Peter Foss Curriculum Vitae

Peter J. Foss
BSc Hons, PhD, CEcol, MCIEEM

SAM 2284 (1)


Dr Peter Foss is a consultant Environmental Scientist and Botanist. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Botany and Zoology, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree, both from University College Dublin. Dr Foss’ Doctorate theses specialised in the vegetationecology, distribution and post glacial history of the Irish or Mediterranean Heather (Erica erigena) in western Ireland.

He is an international expert in peatland ecology, conservation and management.

He has over thirty years national and international experience in peatland and environmental consultancy for both the public and private sector, including ecological surveys and professional opinions towards the designation of the Irish Natura 2000 network of sites; environmental impact assessment; planning compliance; pre and post - construction monitoring; baseline ecological surveys of bog, fen and wetlands; evaluation of proposed designated sites; monitoring programmes and implementation on peatlands; and environmental planning and assessment and advice for government policy making.

Dr Foss has particular expertise in peatland ecology and management stemming from his work with the Irish Peatland Conservation Council (IPCC) as Chief Executive and a Member of the Board of Directors from 1989 - 2004. 

He has provided independent expert opinion and advice to numerous non-governmental policy papers on peatland conservation and the EU Special Areas of Conservation Scheme. His recent research interests have focussed on the National Fen Survey of Ireland and Provision of Scientific Basis for Raised Bog Conservation in Ireland. He was the primary author of the conservation assessment documents transferred to the EU for Habitat’s Directive Article 17 reporting in 2007 on the four Irish fen types.

He is a member of the International Mire Conservation Group (IMCG), a Chartered Ecologist and member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology & Environmental Management (CIEEM).

He has acted as an ecological consultant to a range of organisations including environmental consultancies, government agencies, engineering firms, local environmental groups and NGO’s.  

Key Skills Summary

Environmental skills include project management, wetland field surveys and research, data management and presentation, habitat and planning assessments, results analysis, public speaking and scientific report preparation, as well as conference planning and leading field excursions. 

Excellent multitasking, time management, and 15 years 'hands on' experience of developing, and managing an Irish environmental conservation group focusing on the conservation of bogs and fens. Considerable skills in the area of environmental lobbying & publicity campaigns, strategic organisation planning, project design and supervision, budgeting, staff management, relationship marketing and fund raising.

Professional Experience

2006 - to present:  Environmental Consultant

Environmental Consultant, field surveyor and researcher working on a variety of environmental contracts focusing on wetlands and especially fen research projects in Ireland, including the design and development of the Guidelines for a National Fen Survey of Ireland methodology; the NPWS National Fen Study; and Provision of Scientific Basis for Raised Bog Conservation in Ireland and a variety of wetland surveys in County Clare, Louth, Monaghan, Sligo, Waterford, Kildare and Wicklow. Other projects that he has been involved in include impact assessments of various development proposals; pre and post - construction monitoring; flora surveys; restoration and management of habitats and baseline ecological surveys. In 2007 Dr Foss participated in the establishment of Wetland Surveys Ireland with Dr Patrick Crushell.

For a full list of projects in which Dr Foss has participated are provided here

1989 - 2004: Chief Executive Irish Peatland Conservation Council

As Chief Executive of IPCC I guided the growth and development of the organisation over 15 years and managed daily operations of a busy non-profit organisation. I was responsible for staff recruitment, supervision and training, installing office systems, setting annual fund-raising and expenditure targets, budget preparation, results analysis and preparing company audit.

I co-ordinated IPCC's publicity campaign and acted as IPCC spokesperson; initiated and supervised a variety of scientific research projects and lobbying campaigns, and organised 3 international conferences and 2 field excursions to Ireland. For a full lst of projects in which Dr Foss has participated while at IPCC are provided here


  • Campaigns Co-ordinator
  • Strategic planning, business plan implementation
  • Peatland Site Database design & management
  • Design and implentation of Ecological surveys
  • Staff recruiting, training and supervision
  • Student research project supervision
  • Budget control & accounts preparation
  • Staff supervisor
  • Co-ordination of publicity campaigns/IPCC spokesperson
  • Web site creation, design and maintenance see http://www.ipcc.ie

1986-1989: Post doctoral Research Fellow & College Lecturer, Trinity College Dublin

 During my time at Trinity College I undertook palynological research on the soak system at Lough Roe, Clara Bog, Co. Offaly and presened a series of lecture courses on Irish palaeoecology.

1982 - 1986: Doctoral (PhD) Research, University College Dublin

Thesis Title: The Distribution, Phytosociology, Autecology and Post-glacial History of Erica erigena R. Ross in Ireland

This research involved an investigation of the history, autecology, and phytosociology of Erica erigena in western Ireland. The project was carried out under the following research headings: Palynology; Species Distribution; Soil nutrient levels; Phytosociology; Vegetation mapping; Water level analysis; and Comparative studies on the species in Galicia N.W. Spain.

Educational Qualifications

  • 1966 - 1971 St Killian German School, Dublin (Primary School)
  • 1971 - 1977 The High School Dublin (Secondary School)
  • 1977 - 1982 University College Dublin, National University of Ireland (Bachelor of Science, Honours Degree)
  • 1982 - 1986 University College Dublin, National University of Ireland Doctorate (PhD)

Publications and reports

Dr Foss has published over 60 papers in scientific journals, and 30 books and reports. For a full list of his publications is provided here

Professional Memberships

  • 2007 - to-date Member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology & Environmental Management (CIEEM)
  • 1985 - 2004 Chief Executive and a Member of the Board of Directors of the Irish Peatland Conservation Council
  • 1987 - to-date Member of the International Mire Conservation Group
  • 1983 - 1987 Committee member of the Irish Biogeographical Society (Publicity Officer & Treasurer)
  • 1984 - 1990 Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (BSBI) Vice County Recorder for County Laois
  • 1982 - 1989 Member of the British Ecological Society

Computer Skills

Macintosh user, experienced in a variety of packages including MS Office - Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Filemaker Pro, DTP/presentation packages including Quark Express and Photoshop. Experience of various HTML/Web design and graphics packages.

Other Achievements

  • Full Driving License obtained 1983
  • German Speaker
  • Skilled public speaker
  • Nature photographer
  • Development of the Map of Irish Wetlands

Hobbies & Interests

Keen gardener; eastern cookery; art; cinema and the environmental conservation movement (supporter of Irish Peatland Conservation Council, An Taisce, WWF, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds).

© Peter Foss 2012