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Meet the team

Mike Hill, Associate Director

Mike Hill

Mike is an experienced aquatic ecologist, fisheries scientist and water quality specialist with 18 years’ experience in regulatory and consultancy roles.

With an MSc in Applied Hydrobiology, Mike started his career at the Environment Agency and held various roles within the fisheries and biodiversity function including Fisheries Technical Specialist and Team Leader.  Mike went on to establish a successful Ecology and Environmental Monitoring Division for OHES Environmental.

In 2015, Mike joined Thomson Ecology as Associate Director where he is responsible for managing  a large team of specialist ecologists who deliver an extensive range of ecological surveys and assessments for some of the most significant infrastructure and development projects in the UK and abroad.

Mike is particularly experienced in all aspects of fisheries science and aquatic ecology including planning, implementation and reporting of large-scale ecological monitoring programmes. He has expertise in the development and delivery of complex water quality monitoring programmes, incident investigation and response, impact assessment and remediation projects. Mike has delivered significant river, stillwater and wetland restoration projects, technical studies and Water Framework Directive Assessments.

Dr Arnaud Duranel, Senior Ecologist

Dr Arnaud Duranel

Arnaud joined Thomson Ecology in 2015 as a Senior Ecologist. He has over fifteen years’ experience in ecology and hydrology gained in a range of non-governmental and academic organisations in both France and the UK. He has an expert knowledge of wetland ecology, hydrology, management, restoration and creation.

In 2015 he completed a PhD in Physical Geography, and developed advanced skills in wetland soil survey, hydro-meteorological monitoring and hydrological and hydraulic modelling.

Arnaud has planned, designed and managed a number of wetland schemes, including a complex floodplain restoration project for the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust. He has managed a number of nature reserves in France and in the UK, and has considerable experience of habitat and botanical surveys.

Arnaud has written a number of peer-reviewed articles and is an associate researcher at the University of Lyon.

Sarah Marjoram, Marine Consultant

Sarah Marjoram

Sarah obtained a BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology from Plymouth University, followed by an MRes in Ecosystem-based Management of Marine Systems, from the University of St Andrews and The Scottish Association of Marine Science.

Sarah’s interest in marine conservation has taken her all around the world, including working in Greece as a marine researcher for the Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation, and later to Vancouver to guide and educate people on the marine wildlife off the Canadian Pacific coast. Sarah worked as a Marine Advisor for Natural England before joining Thomson Unicomarine in 2014 as a Marine Consultant.

Sarah has worked on many interesting projects at Thomson Unicomarine, including writing an ES chapter assessing the impact of a jetty construction on marine ecology. She has also completed a detailed WFD (Water Framework Directive) assessment for a capital dredge campaign in the Thames Estuary, carrying out detailed desk studies for several construction projects in the River Thames, including assessing the potential impacts on designated sites, protected species and the water quality and suggested mitigation measures to minimise these impacts.

Daisy Chamberlain, Laboratory Manager

Daisy Chamberlain

Daisy joined Thomson Unicomarine in 2012 as Assistant Biologist - processing and identifying benthic samples. Through her excellent and conscientious work, she has risen through the ranks, becoming a Biologist in 2014, managing projects in the laboratory and preparing quotations and tenders, then Senior Biologist in 2015 in where she managed large scale projects, and was responsible for Thomson Unicomarine’s participation in the NMBAQC scheme’s Particle Size Analysis (PSA) component. In 2016 Daisy took over the role of Laboratory Manager, managing the team as well as overseeing projects from the point of inception through to final delivery.

Daisy gained an MSc in Marine Biology from the University of Southampton with first class honours, and her previous experience included work on various marine projects overseas, including Bermuda and Vancouver Island.

Dr Ruth Barnich, Principal Biologist

Ruth Barnich

Dr Ruth Barnich joined Thomson Unicomarine in 2013, having more than 20 years’ experience in the identification of marine invertebrates. Ruth is a world expert in scale worms (Polychaeta) and has had more than 30 scientific publications on the biodiversity of polychaetes, crustaceans and molluscs in peer review journals.

Prior to joining Thomson Unicomarine, Ruth had worked from 1996 as a researcher at Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Frankfurt, mainly as a polychaetologist on various projects on marine biodiversity of shallow waters and deep sea in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, with special emphasis on systematics and biogeography of scale worms.

Ruth took her PhD in Systematic Zoology at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster in Germany, where she had for several years been involved in teaching marine biological courses.

Laura Hearnden, Biologist

Laura Hearnden

After gaining a BSc (Hons) in Marine and Freshwater Biology, followed by an MSc in Marine Biology from the University of Essex, Laura joined Thomson Unicomarine in 2012, starting as an Assistant Biologist, and in 2013, taking on the role of Biologist, specialising in macrobenthic invertebrates.

Laura has extensive laboratory and report writing experience, and has several years’ experience in processing samples from the North East Atlantic, having processed over 1000 samples from this area.

Laura’s enthusiasm for the marine environment has seen her taking part in many voluntary schemes involving marine mammal observation, bird and turtle surveys, fish measurement data collection, and underwater transects.

Joanna Gordon, Graduate Biologist

Joanna Gordon

Joanna joined the team in 2015, after achieving a first class BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology with Oceanography from the University of Southampton.

Whilst working with Thomson Unicomarine, Joanna has processed fauna from projects including Marine Conservation Zones, dredge disposal sites and jetty walls. She has also completed PSA (particle size analysis).

Prior to this she had assisted Cefas in an annual monitoring survey, measuring abundance and size of clams in the Solent. Joanna has experience in completing offshore surveys requiring deployment of Hamon grabs and on-board sample processing, collecting data from intertidal regions using line transects and quadrats.

Philip Fenner, Graduate Biologist

Philip Fenner

Philip joined Thomson Unicomarine as a Graduate Biologist in 2016. He graduated from the University of Plymouth with a first class degree in Marine Biology and Oceanography in 2015, and then continued in the University’s laboratory to work as a Marine Biologist obtaining ecophysiological data on organism response to thermal stress at different life stages for the intertidal gastropod Littorina obtusata.

Philip has gained experience overseas - in Madagascar, assessing the health and biodiversity of corals and their associated fauna, and in Sweden, to sample the benthos and to carry out taxonomic identification.

Dale Irvine, Graduate Biologist

Dale Irvine

Dale graduated from Bangor University in 2015, where he achieved a first class Marine Biology undergraduate Master’s degree. Dale joined the Thomson Unicomarine team in 2016 as a Graduate Biologist, where he has put his excellent taxonomic identification skills to use.

Dale has worked on voluntary conservation projects for many societies, including The Natural History of Snowdonia Society, Capturing Our Coasts and Snowdonia Society.