COOE has established long term industry alliances with other specialist professionals to supplement our core team. These strategic partnerships offer our Clients the most cost effective and comprehensive service in the environmental sector. 

David Wiltshire – Principal Consultant (Social and Ecological Assessments Pty Ltd)

david-wiltshireMarine ecologist with extensive experience in the fisheries, energy and mining industries. David has undertaken a diverse range of consulting assignments throughout Australia, particularly in relation to the environmental management of the marine environment. David has considerable expertise in assessing and monitoring the marine ecological impacts of industrial developments for clients such as Santos Ltd, BHP Billiton and OneSteel.

David has worked with COOE on numerous projects including the Olympic Dam Mine Expansion EIS, which include a large desalination plant, the Rex Hillside Project in the Upper Gulf St Vincent, a five year marine monitoring program at Port Pirie for Nyrstar, and an ongoing marine monitoring program at Port Bonython for Santos Ltd.


Dr Francis (Pancho) Neira – Fish / Fisheries Consultant

Pancho is a marine sciences researcher with over three decades experience in freshwater, estuarine, and coastal to offshore habitats in temperate and sub-tropical Australia, and in Papua New Guinea (PNG). He gained is PhD in biological sciences (Zoology) from Murdoch Uni in the late 80s, and is currently assisting in the design and implementation of baseline studies to inform environmental impact assessments and statements (EIA/EIS) for mining industry under his company Marscco (

Pancho expertise includes water quality studies; biological oceanography; water column ecology (zooplankton, micronekton); fish biodiversity and ecology, including coral and deep-sea fishes; heavy metals in marine fauna; fisheries assessments; and seabed (benthic) ecology. He has led surveys across temperate and subtropical Australia, and PNG, and has sampled in many remote locations, including Antarctica and Chile. Skills include operation and handling of extensive range of fauna and water sampling gear (electrofishing, ADCPs, BRUVS, scientific echosounders, bongo nets, and vertically-stratified sampling systems such as MOCNESS and Tucker trawl); vessel mobilization and demobilization; team supervision, safety and environmental hazard training; advanced taxonomy of freshwater, estuarine and marine fishes (all life-history stages) for community, baseline, monitoring and habitat assessments; management of complex datasets; statistical analyses; and report writing.

Pancho led the COOE team in a three year larvae plankton monitoring program undertaken by COOE to evaluate the potential impacts on fisheries of the proposed desalination plant for the BHP Olympic Dam Expansion Project 

James Brook – Environmental Consultant Marine Fauna

james-brookJames is a marine biologist and SCUBA diver specialising in marine fauna. James has undertaken numerous reef and marine park surveys in South Australia and has worked on several marine impact assessment projects with COOE. 

Work James has undertaken with COOE includes the Rex Hillside Project in the Upper Gulf St. Vincent, Robe Marina study, the Port Pirie Boat Ramp dredging study, the BHP Billiton Whyalla desalination project and the 5 year marine monitoring program for Nyrstar in Port Pirie.



Allen Hundley: Principal Consultant – Sonar Surveys and Underwater Noise

allen-hundleyAllen has over 25 years experience in sonar and underwater noise surveys and is an acknowledged expert in the fields of sidescan and shallow sub-bottom surveying. Most notably Allen participated in the early development of the use of sonar for mapping seagrass and underwater marine habitats (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority). Allen was the lead consultant (acoustics) for the late 1990s generation of the Australian Sonobuoys (GEC Marconi & ADF). In 2004 Allen was the lead consultant (seismics and underwater noise) for the Department of Environment & Heritage’s Review of Guidelines for Seismic Survey Interactions with Larger Whales project (URS). Most recently Allen constructed and streamlined a large scale habitat mapping processing stream, using QTC Sideview while performing Senior Geologist duties for mapping of the Dogger Bank in the North Sea for a Wind Farm Construction Project.

Allen has worked with COOE on wave energy generation projects in South Australia mapping seabed topography, substrate composition and density and designing a seabed noise monitoring system.


Mike McRae-Williams – Environmental Operations Specialist

mike-mcrae-williamsMike is a qualified Environmental Scientist with over 30 years experience in the environmental and mining sectors. Mike specialises in environmental management systems, industrial and mining sites, design and construction of waste water treatment plants, collection, repackaging and treatment of hazardous waste and metallurgical assessment of precious metal processing operations. Mike has extensive experience in the field and in project planning, management and reporting including feasibility studies of technology design and assessment.

Mike is a Director of the Hatlar Group.


Professor Jonathan D. Sobels

prof-jonathan-sobelsJonathan is a Human Geographer with teaching and research interests in social aspects of natural resource management, population – environment interactions, and responses to drought. His core areas of expertise include, Social impact assessment and governance of water management in periods of drought and low flows; Population growth – physical natural and built environment interactions including urban areas, migration, governance, food security, waste streams, water supply, transportation, carbon management and sustainability, community resilience.

Jonathan has previous experience as an R&D Manager, Marketing Manager and Project Manager in Australian agribusiness, regional research, and consultancy. He is a Founding Board member of Landscape Partnerships Inc, a not-for-profit NGO that funds services to land managers for ecosystem and economic health at the landscape scale. I am a member of the Environment Committee of the lobby group Business SA.


John Barrie – Specialist (Horticulturalist)

john-barrieJohn has twenty years experience as a horticulturalist with skills in botany and palaeontology, having authored or co-authored several books, booklets and other publications. John has contracted for Rural Solutions and Delta Environmental Consulting as a revegetation specialist, undertaken bush condition assessments for the Coorong District Council Local Action Plan and worked for Greening Australia as a Biodiversity Assessor.

John is the Regional President of the Australian Plant Society SA Region Inc, a Friend of the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden and a member of the Nursery and Garden Industry SA. He has recently undertaken Fauna studies for COOE for key Clients Rex Minerals, Murray Zircon, Heathgate Resources and DEWNR.


Bob Bates – Specialist (Botany)

bob-batesBob has degrees in Science and Education. He has worked as an honorary botanist with the State Herbarium at the Adelaide Botanical Gardens since 1976, contributing to various issues of the Flora of South Australia and regular census publications of South Australian vascular plants. Bob has also published over a hundred scientific papers in journals such as the Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens from 1976 to the most recent issue in 2010 and also in the South Australian Naturalist, the Orchadian, Flora of Victoria and other publications too numerous to list. In addition to naming more than twenty new plant species Bob has several plant species named after him including grasses such as Lachnagrostis batesii.

Bob’s orchid publications include the standard references on our native orchids i.e. Orchids of South Australia with J.Z. Weber in 1990 and the electronic Orchids of South Australia on DVD, the latest issue of which is dated 2010. Over the last twenty years Bob has worked as a consultant botanist on DEWNR projects, for Forestry SA, South Para Biodiversity program, SA Water and local councils. Bob was a foundation member of the Threatened Plant Action Group as well as various Friends of Parks groups

Ben Brayford – Marine Ecologist

Ben is a marine scientist with 10 years experience in a diverse range of aquatic sciences. Ben has a background in marine science and aquaculture and has developed applied skills and knowledge in marine habitat monitoring and mapping, water quality monitoring and benthic ecology and biodiversity assessment. He has an ADAS Part 2 diving qualification with over 600 scientific dives and is a vessel coxswain with over 700 days of sea time. Ben has worked with COOE on marine habitat surveys in Elliston South Australia and using diverless marine habitat methods on the Rex Hillside Project in the Upper Gulf St. Vincent. Ben is the Principal Consultant with Geo Oceans.

Christopher Madden – Macroinvertebrate Specialist

Christopher has over 24 years experience in: Freshwater and terrestrial macroinvertebrate identifications; Ecological assessment of streams and wetlands; Interpretation of ecological data using multivariate statistics; Licensed AusRivAS user for South Australia; Taxonomy and ecology of Chironomidae. Christopher has worked with COOE on stygofauna surveys in central South Australia.

Len Ferrari – Air Quality Specialist

Len Ferrari has extensive experience in air quality and has a formidable list of clients including: OkTedi, Placer Dome, Worsley Alumina, BHP Billiton, BHP/Kinhill India, Caltex Pacific Indonesia, Cotton Australia, Thiess John Holland, Royal Commission of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Environmental/Health regulatory agencies in: New Zealand, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Commonwealth and most states in Australia, Indonesia and the WHO. Len is our specialist consultant on the Port Hedland Air Quality and Odour Monitoring program for Newcrest.

Len has worked with COOE on several air quality assignments including the Marcopper Tailings Spill Cleanup and the Telfer / Port Hedland odour study.

Dr Ian Irvine – Marine Sediment and Contaminated Sites

dr-ian-irvineIan has a doctorate in environmental contamination, specialising in investigation of contaminated sediments, and 28 years post-doctoral experience in the investigation, ecological risk assessment and management of environmental pollution onshore and offshore. He has been involved in more than 160 such studies throughout Australia and internationally. Dr Irvine has also carried out many consultancies in the Asia-Pacific region for the World Bank, ADB and other international agencies. He has been the principal consultant to the Commonwealth Department of Environment for the development of all three editions of Australia’s national ocean disposal guidelines since 1993, the latest being the National Assessment Guidelines for Dredging 2009. Ian has an association with Joe Mifsud in developing a major EIS for the Cleanup of Marcopper Tailings Spill in the Philippines.


Professor John Watling – Analytical Chemist

John is a Professor, University of Western Australia in environmental forensic Science, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemistry Institute. Specialist technical support and chemical analysis in environmental forensics. John has a long relationship with NRS and has worked on some of our major projects such as the Marcopper Tailings Spill, the Nyrstar Lead Zinc Smelter metals in the marine environment study, the Newcrest Port Hedland investigation into the distribution of metal in the marine environment and the Perilya lead zinc mine marine baseline study. John has a long association with Joe Mifsud dating back to the early nineties in developing specialist environmental chemistry tools to assist in tracking metals through the environment including marine and terrestrial ecosystems in New Guinea, Philippines and Australia.


Associated Companies

geo-oceansA Perth-based marine habitat survey company, providing expertise in marine seabed surveys using specially developed diverless technology using high definition video cameras, DGPS and ROVs to generate seabed habitat maps safely and very cost effectively, while maintaining high quality and accuracy.


hatlar-groupThe Hatlar Group is a company focused on providing solutions to environmental problems. In addition to traditional environmental consultancy services Hatlar pride themselves on being a practical and hands on service providers who can help tackle environmental issues head on.

Hatlar was founded in 1996 and since that time has worked with a wide range of clients from the business, resources and government sectors in Australia and overseas to find practical solutions to their environmental problems. The Hatlar team are passionate about preserving our environment so as to create a better future for us all. Hatlar have specialist capability with PFS for developing major projects.


aldam-geoscienceRick Aldam has over 20 years experience in: Geological, hydrogeological and environmental assessments; Design and documentation of environmental monitoring systems; Catchment management; Salinity, and land degradation studies; Wastewater reuse and disposal projects; Compliance auditing; Installation of water supply and environmental monitoring wells; Soils, groundwater and wastewater sampling; Development of hydraulic containment measures; and in acid rock drainage.

Rick has an association with COOE as the hydrogeologist on the Terramin MARP and facilitating groundwater studies for the Curramulka MLP for Hanson.


convergenConvergen provides services in visual effects, digital pipeline management and design, and a range of other production and post-production services. Convergen takes a solution-based approach to its production work, focusing on new technology and opportunities that can value add to projects easily, reliably and flexibly. COOE are working with Convergen to deliver a high level approach to visual amenity impact assessments that will revolutionise development approvals and community consultation techniques in the mining and energy industry.




Compilatrix is an aerospace engineering partner, with experience in mechanical simulation and modelling.  Daniel Stonjanov has skills in conducting fundamental research and in scientific computing including:

* Advanced data processing using Python and Matlab;

* Writing visual basic to create applications using Excel; or

* Advanced scientific visualisations, such as using the VTK toolkit for advanced data processing and visualisation, this could include overlaying data from land surveys/environmental data over maps/GIS models.