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Life on the road: The biodiversity of highways

Event date: February 03, 2022

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Thursday, 3 February 2022, 12:30–13:15 GMT

Highways and other linear infrastructure have some very specific impacts on nature, including the fragmentation of habitats and the risk of ongoing mortality to animals crossing the roads. These impacts are still often dealt with quite poorly in environmental impact assessments and robust evidence of the effectiveness of different measures is in short supply. In this sector-focused webinar, the RSK Biocensus team looks back on 30 years of practice in the field of wildlife and highways to identify solutions to some of the most intractable problems and will then look forward to what biodiversity net gain and the future policy landscape will mean for linear infrastructure.

Join us for expert advice from the Biocensus senior management team:

Stephanie Wray, Director, Nature Positive

Stephanie is the founder of Nature Positive, a consultancy assessing corporate biodiversity risks and dependencies. She is an ecologist and biodiversity expert with over 25 years’ experience in the assessment of the impacts of major infrastructure projects and organisations on biodiversity. She has worked in the UK, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Before joining the RSK group, Stephanie held a number of non-executive, interim management and consulting roles at organisations including Atkins, National Grid, the Highways Agency and ERM. Stephanie is chair of CIEEM’s Strategic Policy Panel and is regularly called on to provide advice to government bodies.

Paola Reason, Director, RSK Biocensus

Paola is a fellow of the CIEEM and is a member of various advisory groups, including Natural England’s bat expert panel and the CIEEM’s bat mitigation panel steering group (on both panels, alongside fellow fellow Stephanie Wray). Paola has a particular interest in noise and how bats might be affected by it. She has worked on many large-scale projects, including HS2 and Sizewell C nuclear new build.

Jon Davies, Director, RSK Biocensus

Jon Davies is a director of Biocensus, Nature Positive and RSK Wilding. Jon set up RSK Wilding, a group seeking to offset biodiversity, carbon and other natural capital impacts through large-scale rewilding and habitat creation projects. As a beetles fan, his aim is for a bottom-up approach, focusing on the building blocks of biodiversity. In early 2020, Jon was made a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.

Dr Gavin Wilson, Director, RSK Biocensus

Dr Gavin Wilson is a director of Nature Positive and Biocensus. He has 25 years’ experience in ecological research and management and has worked in academia, government research agencies and environmental consultancies. Much of Gavin’s research has focused on the development and implementation of robust methods to monitor wildlife populations. He has published over 40 peer-reviewed scientific papers on applied wildlife ecology and has a wealth of experience in providing clear, evidence-based advice to clients in government and industry. He is passionate about sustainability and helping businesses in the critical role they play in creating a more nature positive future.

Robin Jones, Associate Director, RSK Biocensus

Robin is a chartered environmentalist with 19 years’ experience as a professional ecological consultant. Robin’s technical specialisms include protected species ecology, mitigation and licensing and ecological impact assessment. He has particular experience in linear infrastructure projects and considerable expertise in the highways and rail sectors, including a comprehensive knowledge of health and safety requirements for working adjacent to high speed roads and live railways. He also has experience in construction site environmental management.

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First Thursday Club

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This webinar series is a monthly scientific, specialist-led webinar created and led by RSK Biocensus, which focuses on best practices relating to the natural environment and how these could affect RSK and external businesses.

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