Our people

Ian Smales

MSc Principal Zoologist

Australian Society of Herpetologists
BirdLife Australia
Reintroduction Specialist Group IUCN Species Survival Commission

Ian is the Biosis Principal Zoologist based in Melbourne. He has over thirty years of professional experience in wildlife research and natural resource management within the public and private sectors in Victoria.

Throughout Ian’s career he has maintained a strong involvement in recovery programs for threatened fauna, particularly birds. Ian also has a life-long interest in herpetology and is an authority on the evolution of freshwater turtles and distribution patterns of skinks.

Ian commenced his career working for the Wildlife Management Section of Victoria’s former Fisheries and Wildlife Division (1978-87) in the operation and management of natural reserves. In 1983 he initiated a major investigation of the biology and status of the critically endangered Helmeted Honeyeater and to the present remains a member of the interdisciplinary Recovery Team for that bird. In more recent years, Ian was Conservation Biologist with Zoos Victoria, where he had responsibility for conservation programs for a wide range of threatened species and sat on a number of Recovery Teams and other professional bodies.

At Biosis, Ian has managed fauna investigations for a number of major projects in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia. These have included State-significant investigations for the Victorian Desalination Project and the Nowingi Long-term Storage facility and various other Environmental Effects Statement planning approval processes.

Ian is a leading authority on fauna interactions with wind farms and has designed and implemented bird research programs for thirty three wind farm facilities across south-eastern Australia and in Fiji. For the past ten years he has taken a lead role in development and application of mathematical modelling to ascertain the risks of bird collisions with wind turbines. He has used the modelling to evaluate risks for input to the design and statutory approvals processes for twenty wind farm projects for numerous clients within the wind energy industry and for the Australian and Fijian Governments. Ian was the principal author of the Bird and Bat Section of the National Wind Farm Development Guidelines – Draft 2010. In 2011 he was an invited speaker at the international Conference on Wind Energy and Wildlife Impacts held in Trondheim, Norway and he was a member of the organising committee for the first Wind and Wildlife Conference held in Australia in 2012.