Baker Consultants

Meg Skinner, Invertebrate Ecologist, Tells Us About Her First Season with Baker Consultants

Having been with us for six months, Meg Skinner, Invertebrate Ecologist, shares how her first six months at Baker Consultants have gone:

I joined Baker Consultants in August 2023 following five years’ experience as an ecologist, surveying protected species such as newts, bats and badgers. I have always had a keen interest in all kinds of invertebrates and have been finding and recording a range of species in my spare time. Studying invertebrates really is a lifetime hobby; there are so many different species and so much to find out about this often overlooked group.

I have always wanted to focus my job more on invertebrates and since joining Baker Consultants, I have been able to realise this ambition. Since joining the team, I have been carrying-out a lot more invertebrate surveys for a range of sites throughout the UK and this now takes up the majority of my time each week. This work encompassed finding as many terrestrial and aquatic species as we could find, using techniques such as pitfall trapping, sweep netting and kick sampling in streams.

Dave Goddard, Senior Invertebrate Ecologist, continues to be a valued mentor, providing supervision and advice when conducting fieldwork, interpreting results and reporting our findings for clients. Dave and I have built-up our own specialist areas of expertise over the years, so it has also given us a great opportunity to learn from each other, sharing what we have both learnt. Together, we are able to identify a wide range of invertebrate groups including arachnids, one of my specialties, which are an ecologically important group despite their unpopular reputation!

The Baker Consultants team all recognise the importance of surveying for invertebrates on potential development sites, as well as the value of ongoing monitoring for conservation projects. I have been very well supported and have been provided with specialist equipment and literature whenever we need it. Additionally, the team have also supported my wider professional development by offering opportunities to attend training courses, as well as running a number of varied internal workshops.

I joined Baker Consultants in the middle of our 4-day week trial, and this will now continue as a permanent policy following the trial’s overall success during 2023. Having every Friday off has been hugely beneficial for maintaining a good work-life balance. It has helped to improve my mental health, as well as allowing more time for me to pursue independent research or getting more time outdoors!

The 2024 season is looking promising; we anticipate that this will be a very busy year with some upcoming surveys already scheduled at some interesting sites. We are also looking forward to taking on some survey work for monitoring of nature reserves, to help evaluate the success of ongoing conservation initiatives for some of the rarer invertebrate species.


The Baker Consultants team is highly experienced and we are passionate about what we do. If you need advice related to ecology, surveys or conservation, then please get in touch with us via our contact form on the website, or you can call us on +44 (0)1629 593958 or email us on