Our Team

Dr Graham Ussher

Dr Graham Ussher

Principal Ecologist / Mobile: 027 2727 930 

Graham started RMA Ecology Ltd in 2016 when he and Liz decided to move their family to the Nelson region. The location has worked well, as it is easy to access clients throughout New Zealand.

Graham has over 25 years’ experience with government agencies and the commercial sector assessing biodiversity and biosecurity issues. He brings a multi-disciplinary approach to ecological assessment and monitoring, strategy development and implementation, and project design and management. He has a solid understanding of the RMA, as well as of other national legislation and local statutes relating to ecology. He has worked across sectors and has extensive experience working with multidisciplinary teams, as well as on construction and development sites with engineers and resource managers.

Through his involvement with resource developers, local government and government agencies, he is a recognised leader in New Zealand in the field of ecological effects management, including biodiversity offsetting and ecological compensation. These merge ecological risk and cost assessment with detailed project engineering design, and provide opportunities for designing and brokering effective effects management packages. Graham regularly presents expert evidence on these matters to local Hearings, Boards of Inquiry and the Environment Court.

Tony Payne

Tony Payne

Principal Ecologist 

Tony joined RMA Ecology in 2019. He specialises in terrestrial and freshwater ecology and brings over 12 years’ consultancy experience, having worked on projects throughout New Zealand, Australia and Saudi Arabia. Tony has a solid grounding in effects assessment and management, and brings specific practical experience, having worked for several years on the Transmission Gully Motorway project construction phase, as well as on dozens of small and medium design and construct jobs where ecology matters were forefront.

Tony’s specialty areas of expertise include native lizard and native fish survey, salvage and relocation, wetland botany, and threatened and rare New Zealand plants. RMA Ecology Ltd holds permits from DOC and MPI on behalf of Tony (and Graham) which allows them to survey, salvage and relocate lizards and native fish in parts of New Zealand.

A skilled GIS practitioner, Tony has a keen interest in developing technology and how this can be used effectively for better client outcomes.
 

Zac Milner

Zac Milner

Intermediate Ecologist 

Zac joined RMA Ecology in 2021. He is a passionate and pragmatic ecologist with more than five years’ experience as a consultant. With expertise in restoration ecology and invasive weed ecology, he has worked on projects throughout New Zealand and in remote locations, including Lord Howe, South Georgia and Gough Islands.

Zac is proficient in technical writing having led ecological assessments, eradication feasibility studies, and ecological restoration plans for local government and private clients. He is well-connected and knowledgeable of the local environment and legislation. He values client relationships and positive environmental outcomes through end-to-end project management and delivery. 

Mark Newton

Mark Newton

Intermediate Ecologist

Mark has 13 years of science and environmental management experience for clients that include local and central government agencies and the commercial sector, alike. He is passionate about assisting individuals, businesses, communities, and agencies to develop solutions to their unique environmental management challenges. Mark’s multi-disciplinary skill set which spans ecology, environmental studies and the social sciences equips him with a comprehensive ‘toolbox’ with which to help people and organisations achieve robust environmental outcomes.

Liz Ussher

Liz Ussher

Office Manager

Liz has managed the administrative side of the business since RMA Ecology was formed in 2016.