Dr Tim Hounsome
Title: Dr Tim Hounsome, Managing Director
Keywords: Ornithologist, Ecologist, Entrepreneur, Bird-ringer, Actor, Runner, Manchester born Man Utd fan, Dreamer.
Abstract: Biocensus as a concept was brought into this world whilst sitting in a car in the rain. At the time I was (supposed to be) collecting data on ground nesting birds for my PhD.
“Wouldn’t it be good” I thought “to establish a company that combined a commercial ecological consultancy with cutting edge scientific research, and then to take the profits made from this company and fund conservation projects around the world?”
In 2002 ecologists were definitely viewed with a significant level of mistrust by many in the business world. A mistrust that was returned by ecologists whose roots were very much in the world of conservation.
The vision of Biocensus is to marry the two disciplines and in the process provide a commercial service that is a win win. I feel passionately that concern for the natural world and for development are not mutually exclusive entities. Early involvement from ecologists in projects combined with a large dollop of innovation and imagination makes it entirely possible for almost any scheme to produce affordable, even profitable, enhancements to biodiversity. I’d even go as far to say that as a conservationist I see this interaction as the way to make the biggest gains, and that it is incumbent on all of us to engage with developers.
It was in a car, again, in 2007 that the concept of the UK wide network of ecologists occurred to me. The irony of being on a mammoth six hour drive to do a bird survey for a wind turbine that was being built to reduce carbon emissions was not lost on me and I thought, “there has to be a smarter way of working”. The network of local specialists is now one of the cornerstones of Biocensus.
My personal area of expertise is in ornithology although it’s now been a while since I got my wellies on! When I’m not wearing a suit (I like to think of it as a costume) I’m a keen bird ringer and along with catching birds on my local patch near Bath I’m lucky enough to frequently go ringing seabirds in Scotland.