Building an Innovative Ecology Practice – Part 2/2

Using the latest in new, innovative technology has been key to WKC’s success. This second of a two-part article describes how WKC’s successful ecology team use cutting edge technology to help maintain a high-quality ecology service.

By Donald Afan – Principal Consultant and Ecology Team Leader

Innovate, Innovate, and then Innovate some more!

In line with WKC’s broader strategy of remaining at the forefront of innovations in our respective areas of expertise, we have successfully implemented the latest technologies into our field work. Ultrasonic recorders, HD and IR cameras, and perhaps most significantly, the use of hand-held digital devices with inbuilt GPS and GIS capabilities. This cutting-edge equipment streamlines the capturing and improves the robustness of data recorded in the field; our ecologists can have their field-observations accurately logged and reported before they have even packed up for the day!

GPS Anabat
Using the Latest GPS and Camera Technologies to Achieve Robust and Efficient Results

Integration of our ecology services with our world-class GIS team has made the presentation of our work even more powerful. At the time of publishing this article, we are all battling with heavy travel restrictions and the ability to access many areas has been limited due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Our remote sensing capabilities, originally optimised to be able to record habitats in regions of the Middle East difficult to access by virtue of their remoteness, logistics or sometimes because of security restrictions, have now become more relevant than ever!

GIS Ecology Field Work
Mark Brown, Head of WKC’s GIS Services, Briefing the Ecology Team Prior to Field Work

Collaboration is Key

Our ecology team have achieved so much in the relatively short time I have been with WKC.

As well as introducing exciting new technologies into our work, we are also proud to have increased collaboration with regulators and academic institutions.

Donald Afan – Lead Ecologist

Effective collaboration allows the sharing and publishing of valuable important biodiversity data which is crucial in providing the expertise necessary to protect and preserve local ecosystems.

Coastal Mangrove Habitat
A High-Resolution, Infrared Composite Image of a Coastal Mangrove habitat, Abu Dhabi

I am also proud to have increased the integration of our terrestrial ecology team with our marine teams. Many projects we work on, especially in coastal regions, require close and effective collaboration between specialisms in order to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.

Ecology Fujairah UAE
Members of WKC’s Marine Ecology Team Surveying in Fujairah, UAE

Onwards and Upwards!

Biodiversity is by its very nature highly variable and often specific to each geographical region. Moreover, the regulatory framework within which developers must operate as well as the cultural and historical importance of certain features varies. However, our shared values in offering the best possible services to our clients, achieving the highest in technical excellence and to ultimately protect and enhance the beauty of the natural world around us is universal.

Ecologist Middle East Africa
A Selection of Ecology Pictures from the Middle East & Africa, Taken by WKC’s Ecologists

With this in mind, we are always seeking new opportunities to expand our ecology practice into new markets, work with new great partners and clients, and ultimately attempt to make a positive difference to the local biodiversity there.

Exciting Plans are now in place to be able to extend our ecology services in Africa, and closer to where it all started for me as a young field biologist, back in southeast Asia.

Donald Afan – Lead Ecologist

Please don’t hesitate to contact the team if you are interested to find out more about our terrestrial and marine ecology services, our GIS and remote sensing capabilities, or indeed any of our other environmental consultancy services.

If you’ve not yet done so, please read the first part of this two-part article which tells the story of how Donald Afan came to join WKC, and describes some of the fantastic project achievements the team have made under his management. And of course, lots of great ecology photos!