A true expert in his field, Ben is approachable and reliable, and you will most likely find him at the bottom of an inaccessible gully electric fishing or out late at night spotlighting.
Joining our Ōtepoti team in March 2022, Ben is a Principal Ecologist and our Dunedin Ecology Manager.
Originally from Rotorua, Ben moved to Dunedin to attend Otago University and completed a Master of Science degree in Zoology, where his research focused on freshwater fish and invertebrate interactions within Waihola-Waipori wetland complex. He went on to work for the Department of Conservation doing pest fish surveys throughout Canterbury and then started with Ryder Consulting in March 2002, which later became Ryder Environmental in 2017 and is now part of 4Sight Consulting as of March 2022.
Ben is a Freshwater Ecologist with 20 years of consulting experience and specialises in lake, river and wetland ecology. He is an expert in assessments of water quality, periphyton, macrophytes, macroinvertebrates and fish communities and has extensive experience with receiving water monitoring in relation to discharge consents and collation and review of scientific and resource management literature for AEE preparation.
He has managed a large number of smaller projects for many clients and managed several staff in Dunedin to ensure work streams continue, deadlines are met, and high standards are maintained. He has also managed all aspects of health and safety in the past and currently manages the Dunedin laboratory, where we process algae, macroinvertebrate and fish samples. The lab is a core part of the Dunedin Ecology team, and we process samples for our own projects as well as for some clients such as regional councils.
In his spare time, Ben enjoys tramping, off-road running, orienteering, rogaining (long-distance orienteering), keeping fit, and loves getting outside whenever possible. All of which come in handy when out in the field in difficult conditions, i.e., electric fishing at the bottom of inaccessible gullies and spotlighting late at night!
Areas of Expertise
Freshwater Ecosystem Monitoring - Water Quality, Periphyton, Macrophytes, Macroinvertebrates and Fish
Freshwater Taxonomy - Native Fish, Macroinvertebrates, Benthic Algae and Macrophytes, Lake/Pond Planktonic Algae and Zooplankton
Assessment and Mitigation of Environmental Effects in Freshwater Environments
Laboratory Analyses of Periphyton/Phytoplankton (Biomass and Identification)