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Max Wade CEcol CEnv FCIEEM

An ecologist, well before the term had entered the general vocabulary, I thrived working on Lough Neagh (early 1970s), learned a huge amount as a post-graduate in Wales (PhD in 1978), then joined an inspirational team of ecologists at Loughborough University (1978-98) developing one of the first ecology degrees. This produced a significant number of today’s practising ecologists as did my time at the University of Hertfordshire (Professor of Ecology, 1998-2003) supported by a great team of ecologists, geographers and geologists. Research into freshwater habitats and species and more recently invasive non-native species was coupled with supervising PhD projects, writing books and scientific papers, organising conferences and workshops and delivering a range of training programmes.

I was very active within the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, chairing the Conservation Committee informing Government on plant conservation policy and legislation.  This led to forming the Conservation Association of Botanical Societies, the basis for the creation of Plantlife (I am a Founding Fellow), all excellent experience in leading and managing a specialist non-governmental organisation both influencing the direction of nature conservation, and in governance, recruitment and responding to members’ needs.

For the last 14 years I have been a consultant ecologist joining a small consultancy, Ecoscope, subsequently acquired by RPS.  In 2014 took up the post of Technical Director (Ecology) at AECOM.

My knowledge and insight of the breadth and depth of CIEEM comes from undertaking various challenging tasks:

  • Honorary Secretary to the Governing Board
  • chairing the Skills Gap project through to undertaking accreditations of degree programmes at universities
  • a member of the Fellows’ Forum;
  • delivering CIEEM training courses, e.g. biosecurity and BREEAM assessment;
  • representing CIEEM, e.g. working with BRE to revise ecology elements of BREEAM; and
  • chairing an Apprenticeship Trailblazer Group to establish a Level 7 Ecology apprenticeship. 


How do your skills and experience help you to meet the role criteria, what is your visions for the Institute and what 3 outcomes you would seek to help CIEEM achieve during your presidency?

I am passionate about ecology and environmental management and a powerful advocate for our role in society.  Opportunities exist for us to further grow our influence and respect and we must take them.  The outcomes I would seek to achieve are included within CIEEM’s operational plan which I helped shape.  To each I would bring my extensive network in industry, higher education and government and my particular skills and experience.

(i) Championing ecology and environmental management through our training programme

CIEEM has built up an impressive training programme, essential in underpinning high standards in our work.  We need to progress towards ecology and environmental management becoming protected professions so that certain skills, qualifications and competences are required as part of our professional practice.  This would evidence quality and competence and increase membership and revenue through the training programme and associated assessment.

(ii) Growing our membership

I see opportunities to expand membership through:

  • Continued growth of environmental management within CIEEM, reaching out to environmental managers, e.g. reserve wardens, land agents or environmental advisors in companies to develop well-defined products to meet their needs. Furthering our engagement with universities, encouraging students, CIEEM’s life blood, responding to the opportunities in apprenticeships and developing clear career pathways.
  • Building on greater representation within CIEEM of Wales, Ireland and Scotland, strengthening support for activities, e.g. training, workshops and conferences. Increased membership will strengthen evidence to Governments to help shape policy and legislation.
  • Benefiting from developments in our training programme (see previous objective).


(iii) Building up CIEEM’s financial stability and resilience

As a relatively young professional institute, we need to grow our finances to enable us to implement our operational plan and ensure sufficient reserves to cope with any future adverse situation.  I am keen to support the Secretariat, our Treasurer and initiatives already identified, seek other means of increasing income and ensure we continue to provide excellent value for money and improve services to members. 

I can bring commercial and financial management expertise to this objective which has strong links to the previous two.


Note: The President will normally be elected at the annual election cycle before the one at which they take office and will be known as the President-Elect during the interim. 


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