We have a great team.


Heidi L. Dunn

 science coordinator / Sr. Malacologist

  • Over 35 years in the ecological consulting business
  • Founded Ecological Specialists, Inc. in 1990
  • B.S. from Purdue University and an M.S. from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville where she completed her Master of Science thesis on unionid relocation in the Ohio River basin.
  • See more

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Eric J. Belt

Sr. Malacologist / GIS / GPS

  • Over 15 years experience, joined ESI in August 2000
  • B.S. in Biology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • Participated in over 100 unionid and macroinvertebrate sampling projects in more than 20 rivers and streams throughout the Midwestern United States
  • Expertise in unionid and freshwater macroinvertebrate identification
  • Manages ESI’s GIS collection, database, and report map creation using Pathfinder Office (GPS software) and ESRI ArcGIS
  • Member of the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society

Nathan Badgett

Aquatic Ecologist / Scientific diver

  • Ten years experience, joined ESI in February 2006
  • B.S. in Environmental Biology from Eastern Illinois University
  • M.S. in Biology from Eastern Illinois University
  • Expertise in collection and identification of unionids and fish throughout the Midwest
  • ADCI certified surface supplied air diver, PADI certified rescue diver


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Emily ROBBINS

Aquatic Biologist

  • B.A. in Biology from Augustana College
  • M.S. in Biology from Western Illinois University
  • 4 years of experience
  • Experienced in identifying freshwater mussels (unionids) of the Mississippi and Ohio River basins
  • Experience collecting unionids in 10 states (IL, IA, KY, MN, MO, NE, OH, TX, WV, WI)
  • Treasurer of the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society
  • Manages ESI’s unionid reference collection
  • Experienced with ArcGIS for mapping and data analysis

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Ryan Foley

Malacologist / Aquatic Ecologist

  • B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife from University of Minnesota
  • M.S. of Biology from Tennessee Technological University
  • 6 years of experience
  • Experience with identifying freshwater mussels and fish
  • Sampled in 12 states
  • Member of the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society


ROBERT WILLIAMS

DIVE COORDINATOR / SAFETY OFFICER

  • ADCI-certified Surface-Supplied Air Diving Supervisor with over 13 years experience in the offshore and inland commercial diving industry, been with ESI since 2014
  • Over 20 years experience as an industrial mechanic, welder/fabricator, and related construction applications
  • Graduated from The Ocean Corporation in 1998


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Kendall Cranney

Scientific Diver / Dive supervisor

  • 15+ years professional diving experience, been with ESI since June 2003
  • ADCI-certified Surface-Supplied Air Diving Supervisor
  • Assists with maintaining OSHA and USACE and ADCI regulations
  • Dive Plan preparation for USACE projects
  • DAN Oxygen Instructor
  • PADI SCUBA Instructor
  • EFR Instructor

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David Ford

Aquatic Biologist

  • L.A. in Scientific Inquiry with a Chemistry Minor from the Louisiana Scholars’ College
  • M.S. in Biology from the University of Texas at Tyler
  • 5 years of experience
  • Experienced identifying freshwater mussels and fish
  • Experience collecting unionids in river basins across Texas
  • Helped author several peer-reviewed scientific papers on unionids
  • Member of the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society


Chet Clark

Scientific Diver

  • ADCI-certified Surface-Supplied Air Diver
  • Experience collecting freshwater mussels

Jennifer Bryan

Business operations director - missouri

  • 18+ years business management experience
  • Business management and financials
  • State certifications
  • Contract administration
  • Client and agency communication
  • Human Resource
  • Quality Assurance
  • Insurance