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Senior Ecologist, Africa

Office Location: Johannesburg or Cape Town, South Africa


Job Description

The Senior Ecologist will be responsible for designing and completing ecological baseline and impact assessment studies as standalone projects or as specialist inputs to Basic Assessments and Full EIAs. In fulfilling this responsibility, the Senior Ecologist will be responsible for undertaking and supervising fieldwork and data collection in South Africa and other African countries. All field activities must be delivered in a manner that meets best practice Environment, Health and Safety standards in compliance with SLR’s requirements and in consultation with the applicable government agencies and client expectations.

This is a client-facing role and the incumbent will be expected to interact with clients both in the delivery of projects and in identifying and securing opportunities for SLR in Africa.


SLR is looking for ecological consultant with terrestrial and/or aquatic expertise to join our biodiversity team based in Cape Town or Johannesburg. The responsibilities will include but are not limited to:

  • Assisting the Biodiversity Technical Discipline Manager and other Environmental Project Managers with the preparation of proposals and the compilation and delivery of biodiversity assessments, management plans, and monitoring studies;
  • Coordinating specialist ecological studies for various projects in South Africa to meet the EIA regulations and Department of Water Affairs and other regulatory requirements;
  • Coordinating specialist ecological studies for various projects elsewhere in Africa to meet both local regulatory environmental requirements and lender standards (e.g. IFC Performance Standards and Equator Principles);
  • Coordinating specific tasks, ranging from planning and logistics; health and safety planning; liaison with experts on data and mapping; engaging with clients on specialist scopes and deliverables; sourcing available baseline data; collation, review and preparation of specialist reports; and undertaking site visits to project sites;
  • Contribution to South African Basic Assessment Reports (BARs) and Environment Impact Assessments (EIAs) to fulfil the South African National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) requirements, including Screening Assessments;
  • Collaborate with environmental managers or project staff in other SLR offices across the globe;
  • Attend client meetings and develop client relationships;
  • Actively contribute or participate in SLR sustainability initiatives and community projects.

Minimum requirements

  • A post-graduate qualification in an ecology discipline (e.g. Aquatic Biology, Conservation Biology, Environmental Science or equivalent degree), at Honours level (at minimum).
  • At least 10 years work experience as an ecologist with at least 5 years in ecological consulting;
  • Experience and skills with mentoring junior staff;
  • Working knowledge of the IFC Performance Standards with a particularly deep knowledge of PS 6;
  • Professional registration with SACNASP as a consulting ecologist;
  • Practical skills in GIS analysis and mapping and competent in ArcGIS9, QGIS and Manifold GIS;
  • Competency in undertaking the necessary aquatic ecology studies, including SASS5 invertebrate assessments and wetland delineation, as input into WULA in terms of the National Water Act (1998) and its regulations;
  • Experience with South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) spatial products;
  • Experience with biodiversity data acquisition and database management;
  • Experience with application of Environmental Impact Assessment methodology and reporting, including requirements of the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) and regulations;
  • Valid driver’s license;
  • Valid passport and willingness and ability to travel to other African countries.

Person Specification

  • Must have good communication and interpersonal skills with a strong proficiency in written and verbal English;
  • Excellent time management skills and ability to multi-task and prioritise work;
  • Should display attention to detail, problem solving skills and be able to synthesize complex or diverse information, collect and research data, use intuition and experience to complement data and design work flows and procedures;
  • Ability to take initiative and work independently;
  • Must be able to work in a fast-paced environment and have the willingness to adapt to changing company and work requirements;
  • Project management skills;
  • Must solicit and apply internal and external client feedback for continuous improvement.