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Personal profile

Biography

SRUC Roles

2013-Current: Lecturer in Countryside Management
2017-2022: Programme Leader MSc Wildlife & Conservation Management

External Examiner / Advisor

2021-2025 University of West England: External Examiner: MSci in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
2021 Panel Member: Major Change in Biology: Northampton University
2013-2018 University of South Wales (HE) and Bridgend College (FE): External Examiner

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

Teaching

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

Consultancy

CONSULTANCY PROJECT EXAMPLES (not comprehensive)

ROADS/BRIDGES/RAILWAYS

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.

 

WATER QUALITY

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.

 

MINING/OIL/PIPELINES

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.

 

WINDFARMS/RENEWABLES/WATER SCHEMES

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.

 

INDUSTRIAL/RESIDENTIAL

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

Lecturer:

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

Supervision

EXAMPLES OF STUDENT PROJECT SUPERVISION

PhD: Colonisation and decomposition of carrion by invertebrates

MRes: Comparison of Environmental Impact Assessment in Mediterranean countries

MSc:

  • Relationships between Cu and Zn concentrations in Salicornia spp. and salt marsh sediments
  • Comparing the influence of contextual factors against EU Directive transposition factors on EIA systems in the UK, Malta and Norway
  • The Effect of Salinity on Zinc-contaminated Soil Cleanup via Armeria
  • Risk assessment of heavy metals in estuarine sediments from Cornwall
  • Relationships between salt marsh vegetation zonation and bioavailable metal in mining polluted estuaries
  • A Comparative Analysis of the Efficiency of Environmental Impact Assessment In China
  • The potential for plant communities to be used as bioindicators: the case of metal pollution on salt marsh flora
  • Effects of soil pH changes on Zn accumulation in Armeria maritima (Mill.) Wilid

BSc (Hons)

  • The impact of conservation grazing on the vegetation communities of Traprain Law, East Lothian
  • Badgers and Mitigation Methods: Road Traffic Accidents in Scotland
  • Nest Site Variables and Breeding progress of the Breeding Shag Phalacrocorax aristolelis Population of the Isle of Lunga
  • Nature engagement and conservation efforts before and during the UK Covid-19 lockdown
  • Bat emergence and weather conditions
  • Vegetation zonation in a eutrophic estuary
  • Why are otters here and not there? Deer and road traffic accidents
  • Winter emergence and sett site selection by the Eurasian badger (Meles meles) in Central Scotland
  • Ecotourism potential of Siwa Oasis, Egypt

Education/Academic qualification

Master, Nottingham Trent University

20102011

Award Date: 1 Dec 2011

PhD, University of Exeter

20002006

Award Date: 7 Jul 2006

Master, Bournemouth University

19941995

Award Date: 1 Dec 1995

Bachelor, University of Leicester

19871990

Award Date: 9 Jul 1990

External positions

Advisor, University of the West of England

Sep 2021 → …

Expert, University of Northampton

Jan 2021

Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management

2019 → …

Transition Linlithgow

20182020

Advisor, University of South Wales

1 Aug 20131 Jun 2018

Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management

20122018

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