Putting nature's services on the map - speakers

This page provides short summaries of speakers involved in the morning session of the 'Putting nature's services on the map' workshop, held on 29th April 2013.

Dr. Katie Medcalf, Environment Director at Environment Systems Ltd.

Katie is a landscape ecologist with over eighteen years’ experience in delivering successful projects in ecosystem service modelling, environmental policy, agri-environment, GIS and remote sensing.  She has worked extensively creating and modelling data on habitats and soils across the UK, and more recently in Europe and the Caribbean. Katie’s early career in the Welsh Assembly Government has given her insight into the need for policy based on evidence and its use in central and local government.  Katie has been instrumental in the successful development of ecosystem service mapping as a tool to aid decision making. She is also an expert on habitat mapping using remote sensing imagery and uses these techniques to aid the interpretation and modelling of environmental issues. She is a Chartered Environmentalist, a full member of CIEEM, the British Ecological Society and the British Society of Soil Science, she is past chair of AGI Cymru.

Nick Grayson, Climate Change and Sustainability Manager, Birmingham City Council

Nick Grayson has worked for Birmingham City Council for over 30 years. In that time he has taken a long journey from a front line gardener, being awarded a Master of Horticulture (RHS), and further qualifying as a Landscape Architect (Birmingham City University) and a PGDip in Public Policy (University of Birmingham). He has been involved with research projects from the NERC/URGENT programme, to EU-Project URGE, the BUCCANEER Project (climate change in Birmingham), and currently Liveable Cities (EPSRC). As Climate Change and Sustainability Manager, he leads on Adaptation and Green Infrastructure. His over-riding belief is in cross disciplinary working and the changing of mind sets.

 Jonathan Lane, Senior Planner, Bridgend County Borough Council

Jonathan Lane is a Chartered Town Planner. He has worked in the Planning Policy Team in Bridgend Council for 8 years and his substantive role has been involved with producing the Local Development Plan for Bridgend, gathering evidence and writing policies to guide sustainable development over a 15 year period. He has produced a range of Supplementary Planning Guidance providing detailed planning guidance on topics such as education, retail, recreation, employment and green infrastructure. He provides planning policy advice to planning and development professionals and the general public on planning policy matters and development proposals. Jonathan has a keen interest in ecosystems services and related work and is currently leading from a planning perspective on introducing the concept into general planning practices.

Geoff Hobbs, Ecologist, Bridgend County Borough Council

Geoff Hobbs has been the Ecologist for Bridgend County Borough Council for the last three years where part of his role is to help ensure the activities of the Council comply with legislative requirements relating to ecology. Originally coming from a research background, Geoff completed his doctorate in Landscape Genetics at Cardiff University in 2009. Through working for Bridgend County Borough Council, Geoff has had the opportunity to promote the benefits provided by the natural environment to communities. These benefits are an essential driving force behind the protection and enhancement of biodiversity. An increasing element of Geoff’s work is to integrate thinking about green anfrastructure into the activities of the Council to encourage cross disciplinary working. He sees this as an important step to living with climate change.

Mai Neilsen, Ecologist, Buckinghamshire County Council

Mai Nielsen holds a BSc (Hons) in Biology from Copenhagen University, MSc in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from Oxford University. She has worked for Bucks County Council since 2007 in areas covering ecology and sustainability. This includes leadership of the habitat mapping project of Buckinghamshire. She is currently leading the ecological response to HS2 (the high speed rail link) and other major infrastructure projects on behalf of Bucks County Council. Mai has a keen interest in ecosystem services and sees a major role for the development management and strategic planning.