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Personal profile

Personal profile

Dr Smillie has worked and studied in the environmental sector since 1987. After gaining a degree majoring in Environmental Biology from Leicester University, Chris spent the majority of the 1990s working for either the Scottish Wildlife Trust (predominantly conducting botanical surveys) or the North of Scotland Water Authority (now Scottish Water) conducting microbiological analyses. As a placement for his MSc in Water Environment from Bournemouth University, Dr Smillie also worked with the North East River Purification Board (now SEPA). Chris studied the relationship between mine metal wastes and salt marsh flora in a PhD from the Camborne School of Mines, Exeter University (now part of Combined Universities in Cornwall - CUC). Since 2004, Chris has worked in consultancy, primarily conducting EcIAs in the UK, the Middle East and North Africa, with other international experience.

From 2010, Dr Smillie was employed as a senior lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, being involved in teaching, training, research and freelance consultancy. From 2013, Chris moved closer to home to Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) in West Lothian, Scotland.

Chris sat on the Chartered Institute of Ecology & Environmental Management's (CIEEM) Training, Education and Career Development committee, and now sits on the Scottish Committee.

Research interests

Plant-environment relationships

Protected species (bat, badger, newt)

Botanical and habitat surveying

Biogeochemistry of salt marshes


MSc: Contaminated Land and Remediation; Ecological Impact Assessment; Conservation Management Planning; Integrated Planning Management; Research Project

BSc 3rd / 4th Year: Carbon Management; Ecology: Management & Impacts; Rural Planning & EIA

HND / BSc 2nd Year: Conservation Skills; Data Collection and Handling; Ecological Surveying; Freshwater Environments; Graded Unit 2/3; Personal Development Planning; Terrestrial Ecosystems; Work Experience

HNC / BSc 1st Year: Biodiversity Conservation; Classification & Identification; Ecology & Ecosystems

NC: Intro to Biodiversity Conservation; Ecology & Wildlife ID; Local Investigations; Project Management




Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route – botanical, red squirrel, otter surveys, ECoW and mitigation specialist.

Stirling-Alloa Rail Re-opening - Bird monitoring during felling for Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW).

Dalry Bypass, Ayrshire – Ecological input into Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (STAG) report.



Scottish Water SolutionsInvestigated the impact of abstraction on water bodies in SW/ Central Scotland.

Gremista Landfill, ShetlandAnalysed water quality failures and amending of trigger/ control levels.

Wadi Rayan, EgyptCo-ordinated a water quality monitoring programme on the impact of non-point agricultural pollution in a Protected Area. Listed by DfID as a Key Document.



Tonkolili, Sierra Leone – Mitigation recommendations for tailings reclamation.

Wales & West Utilities - Ecological scoping studies to assess pipeline impacts, including in SACs & SPAs.

Bacton-Balgzand Gas Pipeline, Norwich – habitat survey, including inter-tidal and maritime cliff.



Achany Windfarm, Lairg – ECoW for water vole, blanket bog, Schedule 1 birds and water monitoring.

Hydropower Proposal, Assynt - surveyed upland habitats, including quaking bog and montane vegetation.

Bridgewater Canal, ManchesterRiver Corridor and protected species surveys, prior to maintenance.



Cambridge University – Bat count survey of halls of residence to inform mitigation design.

EBIC, Egypt - Vegetation, reptile and coastal bird surveys for an ammonium plant adjacent to the Red Sea.

Tilbury Power Station, Essex - Survey of a protected salt marsh for proposed new coal-fired stations.

Previous employer

2010-2013       Senior Lecturer: Ecology & Environmental Management: Nottingham Trent University

Module Leader:

Year 3: Atmospheric Pollution, Monitoring and Toxicology; Forensic Archaeology and Paleopathology

Year 2: Ecotourism; Practical Conservation: I designed both of these modules from the beginning

FdSc:   Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecosystems; Business Practice


Year 3: Environmental Forensic Assessment (palynology)

Year 2: Behavioural Ecology; Outdoor Management (EIA/EcIA/SIA); Terrestrial Ecosystems

Year 1: Sport, Leisure & the Environment; Natural & Man-made Environments; Life on Earth

FdSc:   Applied Ecology; Practical Techniques in Biology

Education/Academic qualification

Master, Nottingham Trent University


Award Date: 1 Dec 2011

PhD, University of Exeter


Award Date: 7 Jul 2006

Master, Bournemouth University


Award Date: 1 Dec 1995

Bachelor, University of Leicester


Award Date: 9 Jul 1990

External positions

Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management

2019 → …

Transition Linlithgow


Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management



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