Tom has had an interest in wildlife since he was a boy, and was a member of the Young Ornithologists’ Club aged 10. His first survey experience was lek counts of black grouse and capercaillie aged 15. He currently combines self-employment as an ecologist with part time work as a researcher on rural and environmental policy in the Scottish Parliament.
In over 15 years working in Parliament, Tom has supported the scrutiny of 19 Bills, 21 Committee inquiries, and responded to over 1000 requests from MSPs. Working at all times under his own initiative, this has involved continuously managing competing priorities and excellent time management to allow tight deadlines to be met. He has excellent report writing skills, over seventy peer-reviewed publications, a deep understanding of environmental law and policy, and an extensive network of contacts.
Tom has been a guest lecturer in environmental policy at Strathclyde University, and in resource management at Edinburgh University.
Four years ago he took the opportunity to change career direction and participated in an ecological surveying skills training programme organised by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. The course covered all the main protected species and habitat survey methodologies, with an emphasis on practical training in the field. Since finishing the course in 2012, Tom has pursued a particular interest in birding and botany and is developing specialisms in raptor monitoring, peatlands and bryology. Over the last four years Tom has carried out bird surveys at sites the length and breadth of Scotland, and has also been involved with herbivore impact assessments and site condition monitoring.« Back