Bryan was employed for 17 years with the Forest Commission, Victoria working in forest management, fire control and ecosystem analysis. In 1980, he graduated from Latrobe University with a zoology degree after entry to university as a mature-age student.

He then worked for 14 years with the Victorian National Parks Service as a Parks Protection Officer and then as an Ecologist. In these roles he had State-wide responsibilities for policy, planning and implementation of fire management and pest animal control.

In 1991, Bryan founded Ecoplan Australia Pty Ltd along with Dr Graeme Coulson and Dr David Middleton. Bryan has specialised in wildlife population management, threatened species management, habitat rehabilitation and pest animal control. Bryan takes a broad but practical approach to issues, gained from interaction with diverse interest groups and the constraints imposed by real situations. Bryan was director of Ecoplan Australia until 2013 but has now reduced his work-load to selected projects.