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4 Elements consulting is a specialist environmental consultancy based in Cairns, North Queensland. The company was established in early 2017 by Mellissa Brown on a strong research and project management background built from over 25 years in the industry.

4 Elements delivers solution science that provides a comprehensive, cost effective consultative service to commercial and government stakeholders within Australia and the Pacific. At 4 Elements we have local field experience and valuable connections in the communities we work. Our team members are knowledgeable, trustworthy and professional.


The qualifications of the 4 Elements Consulting team include:

  • Certificate IV in Adult Education;
  • Remote First Aid;
  • Spotter Catcher/Rehabilitation Permits;
  • Appropriate Animal Ethics Permits;
  • Boat Licence;
  • Senior Fire Warden Certification; and
  • Bio-condition Monitoring Training.


Mellissa Brown

Managing Director

Mellissa is the Managing Director of 4 Elements Consulting Pty Ltd. She is an environmental and project management professional with 20 years' field experience which includes expertise in wildlife research including Environmental Impact Assessment (EIS) and ecological monitoring; project management, training and facilitation.
She has positively contributed in the private and public sector and has managed a broad range of complex, multifaceted projects including the renewable energy, mining, agriculture and research sectors. This includes leading multidisciplinary teams in challenging and remote locations. Currently, this project work extends from the Northern Territory to Queensland, Torres Strait and PNG.
In her role Mellissa liaises extensively with researchers, government agencies, industry sectors and community, and has developed strong relationships with regulatory authorities and management groups across the country.
Mellissa is continuously working to improve survey techniques and works with partner organisations to ensure that the best practice outcome can be achieved using the newest available solution science.

Ryan Hughes

Principal Ecologist

Ryan Hughes is an Ecologist with 10 years’ experience undertaking both flora and fauna assessments across a variety of bio-regions throughout QLD, NSW and the NT. Ryan has worked on a broad range of major infrastructure projects including renewable energy, major linear infrastructure, mining, and residential development. With a special interest in botanical identification, flora survey and horticulture/plant biology, Ryan is deemed a suitably qualified person by the Qld Department of Environment and Science and has regularly performed as project lead in Protected Plant Surveys. Ryan has worked on a range of infrastructure projects delivering approval outcomes to clients and has applied his experience in rare plant propagation and translocation to facilitate approvals via project site threatened flora management. He has extensive experience with vegetation community monitoring, providing regional ecosystem verification and mapping, and rehabilitation and Bio Condition monitoring. Ryan’s other strengths include project management, and EVNT species management, with a particularly focus on both flora and fauna assessments. His knowledge of vegetation and landscape patterns helps inform a focused and efficient approach to targeted threatened species surveys.

Jade Coase

Senior Ecologist/GIS Specialist

Jade Coase is an ecologist and project manager who has worked widely across Queensland for the past 8 years. In addition to his primary role at 4 Elements as a consultant ecologist, he provides technical support as a geographical information systems (GIS) analyst and cartographer. Jade draws on experience gained from a diverse range of projects including large scale renewable and linear infrastructure projects and mining operations to smaller scale surveys seeking local and state government approvals. Jade’s expertise extends to water quality and environmental monitoring, as well pest management and wildlife tracking within tropical northern Australia. Jade is a licensed fauna spotter and certified chainsaw operator allowing technical extractions of fauna and providing best practice fauna relocations. Jade operates Drones for 4 Elements and holds a commercial remote pilots licence under CASA . Jade’s strengths include a capacity to work in remote areas for extended periods, and a high-level knowledge of remote workplace health and safety procedures. He is an experienced communicator, liaising on site and remotely with clients, community stakeholders, traditional owners, government, and non-for-profit organisations.

Dr Patrick Tomkins

Senior Ecologist

Patrick is an ecologist who has worked extensively both in Queensland and throughout Australia. Over the last 10 years, he has worked as a researcher, a university teaching associate, and a field ecologist, which has allowed him to develop a broad skill set across a number of disciplines. Through his post-graduate work as a freshwater ecologist, Patrick designed and coordinated both lab and field-based experiments, gaining proficiency in freshwater survey techniques, water testing methods and laboratory-based studies. As a teaching associate and honours project supervisor at Monash University, Patrick gained experience as a science communicator and a mentor. More recently, Pat has worked as a field ecologist, gaining experience working with a range of taxa including mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, fish and aquatic invertebrates, with a particular interest in threatened species. He has conducted threatened fauna surveys in every Australian state, often spending extended periods of time in remote locations, and he has designed and implemented field studies investigating several iconic and endangered Australian species. Patrick is an experienced public speaker, having presented his research at a number of international conferences, and a practiced academic writer, with a number of first author, peer-reviewed journal articles. Patrick has also completed advanced courses in R, GIS and Photoshop, and is an award-winning wildlife photographer.

Matthew Hemmings

Senior Ecologist

Matthew is an experienced ecologist with a background in research within the tertiary education sector. He is currently working as a consultant ecologist specialising in both botanical and fauna survey. Botanical experience is largely focused on Regional Ecosystem and BioCondition Surveys with recent experience undertaking protected plant surveys (PPS) as required under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. Matthew has experience in targeted deployment of Song Meters and has specialist technical bat call expertise using the latest analysis technology across Northern Queensland. Matthew is an experienced terrestrial and marine fauna spotter with venomous snake handling experience providing services across remote areas of Queensland.

Vilda Wiklund


Vilda recently graduated with Distinction from James Cook University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology and Ecology. Throughout her degree, she has gained extensive fieldwork experience, acquiring skills in fauna and flora identification, wildlife survey methods and wildlife handling. She is interested in how science-based conservation practices can positively impact the resource industry, with a desire to employ unique perspectives and ideas to create effective conservation solutions. Vilda is equipped with an up-to-date skillset in commonly used software and hardware tools employed in systematic conservation planning and wildlife management. Specifically, she is proficient in GIS mapping, cost-benefit analyses, research development, ecological data collection and data analysis. Beyond her professional background, Vilda has dedicated substantial time to volunteering throughout FNQ, participating in numerous fauna surveys encompassing a wide range of species, habitats, and methodologies.

Jack Hawkins


Jack is an ecologist with an extensive background in community engagement and relations, with his early career focusing on providing educational wildlife experiences to schools, universities and community events, to promote positive conservation values to the general public. Through this initiative, he spent time working closely in the captive management of native fauna including vulnerable and endangered species. Jack has an interest in environmental policy where in the past he’s liaised with stakeholders for the Qld Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, informing them of legislative obligations relevant to their business operations, while providing support to meet government regulatory requirements regarding pest management within the Wet Tropics. In his current role, Jack works closely with Senior Ecologists, drawing upon almost a decade of working with native wildlife to provide comprehensive and targeted fauna surveys, while continually broadening his knowledge of vegetation community monitoring techniques.

Jasmine Di Valentine


Jasmine is an ecologist with several years’ experience conducting fauna and flora surveys across Queensland and Victoria. As well as general fauna surveys, Jasmine has collected targeted survey data as part of long-term population monitoring of several iconic, federally listed species. Her roles encompass both desktop and field-based flora and fauna assessments, as well as analysis of a range of data using R and software for bioacoustics analysis. Jasmine’s interests lie in collaborating with industry, government, and community stakeholders; using science-informed best practice to support species management outcomes. Through her work in fauna translocation for a range of infrastructure development projects, natural disaster recovery and volunteer wildlife rehabilitation, Jasmine has attained white card and WSAH qualifications, permits for fauna spotter catcher activities and damage mitigation, as well as DES accredited qualifications in reptile and venomous snake handling.

Danica Lockett


Danica is a Graduate Ecologist who has recently graduated with honours from James Cook University having studied biology with honours in marine biology. Danica has developed skills in fauna spotting as well as fauna and flora identification and surveys. She has conducted field work in a wide variety of environments including Tasmania, Ireland, Tropical North Queensland, Torres Strait, Australia’s Indian Ocean Island Territories, The Gulf of Carpentaria and in the Dandenong Ranges of Victoria. Danica takes pride in her work and is passionate about delivering high quality accurate information. She cares deeply for the environment, and this is reflected in her work.

Jack McCausland


Martin Sullivan

Senior Supervisor

Arthur Coase

Field Assistant

Christine Giles

Administration Manager

As a qualified accountant Christine brings with her valuable skills to manage the accounts and administration functions. Her professional journey includes various finance and support roles in the mining sector, management of her own holiday accommodation business, and providing bookkeeping services to a wide array of industries, including beauty, tourism, construction, and more. Driven by a passion for streamlining operational workflows, Christine is dedicated to empowering the team to achieve flawless and efficient project execution

Dr Carly Starr

Associate – Dog Handler and Wildlife Biologist

Carly has over 18 years’ experience as an ecologist, educator, consultant and program manager for international and national conservation organisations, government, NRM bodies, and consultancy companies. She has a doctorate in ecology and animal behaviour and has completed the national certification in dog training and behaviour. She currently has two conservation detection dogs, who are currently operational locating Northern Quoll, and Birds and Bats for Bird and Bat Fatality Studies on Wind Farms.

Certifications & Industry Affiliates

Why choose 4 Elements Consulting?

Local FNQ & NT Experience & Expertise

Utilise Latest Technology

Broad Project Experience

Solution Based Science

Project Collaboration

Diverse Staff Experience

Remote Field Work Capacity

Assurance & Trust For Clients

Practical Project Planning & Implementation


Call us on 07 4050 4644 or request a call back by filling in the form below.