Wiea van der Zwan

Terrestrial Ecologist


Wiea’s experience studying and working in various overseas places brings a broad perspective to her role as a consultant.  As senior terrestrial ecologist, Wiea has 5 years’ experience working as a consultant for Kessels Ecology, with specialist skills in GIS mapping and analysis, bio-acoustic analysis for birds and bats, and undertaking vegetation assessments. Her diverse ecological and technical knowledge is one of her key talents.

Prior to coming to New Zealand, Wiea worked as an ecologist in rural Tanzania (Kilwa District) investigating the socio-economic and environmental impacts of a large scale biofuel plantation to be established. During her work there, she integrated ecological analysis derived from vegetation and GIS assessments and socio-economic analysis derived from community consultations. Following this, Wiea worked as a policy assistant for a political NGO in Brussels, Belgium, advocating for ‘Fair Politics’ at the European Parliament with a special focus on biofuels. She combined her ecological knowledge to consult with Members of European Parliament to make politicians aware of unfair policies, to provide them with policy recommendations, and to encourage them to revise these policies.

Coming to New Zealand, Wiea worked as a research assistant at NIWA on the ‘Bio-oil from wastewater algae’ project performing chemical analyses.

The broad set of skills Wiea has helps her to deliver excellent  ecological effects assessments, undertaking monitoring programmes, data analysis required by a diverse range of clients and stakeholders requiring this work to be done. Wiea is a great communicator and enjoys team work and mentoring others to achieve the best results possible for any type of job.


  • Master of Science, University of Utrecht, the Netherlands (2011)
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Utrecht, the Netherlands (2008)


Key Skills

  • Environmental Effects Assessments
  • GIS mapping and analysis
  • Bio-acoustic monitoring of birds and bats
  • Bat ecology, surveys and management plans
  • Vegetation survey, monitoring and restoration
  • Restoration plans for a range of habitats including lake margins, wetlands and indigenous forest areas
  • Data management and analysis
  • Basic knowledge of freshwater ecology assessments.


“I am passionate about ecology and conservation and from an early stage in my childhood I wished for a lifestyle that would let me “play outside” and be close to nature. I stayed true to my dreams and followed my passion, which has led me to amazing places and let me experience great joy in my work.”

Society Memberships

  • NZ Plant Conservation Network
  • Waikato Botanical Society
  • NZ Ecological Society
  • New Zealand Wetland Trust



  • Ecology
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • GIS Analysis
  • Bio-acoustic analysis for birds and bats