Our Team

Beccy Osborn (BA Hons. Oxon, MSc, MCIEEM) – Director

Beccy is the company director and established Direct Ecology in 2008. Beccy has a degree in Biological Sciences from Oxford University and an MSc in Environmental Management from the University of Stirling, as well as being a full member of CIEEM.  She has over twenty years’ experience in the ecology sector, during which time she has gained a wealth of experience and expertise working on a wide variety of projects and species. Beccy has provided ecological support to major infrastructure projects from the early stages with Preliminary Ecological Appraisals, through Environmental Impact Assessment, to Ecological Clerk of Works and biodiversity audits. She has been the lead author on Environmental Assessment chapters for projects impacting European protected areas and species as well as Habitat Regulations Appraisals. Beccy has experience of surveying for a range of protected species and holds survey licences for bats, freshwater pearl mussels, great crested newts, otters, red squirrel and badgers.  She holds a badger development licence and bat low level impact licence.   She also has a CSCS card and is a fully qualified tree climber.

Gwen Dean (BSc Hons., PhD, MCIEEM) – Senior Ecologist

Gwen is a Senior Ecologist and joined Direct Ecology in 2013 having previously worked in the environmental sector south of the border.  She has a PhD and a first-class honours degree from the University of Birmingham, as well as being a full member of CIEEM. She has significant experience carrying out a range of habitat assessments and protected species surveys.  Gwen holds Scottish Natural Heritage and Natural England licences for bats and great crested newts, and has extensive experience as an Ecological Clerk of Works for various projects; including those involving bats, badgers, amphibians and reptiles.  She is a qualified tree climber and has carried out numerous at-height tree surveys allowing for the identification of bat roost sites.

Sarah Moore (BSc Hons., MSc, PhD, MCIEEM) – Principal Ecologist

Sarah is a Principal Ecologist at Direct Ecology.  Sarah joined the company in 2017 and now has twenty years’ experience as an ecologist. She has a BSc from Lancaster University, an MSc from Imperial College, London and a PhD in evolutionary ecology from the University of Stirling.  Sarah is also a full member of CIEEM.

Her initial ecological training was in vegetation surveys and she has undertaken Phase 1 and Groundwater Dependent Terrestrial Ecosystem surveys of upland wind farms and hydropower sites, as well as Phase 1 surveys of numerous small development sites across Scotland and Phase 1 and National Vegetation Classification surveys in Wales.

Sarah provides ornithological support to a range of projects, from infrastructure works such as the Orkney Connection Project to smaller plans such as local hydropower and woodland creation schemes. She has been involved in many ornithological impact assessments for wind farms, working on bid preparation, resourcing and managing the projects.  More recently, she has taken on a lead role in managing the survey work and delivery of the ecology chapter for a major roads upgrade scheme.

Anna Dennis (BA Hons., MSc, ACIEEM) – Assistant Principal Ecologist

Anna joined Direct Ecology in 2016.  She has a BA(Hons) in Biological Sciences, an MSc in Oceanography, and an MSc in Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants.  Anna’s area of expertise is in vegetation surveys and she has carried out Phase 1 surveys and National Vegetation Classification work across Scotland, as part of planning applications, during ECoW work, and for BREEAM assessments.  This included managing and undertaking a major programme of survey work on the Orkney Connection Project.  Anna has also worked on peatland surveys as part of restoration schemes which includes bog vegetation condition, hydrology, peat depth and structure.  She has experience of protected species surveys including otters, badger, pine marten, great crested newt and bats, both daytime and nocturnal work.  Anna undertakes project management and fieldwork for a wide range of projects, supporting and training staff, and developing internal procedures.  Most recently, she is undertaking a supporting role with regards to delivery of the ecology chapter for a major roads upgrade scheme.

Emma Robson (MSci, ACIEEM) – Senior Ecologist

Emma joined Direct Ecology in 2020 having worked in ecological consultancy in England for four years.  Emma graduated with an MSci in Marine Biology from the University of Southampton, after which she undertook a placement at the Wildlife Trust, during which she gained skills in botanical identification and habitat assessment.  Emma has Great Crested Newt (GCN) and hazel dormouse licences.  She has a keen interest in botany and achieved a level 4 in the BSBI Field Identification Skills Certificate.  Emma has a wide range of experience within ecological consultancy including project management, Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA), Biodiversity Net Gain and protected species surveys.

Callum McNeill-Ritchie (BSc, GIBiol, MCIEEM) – Consultant Ecologist

Callum joined Direct Ecology in 2010.  He has a BSc in Applied Biology and is a Graduate of the Institute of Biology in Ecology and Animal Behaviour.  Callum has extensive experience of a range of protected species survey work including: bat roost assessment and nocturnal watches, licensed roost exclusion, and bat box installation and checks; badger survey and monitoring under licence; and survey for great crested newts, otters, water voles, red squirrels, pine marten and wildcat.  He is also an ornithologist who carries out a range of bird surveys including: vantage points, raptors, wildfowl, diver species and black grouse monitoring.  Callum regularly undertakes Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW) duties on several sites.  Callum is a licensed bat surveyor, a fully qualified tree climber, and a full member of CIEEM.

Douglas Kerr (HND Environmental Management and Sustainability, QualCIEEM) – Ornithologist & Ecologist

Douglas is an ornithological specialist with Direct Ecology, having joined in 2015.  Douglas has an HND in Environmental Management and Sustainability from SRUC Edinburgh and is a qualifying member of CIEEM.  He has gained a wide variety of bird survey experience both as a volunteer with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and British Trust for Ornithology and with the projects he has worked on at Direct Ecology.  Douglas spent a large amount of time on Orkney carrying out vantage point, breeding bird, coastal bird, raptor and wildfowl surveys for the Orkney Connection Project.  As well as ornithological skills, Douglas has carried out surveys for bats, with both nocturnal surveys and daytime assessment of roosts, amphibians including nocturnal surveys as part of great crested newt translocation, and water voles, including mitigation work on the M8 which involved the trapping, care and relocation of individual voles.  He has also undertaken extensive survey work for other protected species, including badgers and otters.

Murray Gauld (BSc Hons., QualCIEEM) – Ecologist

Murray joined Direct Ecology in 2019 after completing his university studies.  Murray has a degree in Marine Biology from the University of Aberdeen.  He has 6 years’ experience in the ecology sector, primarily working as a bat surveyor in Aberdeen.  During his time at university, he worked for Astell Associates gaining extensive experience carrying out bat surveys on a wide range of projects.  He has continued to build on this experience since joining Direct Ecology, regularly assisting with bat surveys, carrying out daytime inspections of buildings for evidence of bats, dusk and dawn surveys, writing up reports and organising logistics for new surveys.  He also has experience in protected species surveys including badger and otter surveys, and has continued to build on this by undertaking extensive fieldwork surveying for protected species since joining Direct Ecology.

Katherine Watson (BSc Hons., QualCIEEM) – Ecologist

Katherine joined Direct Ecology in 2019, after working as a seasonal consultant in 2018.  Katherine has a degree in Zoology from the University of Glasgow and has spent 4 years working and volunteering in the ecology sector.  She has worked with Scottish Badgers, Scottish Wildlife Trust, RSPB and is a volunteer with Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrel project.  She coordinates the bat projects during the summer, recruiting seasonal consultants and organising the surveys, and has undertaken extensive fieldwork surveying for protected species since joining Direct Ecology.  Katherine also has a trainee Bird Ringing permit with BTO.

Valentina Nardone (BSc Hons., MSc, PhD, ACIEEM) – Ecologist

Valentina joined Direct Ecology in 2020 having worked in the ecology sector since 2011, as a scientific researcher and consultant.  She has BSc and MSc degrees in Forestry and Environmental Sciences, and a PhD in Improvement and Management of Agriculture Resources and Forestry from the University of Naples Federico II (Italy).  She has significant experience carrying out a range of protected species surveys, freshwater habitat assessment and biodiversity conservation projects.  Valentina is working towards her Scottish Natural Heritage bat licence, and is an associate member of CIEEM.

Cróna McMonagle (BA Hons., MSc) – Ecologist

Cróna joined Direct Ecology in 2020 having worked in the environmental sector for five years. She has an MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation from the University of Leeds and has worked on an array of projects in a number of different countries. She has undertaken several seasons of field research including studying plant-pollinator interactions in Doñana National Park in Spain, researching breeding waders on Irish machair and sampling populations of mountain ringlet butterflies in the Highlands.  She has worked as a consultant for three years and has gained experience in a range of protected species surveys including great crested newt, bat, reptile and bird surveys.

Lacey Urquhart (BSc Hons., MSc, ACIEEM) – Sub-Consultant Ecologist

Lacey joined Direct Ecology in 2014 having already worked in the ecology sector since 2012.  In 2020 she moved to Europe but continues to support our work on a sub-consultant basis.  She has an Honours degree in Biology and Psychology from the University of Stirling and an MSc in Wildlife Biology and Conservation from Edinburgh Napier University, as well as being an associate member of CIEEM.  She undertakes reporting for protected mammals and bats, as well as BREEAM assessments and reports.  Lacey is competent in the use of QGIS to produce Phase 1 maps and target note figures for use within reports.  Lacey has a Scottish Natural Heritage bat licence and is a qualified LANTRA tree climber which has allowed her to undertake numerous aerial surveys for bats, red squirrels and pine martens.  Her previous experience includes: herbivore density and impact assessment, botanical and peatland assessment, remote bat surveying and transects, protected species surveys, and health and safety tree checks using mobile mapping and digitising with Mapinfo.

Nicola McKenna (LLB Hons.) – Office Manager

Nicola joined Direct Ecology in July 2017.  She previously worked for the Rural Stirling Housing Association and most recently held the post of Finance Officer.  Nicola is responsible for a variety of tasks including invoicing, preparing payroll, assisting in the annual accounts preparation, managing and updating company policies, arranging insurance, maintaining office supplies and equipment, tender preparation and maintaining procurement databases.  Nicola has undertaken GDPR training and is a qualified first-aider and DSE assessor.


Direct Ecology can also draw upon the experience of a wide range of consultant ecologists whose specialisms can be tailored to individual contracts.