Principal Ecologist

Mott MacDonald

Location: England

Job Type: Full time


Do you live in Newcastle upon Tyne and surroundings or are you looking for an exciting change?

Our Northern England Environment and Social team, based in Newcastle, is increasing in size in line with our work locally. We are looking to recruit a principal ecologist to establish a new ecology team in our Newcastle office to sit within our team of environmental professionals. We have varied projects in Northern England including renewable, road, and power schemes which the new team would be involved in, as well as working closely with our Leeds, Sheffield Altrincham, and Liverpool teams. You would be part of a team of over 140 ecologists nationally with specialists in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecology.

We are a highly collaborative team across all environmental disciplines, which makes Mott MacDonald a great place to work. While we are an employee-owned company, our ecology teams are small enough to have a family feel but large enough to work on some of the UK's biggest projects. These are led and supported by a fantastic mix of specialists with a wealth of experience and a culture of supporting and learning from others, coaching, and mentoring.

We pay our ecologists in line with their engineering colleagues with the ability to earn performance-based bonuses throughout the year. Our projects are diverse, interesting, and technically challenging and we excel in offering innovative solutions. Our ecology teams across the UK are highly experienced in their fields and are proactive when working together imparting knowledge. We are a well-respected company with strong values.

We are seeking a principal ecologist who enjoys leading and working within a close-knit team that operates in and is supported by larger regional and national teams. You should have or be developing, an effective record of project and people management and a high level of technical knowledge. You should be able to confidently provide direction and support as an ecologist on a variety of projects. You will be passionate about using your experience and knowledge for the natural environment and professional excellence, support the team the development of innovative solutions both for our wide range of clients.

You would contribute to the growth of our people within your team in Newcastle as well as the wider UK ecology team.

You will enjoy rising to a challenge, working across disciplines, finding ways to add value for our customers, using and promoting integrated solutions and innovative technology, and above all, ensuring quality is maintained. Most importantly you will be helping us to build a lasting and sustainable environmental business.

This opportunity is not a one-way street as we will give you an exciting space in which to develop yourself as well as support in developing the team. You will be visible within our business, working with other ecology teams across the UK and providing you with the opening for your reputation to grow, allowing you to influence peers both internally and across the sector.

Candidate Specification


  • Experience in the UK ecological consultancy market, with a strong external-facing, client-orientated approach.
  • A degree in Ecology (or a directly related subject).
  • Full member of CIEEM.
  • Strong knowledge and experience in the interpretation of wildlife legislation, key policy, and guidance to advise clients and manage ecological projects.
  • Experience in overseeing the design of ecological surveys for small and large-scale projects including Phase 1 habitat surveys and protected species surveys (notably bats).
  • Proficiency in writing and quality assurance of reports, ensuring high standards and good attention to detail.
  • Experienced in the production of Ecological Impact Assessments and Habitats Regulations Assessment reports.
  • Good commercial awareness, experience of winning work and and the ability to deliver contracts on time and within budget.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Excellent business development skills with drive and ambition to grow these key areas.
  • Willingness to mentor and develop junior staff.
  • Willingness to encourage innovation and digital services.
  • Willingness to travel throughout the UK.


  • A masters or higher degree in Ecology (or directly related subject).
  • Chartered Ecologist or Environmentalist.
  • Experience in people management and training / mentoring junior ecologists.
  • Have held Natural England protected species development licence(s), ideally for great crested newt and / or bats.
  • Experience in using the UKHab classification and the DEFRA biodiversity net gain metric.
  • Basic GIS skills.

If you meet most of what we are looking for, please still apply. We understand not everyone will meet all the requirements, but you might have the skills we didn't know we need. We would also consider senior or experienced ecologists looking for a step up.

We would love to welcome forward-thinking individuals to be part of our growing team; we are recruiting a Principal Consultant Ecologist to lead a team in Newcastle.