Our Team

Marcus Kohler

Marcus Kohler BA (Hons) MCIEEM
Founder and Director

Marcus has over 30 years’ experience as an ecologist and founded the award-winning business of MKA Ecology in 1998.

He brings to the business his excellent knowledge of British habitats and protected species, his expertise in working alongside professionals of all disciplines on complex projects and a determination to deliver service of the highest quality as efficiently as possible. Providing professional ecological services on projects as diverse as long-term gravel extraction, landfill and recreational landscaping, through pipelines and motorway widening has helped him build a considerable portfolio of ecological consultancy skills. He is client focused, committed to finding workable solutions and, where possible, to adding value.

Marcus also has extensive overseas ecological experience, having worked and travelled extensively in South East Asia, Australasia and Africa. He has over fifteen years’ experience as a wildlife tour leader, specializing in Madagascar, but also taking groups to many other destinations across four continents. Marcus has helped develop wildlife tour itineraries for several clients and has a deep understanding of international eco-tourism.

A full member of the ecologists’ professional body, CIEEM, Marcus holds great crested newt and bat licences and is the named ecologist on many Natural England bat and badger licences. As with all of the MKA Ecology team, Marcus is a registered CSCS card holder.

To discuss your ecology needs with Marcus, give us a call, or email marcus@mkaecology.co.uk

William O’Connor

William O’Connor BSc (Hons) MSc MCIEEM
Director and Principal Ecologist

With over 10 years’ experience of ecological consultancy with MKA Ecology, Will has been leading our team of ecologists since becoming a Director in 2012 and has managed a diverse range of projects from large scale residential development, to bespoke Paragraph 55 house builds.

Typically taking the ecology lead in project design teams to achieve ecological compliance, he will also add value with appropriate ecological enhancement. In projects which are not development led, Will has a track record in sensitive biodiversity enhancement within historic landscapes.

Will’s expert knowledge of British wildlife and ecology combine with his thorough understanding of the planning process to result in recommendations in keeping with the scale of impact and surrounding landscape. This facilitates sustainable development, meaning successful projects and satisfied clients. He leads the production of ecology chapters for Environmental Impact Assessment at MKA.

A full member of the ecologists’ professional body, CIEEM, Will holds great crested newt and bat licences and is the named ecologist on many Natural England bat and badger licences.

He is an active committee member of Cambridgeshire Bat Group and committee member designate of the East of England committee of CIEEM. As with all of the MKA Ecology team, Will is a registered CSCS card holder.

To discuss your ecology needs with Will, give us a call, or email will@mkaecology.co.uk

Jane Kohler

Jane Kohler LLB (Hons)
Executive Director

Jane joined MKA Ecology in 2004, with 14 years’ experience as a commercial solicitor in two major international law firms.

Bringing the skills she developed working at a high level in successful and professional organizations to the management of the business, she is responsible for aspects as diverse as financial management, human resources, operational procedures, regulatory compliance and quality control. Recognising the importance of demonstrating MKA Ecology’s commitment to quality of service and to health and safety, she has successfully steered it to accreditations in quality – ISO 9001:2015 and health and safety with Alcumus:Safecontractor.

Jane enjoys promoting the excellent services offered by MKA Ecology and helps to ensure that the team abides by its watchwords: quality and teamwork.

To discuss MKA Ecology with Jane, give her a call, or email jane@mkaecology.co.uk

Nikki Hothersall

Nikki Hothersall
Office Manager

Nikki is a key player in MKA Ecology ensuring the smooth running of the office and administrative function.

She has particular responsibility for monitoring ongoing compliance with the requirements of the quality accreditation ISO 9001:2015 and for financial administration. Nikki brings with her extensive experience and knowledge after working for many high profile companies in London as well as being self-employed for 7 years, working with companies in many sectors.

To contact Nikki, give her a call or drop her a line at nikki@mkaecology.co.uk

Gabrielle Horne

Gabrielle Wilbur BSc Grad CIEEM
Consultant Ecologist

A native of New Zealand, Gabrielle joined MKA Ecology in 2015 and has considerable of experience in undertaking preliminary ecological appraisals, protected species surveys and translocations as well as ecological clerk of works duties.

She has a developing passion for botany and has carried out more specialised surveys, including the National Vegetation Classification having achieved level 4 accreditation on the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland botanical field skills pyramid. The author of many fully compliant, client focussed reports, she is an accomplished project manager, developing strong relationships with her clients. Her consultancy experience ranges across brown field sites, to rural developments and large inner city housing developments.

A graduate member of the ecologists’ professional body, CIEEM, Gabrielle holds a great crested newt licence and like all of the MKA Ecology team, she is a registered CSCS card holder.

To discuss your ecology needs with Gabrielle, give us a call, or email gabrielle@mkaecology.co.uk


James Heywood MA, PhD Student CIEEM
Consultant Ecologist

James returned to ecology in 2016, joining MKA Ecology after eight years in clinical research as a data scientist.

James holds an MA and PhD in Zoology from the University of Cambridge. His academic interests concerned the adaptations of herbivorous mammals and his interest in mammals continues through monitoring with the Cambridgeshire Mammal Group and Mammal Society. An avid ornithologist, he is currently working towards an MSc in Applied Ecology and Conservation at the University of East Anglia where he is tackling the question of reducing predation on breeding waders from avian predators. In between studies James is building his experience of ecological consultancy with MKA Ecology.

A student member of the ecologists’ professional body, CIEEM, like all of the MKA Ecology team, James is a registered CSCS card holder.

To discuss your ecology needs with James, give us a call, or email james.h@mkaecology.co.uk


Andy Symes BSc (Hons) MSc

With over 10 years’ experience as a conservation scientist, ecological consultant and ornithologist, Andy joined MKA Ecology in 2018.

His primary focus is on ornithology, having spent many years at Birdlife International coordinating the annual global IUCN Red List assessment process for over 11,000 bird species. Closer to home his considerable skills in identifying UK and European bird species by sound and sight is a very welcome addition to the MKA team. A lifelong naturalist, Andy also has excellent knowledge of British plants, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. His excellent grounding in research, analysis and writing for a variety of audiences lends itself to his ability to produce comprehensive, compliant and easily digested reports for MKA clients. To discuss your ecology needs with Andy, give us a call, or email andy@mkaecology.co.uk

Lydia Murphy

Lydia Murphy BA (Hons) MSc

Joining MKA Ecology in 2018 from Fauna & Flora International, Lydia is experienced in a broad range of protected species surveys and preliminary ecological appraisal.

She has also undertaken extensive research into pine marten, red squirrel and woodland habitats. To discuss your ecology needs with Lydia, give us a call, or email lydia@mkaecology.co.uk
Robert Bishop

Robert Bishop MBiolSci (Hons)
Graduate Ecologist

Robert joined MKA Ecology shortly after completing his Masters in 2018 as a graduate ecologist.

During his studies Robert has strengthened his ecological experience as a member of his University’s Natural History Society and by undertaking field based research in Borneo and Peru. Closer to home he has further developed his practical and communication skills whilst volunteering for the RSPB in his local reserve at Rye Meads. His ecological consultancy experience is well underway following summer placements where he had the opportunity to carry out a range of protected species surveys. To discuss your ecology needs with Robert, give us a call, or email robert@mkaecology.co.uk

Felix Bird

Felix Bird BSc
Graduate Ecologist

Joining MKA Ecology in 2018 Felix, a graduate in Biology launched his career as an ecological consultant on the basis of a lifelong interest in natural history.

Ranging from botany to birds, Felix has a comprehensive understanding of British wildlife, developed over years of volunteering for the RSPB and biological records centres. Felix’s interest in the natural world has been a focus of his travels to biodiverse destinations including Madagascar and Borneo. To discuss your ecology needs with Felix, give us a call, or email felix@mkaecology.co.uk

Rupert Houghton, BSc, MRes, PhD student
Graduate Ecologist

Rupert joined MKA Ecology as a graduate ecologist in 2019, coming from a predominantly freshwater ecology background.

Rupert spent both his MRes (Imperial College London) and PhD (university of Aberdeen) courses investigating aspects of the ecology and management of invasive, non-native crayfish species in the UK. Although his interests lie predominantly in the freshwater world, he is an experienced terrestrial ecologist and is continuously refining his terrestrial field skills, as well as building his experience of the ecologist’s role within development. Rupert is currently working towards obtaining his white-clawed crayfish licence.

To discuss your ecology needs with Rupert, give us a call, or email rupert@mkaecology.co.uk

Why you should consider a career at MKA Ecology

Quality and teamwork are our watchwords. Our excellent reputation is built on the skills and expertise of our people. We invest in our team to ensure we have fulfilling, rewarding and successful careers. Our supportive and nurturing environment leads to excellent service delivery for our clients and a sustainable and thriving future for us all. We are always open to approaches from applicants who would fit well into such a team – if that’s you then do get in touch.

If you are interested in joining us then contact Jane Kohler by email in the first instance. All enquiries will be dealt with confidentially.