Sean Sweeney is our newly appointed Associate Director and Head of Ornithology Consultancy at APEM, having previously worked for other environmental consultancies as well as within Local and Central Government, for an oil & gas Developer, in marketing and the banking sector.

It was 15 years ago he decided to take a step change in his career and use his extensive knowledge of ornithology (from over 20 years of field surveying) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) (from completing a Master’s in EIA and Management) to test his skills as a consultant to undertake desk studies, coordinate fieldwork, draft baseline reports and deliver impact assessments.

Since joining APEM in 2012 as a Senior Consultant, Sean has seen many changes in both surveying and impact assessment methodologies and technologies. From boat-based surveys through to digital aerial surveys and from paper field records to digital field data collection, Sean’s team have been providing expert advice and guidance on ornithology matters, making use of the latest technologies and research to drive innovations and delivering robust evidence-led EIAs and Habitat Regulation Assessments (HRAs) both in the UK and Ireland, and in more recent years, the United States, Asia and Australia.

“I am proud to take up such a respected position at a leading environmental consultancy working on terrestrial, intertidal and offshore ornithology projects. Having been at the heart of APEM’s innovations to improve the methods deployed to undertake the most robust impact assessments of birds for all manner of projects. I am also thankful to have been given the opportunity to build a successful team to help our clients into the future for all their ornithology consultancy needs.”

Earlier this year APEM welcomed back two former employees, Beth Goddard and Emily Nelson to further support the needs of our clients in this sector. With ambitious renewable energy targets not only in the UK but across the world, both have been invaluable and have hit the ground running. Find out more about their journey back to APEM here.

The potential for offshore wind across the globe has seen APEM start discussions in other markets including Europe and South America. As experts in both digital aerial surveys and wildlife impact assessments, we work with developers, local government agencies and wider stakeholders to ensure that robust assessments are completed, and potential adverse effects are avoided, whilst meeting the necessary legislation for the location surveyed.

Gillian Sutherland advises,

“APEM as worldwide data providers engage with many regulatory regimes, and it is clear that the quality of data and local knowledge are key pathways to less precautionary assessments and successful development sites. It is also apparent that modelling techniques and approaches to environmental assessment are universal in their application, and we support sharing of best practice and knowledge transfer across the industry”.

Are you a passionate ornithologist or marine biologist who wants to spread your wings and work on global projects? Then please get in touch. We currently have vacancies including Senior Marine Consultants, Senior Ornithology Consultants and Quality Assurance Analysts.

If you would like to discuss how APEM can support your EIA and HRA assessments, please contact Associate Director Sean Sweeney or visit our Aerial Surveys page.

Related Content

Beacon Wind commences second year of surveys

Boat-based vs aerial digital still offshore wildlife surveys

Getting it right – the importance of wildlife aerial survey design

APEM leading the way in offshore ornithology impact assessments