Graduate scheme

Yorkshire and the Humber + 2

AECOM's nationwide Water Environment team is expanding, and we are looking to recruit a Graduate Aquatic Ecologist to work out of our Nottingham or Basingstoke office (or Leeds).

The Graduate Aquatic Ecologist will support the delivery of consultancy and advisory services, including a wide range of fieldwork and site work opportunities, to both internal and external clients to a high level of technical quality and to programme and budget.

The individual we are looking for will be an ambitious team player with a strong aptitude for client care, project delivery and contributing to the development of innovative, cost effective solutions in a working environment that is collaborative, stimulating and demanding.

At AECOM Aquatic ecologists work with architects, engineers, planners, economists and other environmental specialists on important projects. Together we provide the full range of ecological services including habitat and species surveys, impact assessment, advice on biodiversity mitigation, offsetting and enhancement, and management planning for biodiversity.

This role would involve processing aquatic freshwater invertebrate samples in the laboratory, developing the skills to analyse to family/species level and estimating abundance, organising and undertaking benthic macroinvertebrate surveys in freshwaters, assisting with fieldwork and sample collection (potentially macroinvertebrate, phytobenthos, fisheries, water quality etc) for freshwater projects when required, Assisting with data entry, analysis and processing (potentially macroinvertebrate, phytobenthos, water quality etc) for freshwater projects, contributing to survey reports and ecological appraisals and liaising with project managers and clients.

To be successful in this role you’ll need to be ambitious team player with a strong aptitude for client care and project delivery. We’re looking for someone who is self-reliant, thrives on challenges and is happy to work closely with colleagues in other disciplines.

You’ll be supporting the delivery of consultancy and advisory services - to a high level of technical quality, to programme, and to budget. You will operate ethically and with integrity, while prioritising safety and security in all that you do.

Ecology is part of AECOM’s Environment business which provides environmental management services for feasibility, impact analysis and operational compliance as well as remediation, restoration and re-use of impacted property.

AECOM is built to deliver a better world. We design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organisations in more than 150 countries. As a fully integrated firm, we connect knowledge and experience across our global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex challenges. From high-performance buildings and infrastructure, to resilient communities and environments, to stable and secure nations, our work is transformative, differentiated and vital. A Fortune 500 firm, see how we deliver what others can only imagine on our website.

Job responsibilities

Supporting the delivery of existing and new contracts for the collection and analysis of aquatic
survey data including fish, macroinvertebrates, crayfish, macrophytes, riparian mammals, River
Habitat Survey etc.;

  • Opportunities to assist with a wider range of terrestrial ecology surveys for the right candidate;
  • Working as part of the existing network of AECOM ecologists and water scientists within the UK and Ireland;
  • Communicating effectively with their line manager, project managers, clients, project teams and other members of the Aquatic Ecology and Water Environment team in person, by telephone, email, letters and reports;
  • Good knowledge of current environmental legislation, including the Water Framework Directive;
  • Compliance with internal business management procedures, including in relation to health and safety and technical quality of all advice and outputs;
  • Contribute to maintaining internal and external client relationships, including providing urgent ecological response and / or advice as required;
  • Collaborating with colleagues in wider AECOM teams on multi-disciplinary projects;
  • Assisting with other administrative duties which add value to the management and development of the team.

The candidate will have strong behavioural competencies with respect to client care, collaborative working, personal responsibility, decision making and teamwork.


A degree (preferably MSc or higher, but BSc considered) in Ecology or related discipline (Freshwater Biology, [Marine] Ecology/Zoology) would be an advantage, as would previous commercial and/or regulatory experience.

  • The successful candidate will understand some or all the following: aquatic ecology and surveys such as fish, macroinvertebrates, crayfish, macrophytes, riparian mammals and/or River Habitat Survey.
  • Good Microsoft Office skills essential such as Word, Excel & PowerPoint
  • Ability to structure & prioritise work effectively through close cooperation with the team as a whole
  • Solid attention to detail
  • Strong numeracy
  • Ability to communicate effectively to internal and external clients, both verbally & in writing with the confidence to engage with a variety of people (clients, colleagues, stakeholders and subcontractors alike) and the aptitude to rationally explain, explore and discuss technical issues and capture feedback
  • Self-motivation, enthusiasm, hard working with ambition and drive
  • Excellent research and report writing skills.
  • Ability to work as part of a team, collaborating with colleagues, client and stakeholders as appropriate and independently without losing initiative & focus.
  • Ability to work flexibly under pressure, responding to changing project and programme demands.
  • Previous experience of working in a consultancy environment/commercial or regulatory would be beneficial, including work placements or relevant voluntary experience


  • Member of CIEEM, IFM, CIWEM or similar professional body or eligible to qualify for this status
  • Water Safety Training
  • First Aid qualification
  • A full driving licence would be beneficial as the role will involve travel for site surveys and transportation of site equipment

Person Specification (Behavioural Attributes)

We are looking for someone who is self-reliant, thrives on challenges and is happy to collaborate with colleagues in other disciplines. Whilst there may also be opportunity to work from other offices on occasion the successful candidate will be expected to live locally or be prepared to relocate close to the office in which they are based. The suitable candidate will be adaptable and flexible in terms of timekeeping so that peaks in demands can be met. The role may involve occasional longer / unsociable hours and short periods away from home.

  • Safeguard - To operate ethically and with integrity, while prioritizing safety and security in all that you do.
  • Be decisive - Know how to prioritize, advocate focus and accountability.
  • Be impactful - Use clear and frequent communications, drive execution and results.
  • Be client-focused - Be collaborative, innovative and strategic.
  • Be the role model - Lead by example, demand excellence, maintain safety and integrity as top priorities


Our Graduate Development Programme (ADVANCE) along with our huge scope of projects across the globe will challenge and inspire you to make a real difference to the world we live in. Our GDP forms a core part of our business strategy globally, designed to develop the best talent across numerous disciplines to lead our business into the future. We have more than 750 graduates on our programmes 4 across the UK and Ireland from more than 40 different disciplines, each making a tangible difference to the environment in which we live and work.

We’ll provide you with all the tools and support you need to achieve your professional development ambitions, including Chartership with the relevant international professional institution (we have graduates working towards more than 30 professional institutions in the UK and Ireland). We’ll push you to achieve the highest standards and expect our graduates to pass their professional review first time. You will be assigned a mentor to support and guide your development, and you will take regular training modules throughout the programme. There’ll be on-the-job technical development and classroom training where required, and the opportunity to work on live client projects with significant multi-disciplinary exposure.

Professional institutes you may work towards are The Chartered Institute for Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Managers (CIEEM) or Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM).

More Details

Apply by


Start date


Basingstoke, Nottingham or Leeds


Yorkshire and the Humber, South East, East Midlands

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