Dr Smillie has worked and studied in the environmental sector since 1987. After gaining a degree majoring in Environmental Biology from Leicester University, Chris spent the majority of the 1990s working for either the Scottish Wildlife Trust (predominantly conducting botanical surveys) or the North of Scotland Water Authority (now Scottish Water) conducting microbiological analyses.
As a placement for his MSc in Water Environment from Bournemouth University, Dr Smillie also worked with the North East River Purification Board (now SEPA). Chris studied the relationship between mine metal wastes and salt marsh flora in a PhD from the Camborne School of Mines, Exeter University (now part of Combined Universities in Cornwall - CUC).
Since 2003, Chris has worked in consultancy, primarily conducting EcIAs in the UK, the Middle East and North Africa, with other international experience.