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Ecological Research & Management

Our Team

BL&A comprises a team of qualified and experienced ecologists, including project managers, zoologists, botanists and a GIS Analyst. Our team has extensive expertise and experience in ecological assessment and management that makes us one of the leading ecological consultancies in south eastern Australia. Accordingly, we have worked on some of the most complex ecological impact assessments in recent years, such as the Bald Hills Wind Farm, the Port Phillip Bay Channel-Deepening Project, the Outer Metropolitan Ring Road and E6 road proposals, as well as large broad-hectare property developments.

For any project we undertake, we appoint a designated project manager from among our senior team with relevant experience and expertise to your project. Our project manager can help you plan work and assist you in navigating the relevant regulatory pathways, including early advice on timing issues


  • Graduate degree, and most have a post-graduate degree, in ecology and environmental science

  • Certified first aiders

  • Regular 4WD training

  • Covered by relevant state permits and licences

  • Botanists all have the Victorian DSE Habitat Hectare Assessment Certificates of Competency

  • We have access in NSW to accredited botanists that can undertake Biobanking assessments.

BL&A also works closely with specialist consultants in the following associated fields:

  • Cultural Heritage

  • Statistics and Mathematical Modelling

  • Aquatic Ecology

  • Bushland Revegetation and Management

  • Town planning and community consultation

Project Management

Brett Lane (Director)
  • BA (Zoology & Geography)
  • Brett has over 30 years’ experience in ecological research and management and has worked in a range of positions with environmental consultancies in Melbourne and Brisbane and with non-government environmental groups in Australia and South East Asia. He has specialist knowledge in birds and wetlands, and extensive experience in ecological impact assessment, including in the infrastructure, property development and renewable energy sectors. Brett’s extensive experience has given him an excellent knowledge of the regulatory environment relevant to native vegetation, flora and fauna and he can advise on the scope of scientific information needed to inform the development assessment and decision-making process. Brett has also defended his scientific work as an expert witness in courts and tribunals.

Alan Brennan (Senior Ecologist and Project Manager)
  • BAppSc (Applied Biology), Graduate Diploma (Land Rehabilitation)
  • Alan’s role involves developing solutions for projects experiencing issues with ecological matters. During his career in the biological sciences Alan has developed specialised skills and abilities in vegetation and land management along with a sound knowledge of relevant policies and legislation. Since 2000, he has worked to ensure sustainable development outcomes are achieved across a range of industry sectors.

Inga Kulik (Senior Ecologist and Project Manager)
  • Diploma (Nature Conservation), MSc (Spatial Information Science), PhD (Geomatics)
  • Inga has extensive experience in remnant ecosystem management and GIS analysis. Since joining BL&A Inga has specialised in flora and fauna assessments including targeted assessments for threatened listed species and offset management plans. Her strong leadership skills have ensured that she delivers high quality projects on time and within budget.

Mal Wright (Senior Ecologist and Project Manager)
  • B Hort
  • Mal is an experienced terrestrial ecologist, vegetation management expert and project manager specialising in the identification and management of Victoria’s native species and biological systems. He has utilised his ecological, planning and project management expertise in the private and government sectors to inform impact assessments, secure native vegetation offsets and manage land for conservation.

Bernard O’Callaghan (Senior Ecologist and Project Manager)
  • EnvMgt
  • Bernard has significant expertise in environment, biodiversity and coastal management and development with the private sector, development agencies and environmental organisations in Australia and over 25 Asia-Pacific countries. His experience with multi-lateral development agencies has included United Nations Development Program, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and IUCN. Bernard has extensive experience in the design and implementation of environmental management plans to manage the impacts of development, conservation and renewable energy projects on threatened flora and fauna. He has prepared and reviewed environmental assessment reports for surveys carried out in Victoria, New South Wales, Vietnam, Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga. Bernard has been responsible for the project management for large-scale ecological surveys in urbanised and highly remote locations. Since joining BL&A, Bernard has developed expertise and advised on a range of wind farm and housing developments. Bernard has provided strong technical and regulatory QA for these and other development impact assessments for the company.

Brett MacDonald (Senior Ecologist and Project Manager)
  • BSc
  • Brett has been working for several years as an environmental consultant in Victoria, Western Australia and New South Wales. As an Ecologist, Brett has undertaken numerous field assessments including detailed flora, fauna and native vegetation assessments and targeted surveys for listed threatened species. He has extensive experience in resolving flora and fauna issues throughout all stages of development projects and is very familiar with the flora and fauna information requirements of the Victorian and Commonwealth decision-makers.


Field Team

Davide Coppolino (Senior Botanist)
  • BSc (Hons)
  • Davide has seven years of botanical field experience in Australian ecology and has extensive knowledge of Victoria’s threatened flora species and ecological communities. Since being at BL&A he has undertaken many field assessments and has also managed a number of projects which has provided him with detailed knowledge of the regulatory system and in particular Victoria’s Native Vegetation Management Framework. He regularly advises the Victorian DSE on issues related to its vegetation assessment methods.

Jackson Clerke
  • - Bachelor degree in Environment Science (Hons) and a Diploma of Conservation and Land Management
  • Jackson joined the BL&A team in late 2015. He has experience in targeted surveys for threatened fauna species and ecological assessments. Jackson regularly conducts data analysis and research and contributes to and implements environmental management plans, including wind farms.

Khalid Al Dabbagh (Zoologist)
  • MSc, PhD
  • Khalid has over 35 years’ experience in Zoology, specialising in ornithology and animal ecology. Khalid has extensive experience in identifying fauna species and their habitat, and is particularly experienced in assessing development impacts on birds and bats. Khalid has worked on over 50 wind farm projects, undertaking bird and bat utilisation studies and mortality monitoring work.

Curtis Doughty (Zoologist)
  • BSc
  • Curtis has been working in environmental consultancy at BL&A since 2005. During this time he has been involved in a broad range of work including impact assessments for residential development and for major infrastructure projects such as wind farms, roads and railways. He specialises in targeted threatened fauna surveys, assessing the potential impacts of development on threatened fauna species and in developing site- and project-specific impact mitigation and offset measures.

Elinor Ebsworth (Botanist)
  • BSc (Hons)
  • Elinor is a competent field ecologist with three years’ experience in environmental consultancy. She completed a Bachelor’s degree in Science (Honours) at the University of Tasmania and has worked for BL&A since 2015. During her time as a consultant, Elinor has worked on ecological assessments, management and monitoring for a variety of projects, including major infrastructure, land sub-division and long-term ecological monitoring. Her reporting experience includes assessments under the Biodiversity Assessment Guidelines, formulation of environmental management plans and preparation of ecological monitoring reports.

Verity Fyfe (Botanist)
  • BSc
  • Verity holds a Bachelor Degree in Conservation Biology & Ecology (Botany), as well as a Diploma in Conservation & Land Management. Verity joined Brett Lane & Associates in 2015, and has gained experience in assessment of vegetation for bushfire planning and the preparation of environmental and offset management plans. Verity has worked as a Research Assistant on ecological projects with Latrobe University, Melbourne University and for an Invertebrate Management Consultancy. She has also conducted bushland restoration works in and around Melbourne, dating back to 2006.

Teisha Lay (Zoologist)
  • BSc (Hons)
  • Teisha has over seven years’ experience in fauna research and management in Victoria and southern New South Wales. She has extensive experience in fauna surveys and assessing environmental impacts of a range of development types on threatened fauna species and communities as well as their habitats. Teisha regularly formulates and implements out management plans and salvage protocols to reduce the impact of construction on threatened fauna species.