knowledge of other inter-related fields. Have experience in the use of GIS, RStudio, Kaleidoscope Pro, BatExplorer, Ecobat and Microsoft Office.
  • An excellent understanding of the EU Habitats and EIA Directives in so far as they relate to project-based ecological impact assessments being undertaken by an ecological consultancy.
  • Demonstrable ability to manage the busy and varied ecological workload of a team of ecologists.
  • Full driving licence.