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Meet the BIG Biodiversity Challenge Awards 2017 Judges

Louise Clarke - Chair
Head of Sustainable Places – Berkeley Group
Louise is Head of Sustainable Places at the Berkeley Group and is responsible for setting and implementing the group’s strategy to create sustainable places. This includes focusing on key commitments for the business on climate change adaptation, social sustainability and sustainable procurement. Louise has specialised in sustainability throughout her career and has a keen interest in placemaking which stemmed from her masters in Urban Design.   

Louise is a Non-Executive Director of Construction Industry Council (CIC), sits on the Green Construction Board and chairs the CIC 2050 Group, a group of young professionals within the construction industry.

Jo Ferguson
Built Environment Officer - The Bat Conservation Trust                                              
Jo has been the Built Environment Officer for the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) since April 2015; however she has been involved with bat conservation in a voluntary and professional capacity for over 14 years. Jo’s more recent professional experience is as an ecological consultant specialising in bats; providing assessments covering a range of large and small infrastructure and property developments. It is this experience that she brings to her role at BCT, providing awareness advice, training and guidance to the built environment sector. Jo is a member of the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management and London Bat Group.

Hannah Bilston
Principal Ecologist – BSG Ecology                                           
Hannah has been an ecological consultant for over 10 years and is currently a Principal Ecologist at BSG Ecology. She specialises in protected species and in particular bats. Hannah has particular interests in how provisions for wildlife can be designed into new developments. Wildlife installations she has been involved with range from green roofs with water features in very urban environments to bat barns, pond and meadow creation in more rural locations. Hannah has been a member of the Biodiversity Interest Group since the group started in 2012 and has been a judge for the BIG awards for two years.

Corin Simmonds
Principal Ecologist – RSK Group
I am a Principal Ecologist and team leader at RSK’s Hemel Hempstead office.  I have worked in consultancy for over 10 years and prior to this I was a Farm Conservation Advisor for a charity and an Environmental Consultant for Thames Water.  Presently I manage a team of eight ecologists, two placement students and two arboriculture consultants working on a range of projects covering many sectors including housing, infrastructure and energy.   RSK is a fully integrated, environmental, health, safety and engineering consultancy with over 1500 staff based in the UK and abroad.  

Dr Eva Gkenakou

Sustainability Director: Construction, Multiplex
Eva graduated from the University of Athens with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and went on to gain a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from The University of Manchester and a PhD from the University of Southampton. Eva joined Multiplex Europe in August 2009 as its first Environmental Advisor, gaining experience on a range of challenging projects. She currently leads a team of 16 sustainability managers developing and rolling out the systems and processes for delivering Multiplex’s business-wide and project-level sustainability goals. Eva is a great believer in the value of biodiversity and Multiplex is an avid participant of the BIG Challenge.

Peter Dorans
Corporate Relations Manager - The Wildlife Trusts
Pete has been with the Wildlife Trusts for almost nine years and has been managing our interface with businesses since November 2009. He loves developing relationships with businesses, finding out where our interests overlap and building the partnerships to deliver on shared objectives. Before The Wildlife Trusts, his career took him from frontline Citizens Advice to policy work in Westminster to community engagement at the New Zealand Environment Ministry. He is a certified Member of the Institute of Fundraising.
Outside work Pete spends most of his time as dad to his three year old twin girls Violet and Rose. He is a keen allotment gardener, variably skilled DIY enthusiast, walker and cyclist. In the past a keen traveller, he daydreams of epic global adventures to be undertaken in his long distant retirement.

Rosie Whicheloe 

Ecologist - The Ecology Consultancy

Rosie is an ecologist, working for The Ecology Consultancy with over 8 years’ experience specialising in biodiversity planning and green infrastructure (GI). As a Londoner for the last five years Rosie has been involved in a variety of urban biodiversity projects. This has notable included undertaking ecological surveys of the Barbican, London Zoo, several large parks and a handful of green roofs. She is also actively involved in urban greening, working with the Green Infrastructure Consultancy and Team London Bridge Business Improvement District. She regularly leads GI walks in the better bankside area.

Dr Martina Girvan
Technical Director - Arcadis
Martina is a Technical Director of Ecology and Arboriculture with Arcadis.  She has a background in terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystem function and joined consultancy following a career in academia, with a short time spent in local government as the Greater Manchester BAP officer. In addition to managing a team of ecologists and the arboricultural business at Arcadis she undertakes major impact assessments for a wide range of national and international developments.  She is a Chartership assessor with CIEEM (the ecology disciplines professional body) and regularly contributes to best practice guidance.  The integration of biodiversity and society is a lifelong passion, she is currently developing the Arcadis natural capital approach in the UK. Martina has been a member of The BIG Group since its inception in 2012.

Caroline Ford
Senior Ecologist - Atkins Global
Caroline is a Senior Ecologist at Atkins and is responsible for undertaking and managing the delivery of ecological survey work, producing written assessments and providing ecological advice for a variety of projects in the South East region, from small housing developments to large scale infrastructure schemes. This includes the design of ecological mitigation and compensation, and the procurement of European Protected Species (EPS) mitigation licences for projects that involve impacts on protected species including bats, dormice and badgers. 
Caroline is an active volunteer and key member within her local conservation groups including London Bat Group (Secretary), Surrey Bat Group, and Surrey Dormouse Group (Site Leader). She is a Volunteer Bat Roost Visitor for Natural England and a Registered Bat Carer with the Bat Conservation Trust.

Szilvia Zakar
Sustainability Manager - Sir Robert McAlpine
Szilvia is a Sustainability Manager with Sir Robert McAlpine currently working on the flagship Bloomberg London project. Szilvia has 15 years’ experience, advising and monitoring site construction teams with regard to environmental protection and the implementation of ISO 1400 and BREEAM. She leads SRM’s Biodiversity Action Group. As part of the Chartered Institute of Building sponsored Sustainability Scholarship (2015 -16) Szilvia carried out her research on “Valuing Natural Capital in the Construction Industry”. Before joining SRM in 2011 she worked as a Senior Consultant at BRE for 5 years and as an Environmental Advisor on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link for Skanska UK Civils.

Sam Bower
Environment and Sustainability Deputy Manager - Balfour Beatty 
Following a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and drama, Sam developed a career in arboriculture and forestry, specialising in conservation focussed woodland management. After running his own business for several years and a role with the National Trust,  he completed a MSc in Environmental Conservation at Greenwich University. Since then, Sam has had a variety of consultancy roles within the ecology and habitat management sector. In 2013 he joined Balfour Beatty, providing environmental, ecological and soft estate management guidance within the Major Projects and highways division.

Dr Jo Judge
Chief Executive - National Biodiversity Network
Dr Jo Judge is the Chief Executive of the National Biodiversity Network, an independent charity which is the UK’s largest partnership for nature. The NBN involves many of the UK’s wildlife conservation organisations, government agencies, local environmental records centres and voluntary organisations. The NBN’s priority is to grow the national commitment to sharing biological information.  Jo’s previous experience includes research on the ecology of wildlife diseases and specifically, the effects of wildlife behaviour on the spread of disease.

Neil Harwood
Associate (Ecology) - Arup
Neil is responsible for developing Arup’s UK ecology network and raising our profile both within and outside of Arup. He is passionate about the integration of ecological thinking into all of Arup’s project work and the delivery of sustainable ecological solutions that add value for our clients and result in measurable environmental and biodiversity gain. Neil is an ecologist and chartered environmentalist and has worked widely internationally, having been based in the UK and in Australia, primarily on the design, assessment, management and monitoring of large-scale infrastructure projects. Neil is currently part of the CIRIA Biodiversity Interest Group and the advisory committee to the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Programme on behalf of Arup.

Martin Ballard
Group Environment Manager - Willmott Dixon

Martin is an environmental sustainability professional and performance improvement leader in built environment construction, maintenance and asset management. He has experience of delivering on waste, water, and carbon reduction, as well as strategic stakeholder and supply chain engagement, for example on biodiversity, surface water and sustainable urban drainage controls. Martin has worked with the Biodiversity Industry Group (BIG) since 2012 and has actively collaborated for an integrated approach for biodiversity in the built environment, as well as recognition of the positive part that developers and constructors play for biodiversity mitigation and enhancement. Martin leads Willmott Dixon’s environmental sustainability team on legal assurance, environmental protection and promotion of environmental improvements for risk mitigation, assisting the business with best practice to perform to company targets. He is responsible for the Group’s ISO14001 Environmental management system and its transition to 2015 standards. Martin has chaired the industry’s Water Task Group and the BIG Biodiversity Challenge awards selection panel.

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