Waterside Ecology

Independent Ecological Consultancy

About Us

Dr Jon Watt,

B.Sc. (Hons., zoology), Ph.D., MIFM, MIEEM.

Principal Ecologist.

Jon has over 20 years experience in ecological research and wildlife management, much of it in northern Scotland. His PhD, completed in 1992, was an investigation of coastal otter foraging behaviour in the Inner Hebrides after which he worked for several years leading a field team studying sea otters in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. His interest in predator prey interactions led to an increasing interest in fish, initially as otter food but latterly for their own sake. On returning from Alaska Jon spent 8 years as Senior Biologist for Lochaber Fisheries Trust researching, monitoring and promoting sustainable management of rivers and fish populations in highland Scotland. Jon went freelance in 2004 and set up Waterside Ecology in 2007.


Jon has a thorough practical knowledge of fish and mammal survey techniques as well as extensive experience of analysing and interpreting data to provide objective management advice. In recent years he has become increasingly interested in lamprey conservation and management and has developed associated research projects with colleagues at Stirling University. He is a Scottish Fisheries Co-ordination Centre qualified electric fishing team leader and Habitat Surveyor and holds licenses for survey of freshwater pearl mussels.


Dr Lorna Brown,

B.Sc. (Hons., zoology), Ph.D.,

Associate Ecologist.

Lorna has over 20 years experience working as an ecologist and 10 as an ecological consultant. She started her career investigating predator prey interactions, firstly fox and jackal predation of turtles in Turkey, then otter predation of amphibians as her PhD. More recently she returned to this field, investigating predation of black-throated diver nests over a 4 year period for Scottish Natural Heritage.

Through working for Wester Ross Fisheries Trust Lorna gained experience in surveying fish populations and habitats. This in conjunction with her field skills in surveying otter, water vole and freshwater pearl mussels, has enabled her to manage ecological surveys of small scale hydroelectric scheme developments for Waterside Ecology. Recently Lorna managed two large-scale water vole surveys for the National Trust for Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage, providing both organisations with a long-term management plan. She also monitors raptors, particularly white tailed eagles and has just refreshed her Lantra tree climbing and aerial rescue certificate. She is a Scottish Fisheries Co-ordination Centre qualified electric fishing team leader.

Isabel Isherwood,

B.A. (Hons., zoology), M.Sc.,

Associate Ecologist

After graduating from Cambridge University, Isabel worked overseas on a range of conservation projects. These included research projects in Tanzania, Indonesia, Ecuador and New Caledonia conducting baseline bird, reptile and habitat surveys in association with local conservation organisations. She then worked in the Philippines, promoting the establishment of inshore marine reserves for conservation and fisheries management, where her tasks included baseline surveys and monitoring, community consultation, training and the management of a local survey team. On returning to the UK Isabel worked for Lochaber Fisheries Trust before moving to Highland Council to work on spatial coastal management. She now works part time for Waterside Ecology and seasonally (part time) for Scottish Wildlife Trust as ranger at the Rahoy Hills reserve in Argyll. Isabel is an excellent multi-disciplinary biologist with good field skills in a variety of survey types and a strong interest in conservation management. She holds electric fishing certification from Scottish Fisheries Co-ordination Centre.

Martin Seed,

B.Tec, SVQ (Environmental Conservation),


Martin is highly experienced in fisheries surveys, having worked for Lochaber Fisheries Trust and more recently as a self-employed field assistant on numerous ecological contracts. He has worked as a field technician for Waterside Ecology since the business started. Martin has worked on rivers and streams throughout mainland Scotland and the islands over the past seven years, giving him an unusually broad range of experience. He is familiar with survey techniques for range of species, including salmonids and lampreys. Martin holds electric fishing certification from Scottish Fisheries Co-ordination Centre. In addition to his interests in biology, Martin is a keen and well informed archaeologist.

About Us