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Our people

Andy Webb

Andy is HiDef’s Managing Director and moved to HiDef after 28 years with JNCC where he developed an advanced knowledge in the design, implementation and statistical analysis of seabird and cetacean surveys in the marine environment.

Andy has played a significant role in the development of aerial and boat-based ornithological survey methods (especially the ESAS programme) and is able to advise his clients based on years of both boat-based and aerial survey experience. Andy edits and contributes to a number of peer-reviewed journals and is considered a World expert in offshore ornithological survey.

Elaine Southward

Elaine is HiDef’s Operations Director, managing aircraft and flight operations, as well as data collection and delivery.

Elaine is NEBOSH qualified and is HiDef’s Safety Advisor, she leads HiDef’s quality, health, safety and environment (QHSE) delivery, ensuring compliance with our ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO45001 accreditation. In doing this, Elaine is responsible for ensuring continuous business improvement, ensuring that lessons learnt are fed back into the development and improvement of HiDef’s methods of working.

‏‏‎ ‎‏‏Martin Scott

Martin joined the HiDef team in 2016, and comes from a strong project management background. He has managed projects for many years including being Supervisor of £2.4million European Commission funded Machair LIFE+ project from inception to delivery on a range of dispersed island localities. Martin has project managed numerous ornithology schemes across the UK, both on and offshore. He has considerable experience of overseas work, working in diverse locations from Syria to Canada and was the RSPB’s Conservation Officer for the Outer Hebrides between 2003 and 2011.

Rhys Hexter

Rhys re-joined HiDef in July 2020 as HiDef’s Technology Director. He has overall responsibility for all of the technical services delivered by the company including its IT systems, Engineering teams and the Research and Development function. Rhys was part of the original HiDef team in 2009 and was involved in all commercial projects delivered by HiDef until 2015. Rhys was heavily involved in the development of the technological and operational components of the HiDef survey equipment and the related data manipulation and analysis service. He was also involved in the development of different statistical data analysis processes for HiDef including population density estimation and distribution mapping.Prior to re-joining the HiDef Team, Rhys spent the last five years working within the nuclear sector with an IT focus. He has been responsible for delivery of multiple large value projects stretching over multiple years and was latterly responsible for the management of all aspects of a large enterprise IT system.

Dr. Georg Nehls

Georg is BioConsult SH’s Managing Director and brings over 25 years of marine environmental research expertise to the project team. He obtained his PhD studying eider ducks and mussel populations. In 1998, Georg founded BioConsult SH and since then the company has grown to become one of the leading providers of marine environmental consultancy services to the conservation and development sectors in Germany, Denmark and the UK.

Georg has an excellent understanding of the natural environment, as well as the legal aspects of planning and assessment procedures in the EU in relation to offshore wind energy and marine conservation. As Managing Director of BioConsult SH, Georg annually supervises more than 100 projects relating to onshore and offshore wind farms, with a key focus on birds and marine mammals.

Dr. Grant Humphries

Dr. Grant Humphries joined HiDef in early 2018 as an ecological modeller, and is a marine ornithologist with a background in machine learning, non-parametric statistics and spatial ecology. Grant has been working with seabirds since 2006, but has experience in a number of fields focusing on ways of implementing cutting edge machine learning techniques to complex ecological datasets.

Grant has worked on several at-sea and terrestrial survey schemes ranging from dragonflies to marine mammals, and has a thorough knowledge of numerous census techniques used to monitor populations. He is also a skilled web programmer, using both the R and Python programming languages to create dynamic decision support tools that integrate complex modelling algorithms and output for stakeholder engagement.

Catherine Irwin

Catherine has a background in geography and spatial analysis, having completed an undergraduate degree in geography at the University of Glasgow in 2013.

Catherine is our Operations Manager, she is responsible for the delivery of a number of HiDef’s high-profile projects, including those for the renewable and conservation sectors. Since joining HiDef in the summer of 2014, Catherine has rapidly established herself and her abilities as a talented environmental scientist, authoring a number of survey and analysis reports, as well contributing to peer-reviewed studies and papers. Catherine manages the Operations team to ensure the smooth day-to-day running of our projects.

Catherine is a keen Scout and Guide, gaining the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award through scouting, as well as having been awarded the Queen’s Scout Award and the Queen’s Guide Award.

Lynn Williams

Lynn joined HiDef as a reviewer in 2009, before moving to the role of Administration Officer in 2014 and more recently to the role of Office Manager. Lynn is Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualified and has a background in Local Authority finance, where she worked for 15 years, before leaving to start a family in 2003.

Lynn’s current role as Office Manager sees her manage H.R. and recruitment, business management, performance management as well as managing our Review and ornithology staff.

Since working for HiDef, Lynn has gained invaluable knowledge and experience of the day to day running of our business and has risen to the challenge of her now role.

Billy Southward

Billy is our Project Manager, he started with HiDef as a PM apprentice, during this time he gained valuable experience and developed a deep understanding of our processes and procedures. He is experienced in working with internal staff, external stakeholders including aircraft providers and clients. After working for a number of years at HiDef and supporting the Operations Manager on numerous successful projects he now manages his own projects.

Simon Peckham

Simon joined the HiDef’s team as our IT Technician and is responsible for managing the day to day upkeep of our IT systems as well as taking the lead role on upgrading our infastructure systems. He is a qualified Microsoft Certified system engineer and comes with a wealth of experience in analysing business needs and implementing and managing new technologies. As well as this Simon line manages our Apprentice Infastructure Technician.

Tom Fail

Tom started as a reviewer with us in 2013, showing keen interest with how the footage is collected, processed and would regularly help with data management and camera focusing, this demonstrated a willingness to develop which impressed the Managment Team, so much so that in 2019 Tom was offered an apprenticeship which he accepted, he is now on a 2 year Apprentice Infastructure Technician course.

Russell Fail

Russell started with HiDef as a reviewer and it quickly became apparent that he was a natural, flying through his training in half the standard time. Promotion followed when Russell became an Auditor which saw him line manage his own team and organise their workload. This was the ideal spring board for his current role as Project Support Officer where he is now a valued member of the Operations Department, supporting the Project Managers by carrying out QHSE checks on all data as well as working closely with external providers.

Josh Jardine

Josh is the newest recruit in the Operations Department joining us in January 2020 after graduating from University with a degree in Mathematical Physics. He is passionate about mathematics and data handling and is currently eager to learn whilst hitting the ground running.

Ruth Peters-Grundy

Ruth joined HiDef in 2019 as an Imagery Analyst/Ecological Consultant. She has a background in wildlife and environmental science, achieving the top student award in both her MSc in Wildlife Biology and Conservation (Edinburgh Napier University, 2018-19) and BSc in Biology and Applied Environmental Science (Keele University, 2011-14). Ruth has a varied background, working as a bat survey assistant and researching diverse topics such as aquaculture in Malaysia and small mammal trapping in Scotland. This has given her experience in a number of practical survey and analytical techniques. She has volunteered with a range of organisations including bird anti-poaching camps in Malta and seabird monitoring in Skokholm. She believes greatly in ensuring the protection of nature and is eager to learn any new skills that will drive that passion forward.

Glenda Ellis

Glenda joined HiDef in October 2019, before joining HiDef Glenda worked in Finance for 14 years in the Nuclear Sector for a Consulting Engineering Company.

Glenda’s role within the team includes working alongside Lynn with day-to-day business administration, daily monitoring of the bank, payments, purchasing and reconciling of monthly accounts.

Catriona Gall

Catriona joined HiDef as Principal Consultant in March 2020 and will be leading on Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Habitats Regulations Appraisals (HRAs) for seabirds and marine mammals. She has a strong background in public sector impact assessment having worked for Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) for over twenty years, in the last ten acting as their lead for offshore wind farm development on the east coast of Scotland. She was SNH’s casework lead for the Moray East and Beatrice offshore wind farms in the Moray Firth, and the Seagreen Alpha and Bravo, Neart na Gaiothe and Inch Cape offshore wind farms in the outer Firths of Forth and Tay. She has a special interest in writing clear advice for both specialist and non-specialist audiences and has trained with the plain English campaign.

Jacqueline Haile

Jacqueline is HiDef’s Finance Officer. She has a degree in Business Studies and is C.I.M.A qualified (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants). Her background is in Finance / Administration for the Nuclear Sector with 12 years at British Nuclear Fuels Limited (BNFL) and 10 years at REACT Engineering Limited (specialists in nuclear clean up). She has children and now works part-time.”

Piotr Krol

Piotr joined HiDef in August 2020 after moving from his previous role as an Electrical Engineer where he was gaining his expertise for number of years. Piotr has a comprehensive knowledge in designing, developing and maintaining electrical systems and components. Piotr successfully managed projects on the International level from the concept and detail of the design through to implementation, testing and completion.

Piotr’s role within the team includes development of installation, pre-flight checks, diagnostic processes and engineering support throughout project delivery.


Adam Whitehouse, Mike Cameron.


Pete Ullrich, Dave Poole, Rachel Griffin, Richard Schofield, Tim Jones.

Bill Aspin, Garry Taylor, Megan Watson, Nick Richardson, Ian Gordon.

Lynn Hobbs, Rik Morely, Paul French, Colin Nisbet, Andy Chick.

Chas Holt, Dave Farrow, Simon Pinder, Torcuil Grant, Brian Minshul.

Calum Scott, Dayle Bickley, Micky Maher, Tim Drew.



Anna Edgar, Andrea Smith, Arthur Cullnean, Maggie Redfern, Eddie Dawson, Stuart Selkirk.

Review Team

Alison Woolaghan, Angela Barrow, Ellis Murray, Christine Brooks, Jodie Ennis.

Nathan Newstead, Yvonne Hart, Cameron Caine, Barry Park, Dayne Middleton.

Margaret Cullinan, Beth Barrow, Mary Earl, Trish Cox, Vicci Logan.

Terrence Fail, Demi Miller, Victoria Cullinan, Natalie Walker.