AECOM Aquatic Ecologist in Leeds, United Kingdom

Requisition/Vacancy No. 149755BR

Position Title Aquatic Ecologist

Job Category Ecology

Business Line Environment

Country United Kingdom

State/Province/Region GBR - West Yorkshire

City Leeds

Why Choose AECOM? AECOM is a premier, fully integrated professional and technical services firm positioned to design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets around the world for public- and private-sector clients. With nearly 100,000 employees — including architects, engineers, designers, planners, scientists and management and construction services professionals — serving clients in over 150 countries around the world, AECOM is ranked as the #1 engineering design firm by revenue in Engineering News-Record magazine’s annual industry rankings, and has been recognized by Fortune magazine as a World’s Most Admired Company. The firm is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, oil and gas, water, high-rise buildings and government. AECOM provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering customized and creative solutions that meet the needs of clients’ projects. A Fortune 500 firm, AECOM companies, including URS Corporation and Hunt Construction Group, have annual revenue of approximately $19 billion. More information on AECOM and its services can be found at

About the Business Line


Our team of environment specialists offers clients expertise in air quality, impact analysis and permitting, environmental health and safety management consulting/due diligence, remediation consulting/engineering and construction/site restoration, specialty and emerging technologies, waste services and water and natural resources.

Job Summary

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an Aquatic Ecologist to join the freshwater ecology team of a large and successful international consultancy with multidisciplinary offices throughout the UK. The successful applicant will be based in AECOM’s Leeds office and will have a good understanding of aquatic ecology and in particular the sampling and identification of macro-invertebrates in freshwater habitats. The appointee will also help develop AECOM’s freshwater laboratories and contribute to the broad range of projects undertaken by the aquatic ecology team, including fisheries surveys, habitat restoration projects, pollution response surveys and water quality investigations.

The appointee would respond to pollution incidents reported to the company by a range of clients by:

  • Organising and undertaking benthic macro-invertebrate surveys in freshwaters;

  • Processing samples in the laboratory, analysing to species level and estimating abundance;

  • Assisting with fieldwork and sample collection (phytobenthos, fisheries, water quality) for estuarine and freshwater projects;

  • Assisting with data analysis and processing (phytobenthos, fisheries, water quality) for estuarine and freshwater projects;

  • Contributing to desk studies and literature reviews;

  • Contributing to survey reports and ecological appraisals which are produced to a high technical standard and within agreed deadlines;

  • Assisting in the production of Environmental Impact Assessment documents in line with CIEEM guidelines;

  • Liaising with project managers and clients where necessary;

  • Undertaking other tasks to support the wider environmental business, as required.

Minimum Requirements

  • Experience of freshwater macro-invertebrate sampling, identification (to species level) and taxonomy

  • Good personal time management skills. The successful candidate will work in field teams or on occasions alone, in a range of aquatic habitats and in the company’s aquatic ecology laboratories. He/she must therefore possess the motivation and organisational skills needed to feel comfortable in these environments

  • An understanding of the design of pollution response surveys including knowledge of industry standard monitoring techniques and analyses (RICT, BMWP, ASPT, WHPT)

  • Knowledge of legislation relating to the aquatic environment and its implementation, particularly the Water Framework Directive

  • Written and oral English language communication skills needed to contribute to technical discussions/reports and to liaise with internal and external clients

  • Willingness to learn new skills and to be flexible in terms of travelling and working hours as AECOM projects can be distributed across the UK

  • A full UK driving licence.

Additional desirable but not essential attributes for the role:

  • Experience of surveying and identifying macrophytes, benthic diatoms, phytoplankton / zooplankton or fish would be advantageous

  • Protected Species Licences

  • ArcGIS experience

  • Phase 1 Habitat Survey Accreditation

  • CSCS Card.

Preferred Qualifications

The appointee will be qualified to degree level in a relevant subject and have previous experience in an aquatic ecology role.

A higher degree in Aquatic Ecology or related discipline would be an advantage as would previous commercial and/or regulatory experience.

What We Offer

AECOM is a place where you can put your innovative thinking and business skills into high gear and work alongside other highly intelligent and motivated people. It's a place where you can apply your skills to some of the world's most challenging, interesting, and meaningful projects worldwide. It's a place that values the diversity of our areas of practice and our people. It's what makes AECOM a great place to work and grow. AECOM is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Please note that AECOM does not accept unsolicited resumes from recruiters or employment agencies. In the absence of a signed Recruitment Fee Agreement, AECOM will not consider or agree to payment of any referral compensation or recruiter fee. In the event a recruiter or agency submits a resume or candidate without a previously signed agreement, AECOM explicitly reserves the right to pursue and hire those candidate(s) without any financial obligation to the recruiter or agency. Any unsolicited resumes, including those submitted to hiring managers, are deemed to be the property of AECOM.