Expert Details

Expert in Environmental Analysis and Forensic Ecology

Expert ID: 728108 United Kingdom

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Environmental forensics

The field of environmental forensics is an emerging discipline, and covers a wide range of environmental sciences. Expert specialises in forensic ecology - the examination of environmental accidents, especially (but not exclusively) affecting aquatic habitats. His work has covered a wide range of accidents, some of them substantial, and includes the investigation of oil-spills, river pollution incidents, fish kills, the assessment of the environmental benefits of salvage operations at sea, and the impacts of the contamination of public water supplies on the health of humans and livestock.

Following his post-graduate research in fish toxicology, Expert became involved in gathering evidence for prosecutions and claims for damages relating to the poaching of fish, accidental discharges of farm and industrial wastes to rivers, and the impacts of off-shore disasters such as the wreck of the oil tanker ‘Torry Canyon’ on marine resources and tourism in Cornish estuaries.

He has acted as an Environmental Mission and Team Leader for leading international Consultancies and Development Agencies on numerous engineering development projects overseas. In these, he is responsible for quality control of data collection and analysis, in disciplines ranging from archaeology to zoology. As the result of this work, he has developed techniques and protocols for evidence collection that have been applied to a wide range of incidents and situations around the world. They form the basis of his work as an Expert Witness in the application of forensic ecology to prosecutions, insurance and salvage claims, and the response and management of potentially fatal environmental incidents. As the result of his specialist knowledge he was invited to write the chapter on Environmental Forensics in the new John Wiley and Sons Encyclopaedia of Forensic Science. He was elected as a Fellow of the Society of Biology in December 2009 for his contributions to this branch of environmental forensics.

In the field of evidence salvage, Expert. Expert’s expertise has led to the successful presentation of evidence in criminal and civil courts in the UK, Ireland and Korea. His analyses have also been relied on by environmental auditing specialists in the assessment of claims made by salvors for marine casualty recovery operations around the world. His application of accident investigation techniques, including crime-scene and accident site photography, and historic evidence salvage, coupled with his knowledge of ecotoxicology, ecological dynamics and environmental modelling have provided evidence that has allowed courts to decide complex and long-delayed cases to his Clients’ benefit.

The investigation of the effects of accidental and deliberate contamination of public water supplies by toxic chemicals has placed Expert. Expert prominently as a scientist in the fields of aluminium ecotoxicology and water fluoridation. In the notorious 1988 Camelford water poisoning incident, the public water supplies in North Cornwall were accidentally contaminated with exceedingly high levels of aluminium sulphate. Expert. Expert’s independent salvage of critical evidence on the human and veterinary impacts of this incident has led to the discovery of a new links between aluminium and neurodegenerative diseases.

Environmental Impact Assessment

Expert. Expert has played a significant role in devising appropriate techniques for EIA activities that are now widely used by leading International Development Agencies in a wide range of fields, from hydropower development to road, rail and marine transport planning, in irrigation and drainage planning and management, for lood risk prediction, the tracing of the translocation of agricultural pesticides, and in municipal water abstraction, storage, treatment and waste disposal.

In the Indus Valley, his work as Environmental Team Leader for the Asian Development Bank-funded National Drainage Policy provided new methodologies for, amongst other actions, the protection of archaeological sites such as Mohenjo Daro, assessing the assimilative capacity of the irrigation drainage system to deal with municipal septic wastes, and the impact of irrigation abstraction on the dynamics of the country’s largest natural lake fishery, in Manchar Lake.

In the Mekong Basin he introduced the use of hydraulic modelling to identify the cumulative impacts of multiple hydropower schemes. His use of Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) to compare the relative technical, ecomonic, social and environmental impacts of each of the 37 proposed dams was widely praised by International Agencies, regional governments and local environmental protection staff in the three participating countries.

His prediction of serious seismic risks from the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, a previously quiescent area, was first ignored, but subsequently vindicated when filling the main reservoir triggered a significant earthquake. His warning to World Bank of its impending corporate legal liability for failing to comply with its own policies led to its immediate withdrawal of finance for the grossly over-ambitious complex of projects.

Acting as Team and Mission Leader for International Development Agencies, Expert has advised on the methodology for, and provided training in, the practice of environmental assessment at Strategic, Sectoral, and Project levels. His had devised institutional capacity-building training courses for governments needing to meet the strict requirements of compliance with the aquis communitare for membership of the European Community.

He has assisted governments faced with legal challenges to the implementation of their own development projects. In Egypt, he resolved a problem caused by a preemptive land-grab by academics, who were attempting to sell public land on a governmental agricultural land project in Sinai to private farmers. Working for the European Community in Laos, he compiled the Country Environmental Profile that was used to redirect national policies of enforcement of environmental legislation, and formed the basis of the EC’s National Investment Policy for the Lao Government.

His expertise has been used by Donors to scrutinise investment policies with respect to national government objectives. In Mali he warned IFAD of a spurious attempt by the Malian government to obtain funding for Aquaculture development in the Sahel. In Tibet, highly damaging Chinese attempts to increase Chinese influence in Qinghai Prefecture were blocked by his advice to World Bank on the poor quality and safety standards used by Chinese dam-builders attempting to over-develop traditional sustainable agricultural practices.

Aquaculture and fisheries

Expert has extensive practical experience in aquaculture, and has designed, built and managed many recreational fisheries and fish farms. They include facilities for rearing trout, salmon, edible and ornamental carp, tilapia, and numerous African and Asian food fish. He established the Shetland mussel and salmon farming industries in the 1970s, and currently advises Ireland’s largest producer and exporter of shellfish. He also acts as a forensic expert for fish farming businesses, collecting and assessing evidence of causation in claims for damages by incidents such as oil-spills, river contamination and related pollution incidents.

As Deputy Fisheries Officer for the Cornwall River Authority he was responsible for the management of 2000 km of inland rivers, and restored the UK’s oldest trout hatchery to full operation. He established a regional salmon restocking programme in which 750,000 young fish were released to the rivers of Cornwall each year. When a new disease of salmon appeared in the UK in 1967, he established the first fish disease laboratory in the UK for identifying bacterial diseases of the Authority’s hatchery and river fish stocks, and developed the use of veterinary medicines to treat stocks against infectious conditions.

As Senior Consultant in Aquaculture for the leading London-based firm of Fisheries Development, Expert. Expert travelled extensively, advising Clients on the potential for developing commercial and community aquaculture projects around the world. Subsequently, as an independent Consultant he expanded his activities to cover the analysis of the effects of development projects on fisheries and aquaculture in both fresh and marine waters.

For some years he owned and managed the first ornamental carp and goldfish farm in the UK employing environmental and hormonal management to regulate broodstock spawning to produce ornamental fish to coincide with the spring peak market demand. He designed and managed the first eel farm in Europe (in Italy) to employ Far Eastern technology, geothermal heating and venturi aeration to rear eels intensively for the German and Dutch markets.

After twenty years working in this field Expert. Expert became increasingly involved in aquatic toxicology, and in the growing field of ecological and environmental assessment. His background in fish toxicology research at the UK’s former leading establishment, the Water Pollution Research Lab at Stevenage, was central to expanding his field of work to include the application of toxicology and pollution chemistry to fisheries and aquaculture problems at home and overseas.

Because of his unique background, Expert has been appointed as an Expert in a range of forensic investigations related to aquaculture and fisheries. He has worked with accredited forensic laboratories in the investigation of environmental pollution and disasters in rivers, lakes and the sea. He has been able to salvage critical evidence relevant to historic incidents, which has been effectively presented in Courts and Tribunals. He is an expert on the application of hydraulic modelling of river systems to the management of commercial river and lake fisheries and the protection of communities reliant on them.

Sakhalin II Oil and Gas Pipeline Development Project, Russia, 2002. Senior Environmental Consultant, AEA Technology plc.

Expert. Expert reviewed the compliance of the Infrastructure Upgrade Project with the environmental management protocols required by the Contractor (Shell and Sakhalin Oil Companies), the Russian Federation and the international lenders. His management review resolved a number of issues and allowed the Project’s environmental sub-contractors to complete their work without further delay. His recommendations for the future management of the project ‘environmental component provided a basis for the restructuring of the Russian Federation’s investment in the oilfield development.
Environmental Consultant and Expert Witness to the Lett Group, Wexford, Ireland, 2002 - present.

Expert. Expert was commissioned to investigate the impacts of a new fishing harbour and municipal sewerage treatment works on Lett and Co’s commercial mussel beds in Wexford Harbour. In his Expert Testimony to the Dublin High Court his detailed analysis of the damaging effects on the mussel stocks of the hydrodynamic changes in the river channel and the altered dissipation of municipal effluents in Wexford Harbour resulted in the award of a multi-million Euro settlement in favour of his Clients. Subsequently he has acted as permanent Environmental Consultant to Lett Group, and has provided Expert Witness evidence in a number of subsequent legal actions.
Mission Leader to Laos, for Agrifor Consultants, Belgium, 2005.

In this EU Framework mission, the EU required the preparation of a detailed Country Environmental Profile for Laos, to prepare the EU’s next 5-year investment programme for the country. Leading the Mission, Expert. Expert used his experience in the Mekong Basin to identify key environmental and social constraints on future development, and recommended the priorities for targeted investment to stimulate the economy. He advised that the central management objective in strategic planning should be a more intensive approach to the monitoring of compliance and far more robust enforcement of environmental legislation. His highly sensitive and confidential report was acknowledged by the EC Help Desk as 'the highest quality document to have passed across this Desk.'
Senior Environmental Consultant, Se San, Se Kong and Nam Theun Basin Hydropower Study, for Halcrow Rural Management. 1997-9

Expert. Expert managed the Halcrow environmental team, national Environment Staff and ex-patriot experts in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, in a regional collaboration and field studies on 37 hydropower projects in the Middle and Lower Mekong River Basin. He also prepared and presented Training Workshops on methodology and capacity strengthening for the Environmental Departments in each country. His development of new procedures for predicting basin-wide cumulative impacts led World Bank's Chief Environmental Adviser Dr. R Goodland, to comment that, “ Expert finds problems that no one else even knows exist – but then he finds solutions!”Fruit Fly Mission Leader, Carambola Fruit Fly Eradication Project, International Food and Agriculture Development Agency, Rome, 1997

The eradication of an introduced Fruit Fly pest that threatened to block exports of fruit from South America to the EC and USA was stalled when the problems of running the project under six incompatible legal codes appeared to be insuperable. Expert. Expert provided an Expert Opinion on the toxicology of an essential pesticide, after an earlier assessment had been rejected by the Donor. He then restarted the Project by clearing the legal minefield under which the project had attempted to operate, and redirecting the management of the programme of containment and eradication to comply with the clarified legislative framework. The Project then moved to a successful completion.


Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1969 Degree: PGCE Subject: Education and vocational training Institution: Garnett College, University of London
Year: 1964 Degree: BSc Subject: Zoology Institution: University of Southampton

Work History

Years Employer Title Department
Years: 1976 to 2010 Employer: Self Title: Freelance Environmental Consultant Department:
He has been responsible for a wide range of field and desk research and analysis at Senior Consultant, Team and Mission Leader levels for most of the International Development Agencies in many countries for the past 34 years. He also acts as an Expert Witness, in both the UK and abroad, in environmental Court cases and Inquiries. (Refer to Consulting and International Experience sections for details.)
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 1974 to 1976 Employer: Fisheries Development Ltd, London UK Title: Senior Consultant in Aquaculture Department:
He was responsible for building the company's international consulting profile in aquaculture and fisheries, acting as key Expert for contracts with both provate and public sector Clients.
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 1969 to 1974 Employer: Lanchester Polytechnic, Coventry, UK Title: Lecturer in Applied Ecology Department: Dept of Applied Biology
Responsible for the development of Applied Ecological Sciences, including climatology, genetics, natural resource management etc, throughout the Faculty, to Honours BSc level students. He was the Course Tutor to First Year students, and also lectured to post-Graduate students at the University of Aston, Birmingham.
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 1966 to 1968 Employer: Cornwall River Authority Title: Deputy Fisheries Officer Department:
He organised the day-to-day opperations of the Fisheries Staff, the development and management of the salmon hatchery and river fish protection role of the Authority. He also worked with the Pollution Prevention Department staff in detecting and tracing illegal contamination incidents and preparing cases for prosecution.
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 1964 to 1966 Employer: Water Pollution Research Lab, Stevenage, UK Title: Assistant Experimental Officer Department: Fish Toxicology Section
He developed new approaches to fish toxicology, by devising histochemical methods of determining transolocation pathways of metals absorbed from the environment.
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 1960 to 1961 Employer: University of Edinburgh Title: Assistant to Prof. P Walker Department: Zoology Department
He was a Personal Assistant to Prof. Walker, responsible for helping with the fabrication of sampling equipment to be used on future space missions
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 1958 to 1960 Employer: Royal Army Medical Corps Title: Medical Radiographer - Corporal Department: Medical Resource Centre, Edinburgh
He was responsible for providing X-ray Department services for all military personnel through the whole of Eastern Scotland. His duties included advising Medical Staff on the interpretation of X-ray photographs of military casualties.
Years Employer Title Department
Years: 1954 to 1958 Employer: National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, UK Title: Scientific Assistant Department: Metallurgy Division
He was trained in chemical laboratory technology and analytical techniques, and was responsible for the preparation of research materials in metallurgical chemistry, radiographic techniques and workshop practice.

Government Experience

Years Agency Role Description
Years: 2002 to Present Agency: Commttee on Toxicity Role: Member (Lowermoor Sub-Group) Description: He advised this Sub-Group of the Dept of Health's committee on the Toxicity of Chmicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment on evidence collected during and after the 1988 Camelford poisoining incident; he also acts as Local Representative within the Sub-Group, for the North Cornwall community.
Years: 1964 to 1966 Agency: Water Pollution Reseacrh Lab, Stevenage, UK Role: Research scientist Description: He developed new methodologies for the tracing of the movement and accumulation of toxic metals in fish exposed to sub-lethal concentrations of metals in polluted waters.

International Experience

Years Country / Region Summary
Years: 1993 to 1995 Country / Region: World-wide Summary: He worked as an Analyst for Environmental Auditors Ltd, contracted to International Maritime Insurance firms assessing claims for environmental benefits from the salvage of marine casualties in Spain, Greece, Mexico, Philippines, and Yemen. The work involved analysing all records of the vessels' movements, weather and sea conditions, the circumstances in which the vessels were lost, the environmental implications of the salvage companies' activities, and any historic data on previous incidents that might be relevant.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Biology, December in 2009 for his outstanding contributions to the science of Biology
Licenses / Certifications
He is a Chartered Biologist, registered with the Society of Biology, a Euopean Professional Biologist (European Countries Buiologists Association), and a UK-qualified teacher (Post Grad Cert Ed)
Professional Appointments
For eight years he has acted as a Local Representative, Lowermoor-SubGroup, UK committee on Toxicity of chemicals in Foods, Consumer Products and the Environment.
He is a Director of the UK Councils Against Fluoridation
Publications and Patents Summary
He has published over 100 papers, articles, Expert Opinions and analyses, including an invited chapter on Forensic Ecology in the new Encyclopedia of Forensic Science.

Additional Experience

Expert Witness Experience
He has experience as an Expert Witness for the Prosecution and Defendants in criminal trials dealing with environmental pollution. He has acted for Claimants and Insurers in insurance and salvage claims and disputes. He has also provided independent expertise to Public Inquiries and Governmental Consultations on environmental issues, ranging from the environmental constraints on nuclear power generation to the impacts of water fluoridation on human health and the environmental issues raised by small industrial incinerators. He has acted as an Expert in ecotoxicology and as the Local Representative for the North Cornwall community on the UK Government’s long-standing Committee of Inquiry into the medical effects of the 1988 Camelford poisoning.
Training / Seminars
Expert. Expert has developed and presented training courses in Environmental and Strategic Impact Assessment methodology for national staff of countries in South and South-East Asia, and for the national Environmental Staff of Croatia in preparation for its application to become a Member of the EU. He has presented discussion papers in Seminars and Conferences on EIA and SEA methodology, the application of hydraulic modelling to environmental management, and lectures on Forensic Ecology to under-graduate University students in forensic science, and to professional biologists in the UK.
Vendor Selection
No recent experience. In the past he has investigated the market demand for pharmaceutical products in the aquaculture sector, and the supply of salmon and eel juveniles for commerical fish farming operations. For several years he wrote a monthly collumn in 'World Fishing' advising on the specification and supply of aquaculture equipment and resources and the market demand for new fish farm products.
Marketing Experience
Expert. Expert has worked extensively with civil engineering Consultancies in the water supply, irrigation, drainage, hydropower, transportation, and agricultural sectors. He is familiar with the issues and problems in these sectors in tropical, temperate and cold environments. He has excellent knowledge of the interactions between a wide range of development projects, the environment, human societies and natural resources, and is able to provide wide-ranging expert analysis and advice to industry on sustainable project design, implementation, management and decommissioning across these sectors.
Other Relevant Experience
Expert. Expert acts as a Trouble-Shooter when complex issues of environmental science, law and society arise that Clients find difficult to resolve themselves. He is known for his ability to identify environmental issues and problems long before they become apparent to the majority of his Clients, whilst his skill in cutting to the heart of disputes enables him to find solutions to confrontations that may even have been in existence for decades.

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
English He is a native speaker of English, with extremely high proficiency and understanding
French He has sufficient fluency for very basic conversation, and in reading technical material, but this is not adequate for use in in-depth interviews, formal communications or reports.

Fields of Expertise

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