Hala works as a Research Ecologist in Northern Ireland and is based in Belfast.
Interests & Responsibilities
Hala was first interested in environmental work because of the damaging effects of pollution that she witnessed growing up in Beirut, Lebanon. She became active with local charities and clubs since she was in school and was determined to raise awareness about environmental issues.
Hala pursued a BSc in Environmental Health and learned a lot about policy development and engaging with stakeholders. At university, she also was very active in student politics and was founder and president of an environmental club which steadily grew over the years. Hala realised she was especially passionate about working with people to reach environmental goals as engagement is an integral part of successful conservation. She then did a masters’ in Ecological Management and Conservation Biology at Queen’s University Belfast where she gained more practical experience with ecology.
Hala did a placement with RSPB on breeding curlews in Glenwherry and Lough Erne. She then became a conservation scientist with RSPB and worked on a social science project about farmers in areas where Choughs and Corncrakes historically bred. She did another social science project with RSPB about a pilot study involving Edinburgh GPs in engaging their patients with nature to see how that affects patients’ response.
Hala joined BTO in October 2022 and is working on a stakeholder engagement project around Lough Neagh and on consolidating gaps in bird evidence throughout NI.
BSc (Distinction) Environmental Health, American University of Beirut, 2019.
MSc (Hons) Ecological Management and Conservation Biology, Queen’s University Belfast, 2021.