How long have you worked at Clarkson & Woods?
Originally from Nancy, Lorraine in the north-eastern part of France I first joined Clarkson and Woods back in 2018 working as an intern as part of my end-of-studies internship. This was part of my masters degree where I was studying general agronomy and environmental sciences at the ENSAT National School of Toulouse. At the end of my internship I had to give a presentation on my 6 months at C&W and reflect on the role of an ecological consultant in the UK. The presentation was in Toulouse which Tom attended as part of the jury. I was then lucky enough to be offered a role as an Assistant Ecologist at Clarkson and Woods. I am now working as a Senior Ecologist at the company.
Before starting at Clarkson and Woods I did a 6-month internship in Darwin, Australia with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. This was a research internship working on a wet tropics study, particularly on Australian ants ecology and diversity. This included lots of field work in indigenous protected areas to study the local fauna. After my time in Australia, I then undertook a 4-month internship working in Koh Tao in Thailand with the New Heaven Reef Conservation Program. During my time here I undertook daily dives as part of a research study. This involved different conservation techniques such as mineral accretion device basics and techniques, coral diseases monitoring and identification and nudibranch ecology and identification. I also gained enough skills to become a dive leader on coral safaris where I taught new interns how to identify coral genders and coral disease.
What is your favourite species to survey?
My favourite surveys to undertake are breeding bird surveys. I enjoy it just being me and the birds and listening to them singing in the sunshine.
I am also particularly excited to be working on a project led by the National Trust with the aim of developing a business case to develop up to 20,500 hectares of new and enhanced habitat. The new habitat will create habitat banks around England which will be used to meet developers’ Biodiversity Net Gain habitat creation needs.
Being part of the Clarkson and Woods solar team is something else I really love being involved in. The highlight of these last two years have been the publication, in conjunction with Solar Energy UK Lancaster University and Wychwood Biodiversity, of a standardised methodology for ecological monitoring of solar sites and the first report, Solar Habitat: A Look into Ecological Trends on Solar Farms, based on this approach. We have also recently been to Solar & Storage live for a second year running where we will be hosting an exhibition stand to promote the standardised methodology and Solar Habitat report.
My favourite thing about working at Clarkson and Woods is the company’s ethics with a focus on staff mental health and well-being, highlighted through our 4-day working week scheme. I’m also fortunate enough to work with amazing colleagues who all have a vast variety of experience and knowledge we are able to share with each other.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Singing has always been a big passion of mine. I have recently joined an amateur musical theatre club where I performed for the first time on stage at the Redgrave Theatre in Bristol for the Musical Evita. Many studies show that singing improve mental health and happiness which is why I also really enjoy having regular singing lessons in Bristol!
I am also a keen bird watcher and am a committee member of the Bristol Ornithological Club where I mostly help managing the walks booking and producing a monthly newsletter.