Life as a Freelancer: An Introduction


Freelancer Event hosted by the Scotland Member Network and the Freelance Practitioners Special Interest Group.


Come along to this webinar and join members of the Scottish Committee and the Freelance Practitioner SIG to hear about experiences throughout freelance life and how to make the most of the tools we offer. Hosted by Ashleigh Kitchiner, a freelancer herself, and joined by four speakers in varying roles, we will discuss the pro's, and con's of being a freelancer and answer any questions you may have. This webinar is for those thinking of becoming a freelancer, or those who have started their journey already, there is always something to learn! *Please note we cannot give financial advice.


Den Vaughan: I was an amateur ornithologist then ecology graduate who came late to consultancy through a later, new interest in bats; I’ve never held a permanent job (only short-term contracts) and hadn’t wanted to for years prior, so it was a natural fit. Now 15 years in and still glad to be here, enjoying the diversity, challenges and freedom of the work.

Erik Paterson: I have a background primarily of working for larger multi-disciplinary consultancies which ended during a mad spell in the midst of the pandemic where I left and set up my own limited company. In the four years between then and now, I’ve learned a lot and started to scale the business by bringing in staff to support the project workload. I love the freedom self-employment provides, and would never look back.

Julia MacCarthy: After serving for more than 12 years as an environmental scientist with the US Environmental Protection Agency and relocating to Scotland from Colorado, I set out as a self-employed ecologist (McCarthy Ecology), where I work with multi-disciplinary teams to provide strategic and expert advice to improve environmental program governance, implementation and policy, and advance science-based approaches in project and programmatic decision-making. I have also been working part time as a Research Associate at Scotland’s Rural College, which has given me the opportunity to grow my knowledge and networks on biodiversity, natural capital and nature finance in Scotland.

George Smith: I am a freelance plant ecologist and botanist who works in Ireland. After spending time in academia and with a larger consultancy, I set out on my own 13 years ago. Being a freelancer allows me to spend more time in the field and less time on management and admin, and I have largely moved away from development work to conservation management and specialist botanical survey.

Knowledge Level

Suitable for all


Tickets Person(s) Price (£)
CIEEM Member Ticket 1
Non Member Ticket 1