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.


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.


 

Emma Robson (MSci, ACIEEM) – Principal 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.


 

Eilidh McNab (BSc Hons., MSc) – Senior Ecologist

Eilidh first worked for Direct Ecology from 2012 to 2016 and re-joined the company in 2021. She holds a first class degree in Zoology from the University of Dundee, an MSc in Environmental Management from the University of Stirling, and has spent 18 months with the Scottish Wildlife Trust as a Developing Ecological Survey Skills trainee.  She is an experienced ornithologist, undertaking vantage point surveys, breeding bird surveys, wetland bird surveys and black grouse surveys; and has a wide range of bird ringing experience, both in Scotland and abroad.  She has held a NatureScot bat licence since 2012, and is a committee member of the Central Scotland Bat Group.  She is an experienced mammal surveyor, covering a full range of protected species, including pine marten, red squirrel, otter, badger, water vole and beaver.  She has worked on many large and small projects for Direct Ecology, including overhead power lines, hydro schemes, motorway upgrades and building projects, covering all parts of projects including tendering, surveying, reporting and project management.


Callum McNeill-Ritchie (BSc, GIBiol, MCIEEM) – Senior 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.


Cróna McMonagle (BA Hons., MSc) – Senior 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.


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) – Assistant Senior 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.


Victoria Curley (Bsc Hons., QualCIEEM) – Ecologist

Victoria joined Direct Ecology in 2021 after graduating from the University of Aberdeen with a degree in Conservation Biology. During her studies, Victoria gained extensive fieldwork experience by volunteering and through her honours project thesis, involving carrying out water vole surveys in the Scottish Highlands. She has volunteered with the RSPB, the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust and the Oceanic Observatory of Madeira, conducting whale and dolphin surveys. Victoria has continued to build on her experience whilst working at Direct Ecology, and is particularly involved in ornithological surveys, including breeding bird and vantage point surveys for raptors and wildfowl. She has also been able to gain experience in other areas such as peat depth and condition surveys, bat activity surveys, and surveys for other protected species including otter and great crested newts. She continues to build on her knowledge and experience by being involved in a wide range of projects at Direct Ecology.


Gemma Grossart (BSc Hons., MSc, QualCIEEM) – Ecologist

Gemma joined Direct Ecology in 2021, having previously worked as a seasonal ecologist. She has a BSc in Animal Biology and an MSc in Wildlife Biology and Conservation from Edinburgh Napier University. Through her master’s project, Gemma gained extensive experience in carrying out bat surveys and bat call analysis. Gemma has spent 3 years working and volunteering in the ecology sector; she has worked as a subcontractor bat surveyor and seasonal ecologist for companies around Edinburgh, and with the Scottish Wildlife Trust and RSPB in a voluntary capacity. She also carries out wetland bird and breeding bird surveys in a voluntary capacity with the BTO. Since joining Direct Ecology, she has continued to build on her experience through writing reports, assisting with bat activity surveys and protected species surveys, assisting with tree surveys for bat roosting potential, and assisting with daytime surveys of buildings for evidence of bats and nesting birds.


Scott Allinson (BSc Hons., QualCIEEM) – Ecologist (GIS Specialist)

Scott joined Direct Ecology in July 2021 as an Assistant Ecologist and GIS specialist, primarily working with QGIS. Previously, he has worked in a variety of jobs after graduating with a first in Environmental Geography from the University of Stirling including laboratory assistant, volunteer ranger (which involved bat roost counts) and freelance researcher. From his studies he gained knowledge and experience in habitat mangement, environmental policy and GIS using ArcMap. Now working in the field of ecology, Scott has gained a season’s worth of experience in bat and peat surveys; continuing to develop skills in plant ID and QGIS. Currently, he primarily works on a variety of projects digitising and mapping survey data, including Phase 1 surveys, bat roost potential, vantage point and breeding 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.


Sub-Consultants

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