Aquatic ecology in full flow

March 04, 2020

Did you know that RSK’s aquatic ecology team, part of RSK Biocensus, is one of the group’s most rapidly developing parts of the business? Over the last four years, the team has increased its turnover by more than 50% each year, and in the last 18 months, their full-time ‘aquatic dedicated’ employee numbers have gone from two to five.

“Five years ago, the aquatic ecology team was formally established when I joined RSK,” explains Pete Walker, RSK Associate Director and Aquatic Ecology Lead. “From our humble beginnings, we have developed a respectable business comprising five experts who specialise in a range of areas.”

RSK’s Pete Walker completing habitat surveys for eel

RSK’s Pete Walker completing habitat surveys for eel

RSK’s aquatic ecology services include

  • aquatic habitat surveys (lakes, rivers, estuaries and coastal (with IPG’s marine team)
  • water quality assessments
  • plankton, diatom, zooplankton, macrophytes, macroinvertebrates and crayfish surveys
  • fish surveys
  • assessment for fish passage studies
  • invasive species surveys
  • multi-species surveys
  • river habitat restoration.

The team is currently undertaking aquatic surveys for Peel Ports at Liverpool Docks and fish, aquatic plants and macroinvertebrate (water bugs) surveys for the proposed Heathrow West expansion. They are also working for Severn Trent Water Limited (as subcontractors to Atkins), doing spot-flow gauging and water quality sampling and undertaking detailed design work for fish passage solutions in Oxfordshire for the Environment Agency. In the last few years, they have undertaken an eel habitat research and development project for the Environment Agency, investigating the effects of cooling water discharges on a canal in Nottingham, and conducted invasive non-native species surveys at multiple sites for Bristol Water. And, through RSK’s IPG members of the team, they have also travelled to Greece, Albania, Tanzania and Uganda to undertake baseline aquatic ecology surveys for large pipeline projects.

RSK’s Ben Faulkner undertaking an aquatic survey for Heathrow

RSK’s Ben Faulkner undertaking an aquatic survey for Heathrow

Aquatic surveys in Uganda

Aquatic surveys in Uganda

“If you’re interested to hear more about the services we can provide, please do get in touch,” concludes Pete. “Between the team, we have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge and would be happy to answer any questions you have.”

You can contact Pete at or on 07825624154.

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Ryan Dunderdale, Senior Surveyor at Central Alliance, providing technical support and on-site training to datum plate install teams down in Bristol.

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