Hala Haddad

Research Ecologist

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 when 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 the 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 master’s 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’ responses.

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 Northern Ireland.


  • BSc (Distinction) Environmental Health, American University of Beirut, 2019.
  • MSc (Hons) Ecological Management and Conservation Biology, Queen’s University Belfast, 2021.

Recent BTO Publications

2024. Northern Ireland Seabird Report 2023. British Trust for Ornithology ISBN: 978-1-912642-66-3
El Haddad, H., Austin, G., Woodward, I. & Booth Jones, K. 2023. Analysis of wintering waterbird population trends for the Lough Neagh and Lough Beg Special Protection Area (SPA). Research Report no. 760. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford, UK ISBN: 978-1-912642-56-4

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