A Focus On Nature

Conservationists

Matt WilliamsMatt Williams

Associate Director, A Focus on Nature.
Photographer.
Naturalist.
Organiser.

Matt has been a member of the RSPB since the age of five and has never looked back. He remembers writing to Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth at the age of seven, shocked at the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. His passion for the natural world has led him to work for a range of NGOs as both an employee and volunteer, as well as running his own projects. Professionally, Matt specialises in climate change policy, communications and youth engagement. He has worked and volunteered for the RSPB in a number of roles, including as a membership recruiter, an assistant warden and in the climate change policy team. He is a founding member and former Co-Director of the UK Youth Climate Coalition and attended a UN climate conference in 2011, and holds degrees from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, and a diploma from the Institute of Political Studies in Paris.

Matt is one of AFON’s Committee Members, focussing on Campaigns and Engagement, and is currently leading work on the Vision for Nature project.

Visit Matt’s Website


Stacey MeliaStacey Melia

Conservationist.
Volunteer.
Naturalist.
Scientist.

Stacey graduated with a degree in Zoology from Aberystwyth University. For her third year Dissertation she investigated the effect of environmental conditions on osprey chick diet, focussing on the Dyfi Osprey Project. Her Dissertation won the Welsh Ornithological Society Best Undergraduate Dissertation on Birds in Wales Award, and she’ll be speaking at their conference as a consequence. During university and after, she spent a lot of time volunteering with different businesses and NGO’s including the People’s Trust for Endangered Species (Tradition Orchard Project); Welsh Beaver Project (assessing suitability of a river for beaver reintroduction); Magic of Life Butterfly House; North Ceredigion Bat Group; Warwickshire Wildlife Trust; the Barn Owl Foundation Hungary; Aberystwyth University (Science week volunteer); Wildwood Ecology (sub contract reptile surveyor) and Middlemarch Environmental Ltd (bat surveys, phase 1 surveys, report writing).

She has recently started working for Natural England, as part of their SSSI support team based under Land Management. She is a bird lover, but also an all rounder – she loves mammals, reptiles and butterflies and hopes to be an active member of the local wildlife groups in Somerset once she has moved in. In the next few months she also hopes to start training as a bird ringer.


Stephen le QuesneStephen Le Quesne

Naturalist.
Filmmaker.
Educator.
Conservationist.

Stephen is naturalist, filmmaker and educator who has a Master’s Degree in Conservation Biology who comes from the island of Jersey. He is a passionate conservationist who has previously worked to help protect Cheetahs in Namibia, study Meerkats in South Africa, as well as attend the Wildlife Film Academy in Botswana, where he started his wildlife-filming journey. Closer to home, he has just finished a 3 year stint as a Wildlife Education Officer for the National Trust, where his primary focus was to inspire the next generation of naturalists as well as acting as a focal point for engagement within the island’s local community.

Throughout the years, Stephen has worked for many local wildlife charities, trained in falconry and as a bird ringer, with the main drive of engaging, communicating and inspiring as many people as possible. Whether you are a young conservationist, parent or a teacher, he is always happy to provide and give guidance for anyone wanting to know more about the natural world.

 

Susan JonesSusan Jones

Conservationist.
Birder.
Photographer.
Youth Engagement.

Susan’s passion for wildlife started in her grandparents back garden watching the birds coming to feeders. Growing up in Snowdonia makes wildlife watching relatively easy but a move to the West Coast of Scotland in her teens introduced her to even more spectacular wildlife. A degree in Conservation Biology at Stirling was the obvious choice, and while studying she ran the Nature Society, sharing her enthusiasm for Scottish wildlife with fellow students. This gave her the opportunity to gain practical experience to go alongside the degree, and she volunteered with several organisations on numerous projects, including water vole re-introductions, red squirrel surveys, bat monitoring, invasive species control, orchid counts, and running a BioBlitz. Since graduating in 2011, Susan has decided on education as the branch of conservation work she would like to pursue, and has gained experience working as an Outdoor Tutor in Swanage and as a volunteer with the Welsh Mountain Zoo. She is a trainee bird ringer and hopes to gain her C permit in 2015.

 

Lizzie BruceLizzie Bruce

Ecologist.
Practical Conservationist.
Naturalist.
Volunteer.

From an early age Lizzie has always loved being outdoors enjoying the Great British countryside, facilitated by the many caravan holidays she was taken on by her parents. Despite this Lizzie went to the University of St Andrews to study Psychology but come the end of her first year she switched departments to gain a BSc(Hons) in Ecology and Conservation. Lizzie then gained an MSc in Wildlife Biology and Conservation from Edinburgh Napier University.

Since then Lizzie has volunteered for Scottish Wildlife Trust on Handa Island, been a Raptor Camp volunteer for Birdlife Malta for three years and was a Conservation Intern for the RSPB at Minsmere and Old Hall Marshes. It was here Lizzie’s interest in bird watching and moth trapping really began. Spending the summer as Little Tern Warden at Spurn Bird Observatory was therefore ideal and she is now a regular Spurn. Lizzie is now driving that Land Rover as an Assistant Warden for Norfolk Wildlife Trust, learning all about heathlands. Lizzie is looking forward to meeting fellow young individuals with a passion for all things nature.

https://twitter.com/lizzie_bruce

 

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Sophie May Lewis

Wildlife Photographer.
Creative writer.
Conservationist.
Naturalist.

Sophie May Lewis has had a passion for the natural world since early childhood. Now a writer and photographer of natural history and countryside subjects, living in a historic market town in the centre of the South Downs National Park, the countryside of West Sussex and surrounding counties provide much inspiration for Sophie May’s work. Wildlife experiences, rural heritage and the changing seasons are reoccurring themes in Sophie May’s work, through both photos and writing. She has wide volunteering experience with a number of conservation organisations including National Trust, South Downs National Park Authority and RSPB.  Sophie May is currently working for the RSPB on a Heritage Lottery Funded Traineeship (ending September 2014), working in visitor engagement, the area where she plans to build her career. Through this traineeship she is grateful to be able to inspire others by sharing her passion for British wildlife and landscapes, and its conservation.  She has Distinction grades in: National Diploma, Countryside Management (19 modules) and Subsidiary Diploma, Agriculture (6 modules).

Visit her website: www.sophieco.co.uk
Or read her blog: www.sophiecosussex.blogspot.co.uk

 

1Christopher Wood

Countryside Ranger.
Conservationist.
Naturalist.
Blogger.

In 2010, Christopher walked the entire 630-mile South West Coast Path – the longest national trail in the UK. Prior to completing the challenge, he knew nothing about wildlife or nature whatsoever! The journey changed his life, allowing him to discover the natural world for the first time. He fell in love, and the rest is history. He currently works as a Ranger on the National Trust’s Lanhydrock estate in Cornwall. This role allows him to share his love of wildlife whilst also helping to protect it. He has also volunteered at the RSPB’s flagship Saltholme reserve in Teesside as well as for the North York Moors National Park. Christopher is hugely passionate about all British wildlife, but has a particular soft spot for butterflies and moths. He enjoys writing about nature, regularly blogging about his wanderings, wildlife encounters and thoughts.

www.wanderingwoody.wordpress.com

 

 

TDTeresa Donohue

Practical Conservationist.
Coastal Ecologist.
Birder.
Scientist.

Teresa is from Dorset and holds a BSc in Biological Conservation (from Plymouth University) and FdSc in Zoological Conservation (from Cornwall College). She has a specialist interest in seabirds and anything related to coastal ecology, but also many other varied fascinations with the natural world. Her pressing desires are to engage with and learn more about the sociological and political issues of environmental conservation, and to promote and adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. She has held various voluntary positions for wildlife NGOs, mostly fieldwork orientated, and has worked at two Bird Observatories where she has cultivated her love of tiny, wind-blown, salty islands, and the ability to mimic Skuas. She is currently embarking on WWOOF projects to learn more about permaculture.

 


SorrelSorrel Lyall

Birder & Naturalist.
Wildlife Photographer & Artist.
Communicator & Educator.
Conservation Volunteer.

Sorrel is a 16-year-old conservationist and birder with a huge passion for wildlife. She has been birding now for 10 years with her grandparents, with whom she goes around Britain with and occasionally further afield. She loves wildlife photography and art, and in 2013 and 2014 she got the chance to paint a bird on the Birdfair mural. Her main aim is to share her love of wildlife with other young people, which she does through running the EcoTeam in her school, in which she has coordinated activities for her fellow students, such as making bird feeders, and given talks on wildlife. She also helps at her local Wildlife Watch group, working with children to enthuse them about wildlife. In the future she intends to do either ecology or zoology.

Check out her blog: http://sorrellyallwildlife.weebly.com/

Follow her on Twitter @SorrelLyall

 

Jess FisherJess Fisher

Explorer.
Conservationist.
Blogger.

Jess is an experienced traveller, with highlights including the Galapagos Islands, Brazilian sand dunes, and the Indian jungle. During her Zoology degree, she was selected to take part in a field course run by the Zoological Society of London in Mongolia, learning ecological monitoring and biodiversity techniques. In her second year she won a research scholarship from the University, and led an expedition to the US Virgin Islands researching human impacts on green iguanas. Since graduating, she took part in an independent research expedition to Madagascar, researching nocturnal lemurs and deforestation in the rainforest, funded by a number of institutions. Passionate about raising awareness and communicating science, she has spoken at a number of conferences and public lectures about her adventures. Jess has volunteered with Greenpeace, Wildlife and Countryside Link, the IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Group, and the Natural History Museum, and is about to undertake a part-funded MRes at UCL, in Biodiversity, Evolution, and Conservation.

Check out her: http://therealark.wordpress.com/ and follow her on Twitter @JessJessFisher

 

RossPackmanAFONpicRoss Packman

Conservationist.
Volunteer Leader.
Writer.
Social Media Manager.

Following a quarter-life crisis, Exeter-born Ross turned his back on a varied background in music, marketing and management to rekindle his childhood love affair with the natural world.

Working alongside the National Trust’s East Devon Coast and Countryside team as a Volunteer Ranger for 1.5 years, Ross discovered an enthusiasm for both practical land management techniques and public engagement, particularly through social media platforms. Following 6 weeks as a Volunteer Ranger with the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust , in May 2014 Ross joined Umhverfisstofnun’s Iceland Conservation Volunteers programme as a seasonal Trail Team Leader. In this role, Ross managed groups of international volunteers in practical conservation projects throughout the Skaftafell area of the Vatnajökull National Park, including uplands management & invasive species removal.

In February 2015 Ross will be joining Ocean Spirits Inc., a Grenada-based non-profit organisation dedicated to the protection of the marine turtles found throughout the Caribbean island’s coastal waters and beaches. Outside of conservation, Ross’ interests include long-distance hiking, dogs and pizza.

Follow him on Twitter @roscopackman

 

Claire CritchleyClaire Critchley

Geographer.
Youth Engagement Enthusiast.
Conservationist.

A serial volunteer who enjoys showing how science relates to the world around us.

Since graduating Claire has enjoyed volunteering with Lancashire Wildlife Trust and working with Somerset Wildlife Trust as a Trainee, learning lots of new skills, gaining professional certification and increasing experience in an environmental education and outreach role.

Appreciates all types of habitats both in the UK and beyond but has a rather large soft spot for forests and all things watery! The future hopefully contains more work with communities and young people because if we don’t inspire them and give them the opportunity to find something they love about the natural world, how are they expected to protect it?

 

Jayne WilkinsonJayne Wilkinson

Ecologist & biologist.
Volunteer coordinator.
Communicator.
Wildlife artist & photographer.

Jayne grew up in rural Lancashire on the border with the Yorkshire Dales, where she now works as a volunteer co-ordinator for Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust, a rewarding and engaging role. Prior to this she worked for Natural England as part of the SSSI support team, learning about biodiversity and conservation in land management and freshwater eco-systems. She is particularly interested in freshwater conservation, having completed a dissertation on macroinvertebrates with the Freshwater Biological Association whilst studying for an MSc in Ecology and Conservation and Lancaster University. Jayne initially gained a BSc in Environmental Biology from the University of Nottingham. She believes in the need to communicate the values, benefits and enjoyment which can be gained from the environment. During her spare time Jayne likes to express her passion for nature through painting and photography.

Follow Jayne on twitter @jaynewilk1

 

Amy HallAmy Hall

Conservation Volunteer.
Naturalist.
Wildlife photographer.
Communicator.

Amy Hall is enthralled by all things wild. She recently attended the A Focus On Nature conference, which has since inspired her to get more involved with volunteering and further learning about the natural world. Since the age of 13 she has been volunteering at a bird of prey rescue centre, where she has learnt many things about the birds and where they come from. At the age of 14 she joined the volunteering group called Wildskills at Rutland Water, where she does various tasks around the reserve; both practical and classroom based. She thoroughly enjoys learning about the environment and the wildlife within it, and can’t wait to hear more from AFON. She already uses a camera trap and occasionally go out with her camera, but hopes to gain expert advice and knowledge in the years to come.

 

River SixRiver Six

Practical conservationist.
Natural scientist.
Conservation volunteer.

River is looking to begin a career in the world of conservation. He believes that he has  found refuge  and purpose in the wild. He is very interested in how humans inhabit and affect the natural world. He is just beginning to study for a Natural Science BSc with the Open University, anticipating to graduate at the end of the academic year 2018.

In the last two years he has volunteered in conservation land management with the TCV working in the Royal London Parks and then in collaboration with ZSL to maintain some of their land outside the zoo. He is also a regular contributor to the national wildflower survey with Plantlife. Finally he is about to start volunteering work with a local wildlife hospital, who are restoring five acres of their land to lowland heath; he will also be helping with the care of injured animals coming to the centre there.

He also enjoys writing, both about his own encounters with nature and also fictional children’s stories that explore and draw from nature. He hopes to share these in some kind of publication.

 

Gina D'AlesandroGina D’Alesandro

Nature Conservationist.
Climate Change.
International Volunteer.
Communicator.

Gina D’Alesandro is passionate about climate change and all that it entails. From her 2 years volunteering in Zambia with local subsistence farmers in rural villages to the many internships, clubs, and committees she has been involved in addressing climate change issues prior to her time abroad, she has been actively committed to educating and helping others to make positive changes in the sake of climate change.

Gina, an avid nature-lover and adventure-seeker, developed her interest in nature and ecology as a child in the creeks, canyons, and foothills of Salt Lake City where she grew up. Her love for the outdoors grew into a passion to preserve those beautiful places as she grew older and began studying at university.

Motivated by her passion for nature still, Gina seeks to made impactful change to save those natural spaces she loves in the places where change is needed most and at the root of anthropogenic climate change; in cities.

 

Ella RotheroOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nature Conservationist.
Film making
Sound recording

Following a degree in film studies at the University of Kent, Ella has worked at a post-production sound company for the last four years, first as a runner and then as a dialogue editor. Although getting to work on various films and television programmes was exciting, increasingly Ella wanted to bring together her interest in wildlife with her sound skills. After doing a short course in wildlife sound recording she decided it was time to leave the world of film and television and dedicate more time to learning about wildlife conservation. She has been volunteering with the RSPB as a wildlife interpreter, helping to engage the public and running activities for children. She is also soon to start volunteering with the London Wildlife Trust to help to develop a wetlands in East London and hopes to learn much more about this habitat, both how to manage it and its possible role in helping us deal with climate change and a growing population.

Matt Cox1609955_10101439176687159_365387260123694846_n

Inspiring others.
Youth leader.
Conservation.

 

Matt is currently coordinating all of the 13 – 19 year old provision at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust in the West Midlands. He has always been passionate about the environment, and has wanted to share this enthusiasm and love with others. At University he studied the relationship between complex environmental sciences on the one hand and the simplified, often confusing messages most of us get to see in the media about environmental problems. Communicated in this way Matt felt that people were being turned off significant environmental issues rather than being inspired to take action. After writing his dissertation on “green wash” in corporate advertising Matt entered his career in community engagement, first writing a green column for a local newspaper and working for his local park ranger service before moving onto his position at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust in 2010. His current role to date has seen him involved in a range of funded youth programmes, working in partnership with youth organisations of every sort, introducing young people to the adventures and discoveries to be made in the natural world.

Matt is a keen rock climber, mountaineer and snowboarder. He is looking to twin his career with his interests by completing his Mountain Leader Award in the near future.

 

Sarah HookwaySarah Hookway

Educator.
Blogger.
Conservationist.

Sarah is a high school science teacher. She studied Ecology at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, qualifying with a first class degree. She then continued at UEA to complete her Post Graduate Certificate in Education. As well as teaching science, she tries to inspire her pupils to care about and engage with her main passion: nature and wildlife.

She writes a wildlife blog as well as keeping a nature diary, where she records, through sketches, paintings, photographs and writing, what she sees when wildlife watching in the beautiful county of Norfolk. With her blog, she has been part of BBC Wildlife Magazine’s ‘Local Patch Reporters’ project, and was featured in print several times in 2014. She is hoping to find new and novel ways to help enthuse and inspire our young people about the natural world, as well as continue to learn about the nature in her local area and further afield. Her main focus when wildlife watching is birds, but she would like to expand her knowledge across a greater diversity of animals and plants.

Check out her blog: http://wildlifelocalpatch.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Beth Aucottme

Practical Conservationist.
Artist.
Nature Writer.
Naturalist.

Beth’s love for our natural world stems from a childhood playing in fields and getting lost in tales about Tarka and the Animals of Farthing Wood. Studying MSci Zoology at the University of Nottingham gave her a better appreciation of the science and ecology behind nature conservation and she currently spends her time getting her hands dirty as a  Practical Conservation Trainee with Somerset Wildlife Trust.  In her spare time Beth can often be found with a sketchbook in hand, as she finds the creativity of art another way to convey her passion for the natural world.

Beth is one of AFON’s committee members and co-ordinates the University Birdwatch Challenge.

Read her blog: https://bethaucott.wordpress.com/
Follow her on Twitter: @BethAucott

 

Melanie ParrMelanie Parr

International Volunteer.
Conservationist.
Wildlife Photographer.

Melanie has had a passion for nature and animal welfare from a young age. This devotion has led her to studying Wildlife Conservation BSc at Nottingham Trent University where she has recently been analysing different water vole survey techniques for her dissertation. Before beginning this course Melanie also studied Animal Science FdSc at the University of Brighton.

Motivated by her passion for exploration and desire to be a part of making a difference in conservation Melanie spent a year travelling around South East Asia, during this time she undertook a Permaculture course and a Marine Conservation course achieving several PADI qualifications. Melanie also completed a number of volunteer placements on her travels where she helped to rehabilitate and release gibbons, protect the nests of sea turtles, clean and transport corals, care for retired elephants, educate members of the public and study several species including orang-utans, sun bears, butterflies, tropical trees and dolphins.

In her spare time Melanie loves to practise her wildlife photography and researching more volunteer placements to get involved with!

 

Simon McPhersonFB_IMG_1429775267960

Marine Conservationist

Simon is an aspiring marine conservationist with the aim of having a career working in marine conservation, to spread the message that we need to look after the seas and their wildlife. He is interested in all aspects of marine conservation, particularly the conservation of sharks and trying to give sharks a more positive image as an apex predator of the sea.

He is currently in his final year at college studying BTEC Extended Diploma in Animal Management, and in his spare time does voluntary work for different organisations such as Marine Conservation Society. Career plans are to work with a marine conservation charity, possibly as an education officer.

His personal interests are sharks, lions, wildlife photography, scuba diving, marine conservation, and marine environmental education. Simon has sought career advice from well-known experts and celebrities such as Monty Halls and Miranda Krestovnikoff.

 

Rosie HigginsRosie Higgins

Conservation Volunteer.
Scientist.
Marine Conservation.
Diver.

Rosie is a young professional aspiring to break into the conservation sector. Her plan is to study an Msc in Conservation in 2016, in the meantime she has gained experience through both paid and unpaid opportunities. Her determination has led her to devote her spare time to the pursuit of conservation experience and knowledge whilst maintaining a demanding full-time job. She has volunteered and continues to volunteer with organisations including ZSL, The London Wildlife Trust and the RSPB. Through this experience she has diversified her abilities and has grown an excellent foundation of knowledge, for example, as a volunteer aquarist she has learnt practical knowledge of aquatic practices and as a learning volunteer she has mastered the art of promoting conservation through public engagement. Marine and freshwater conservation is her particular area of interest and she is a keen scuba diver. Having worked as dive guide in Caribbean Mexico she had the privilege of witnessing incredible biodiversity in some of the world’s most beautiful seas.

 

Jess BorerJess Borer

Conservationist.
Birder.
Scientist.

Jess graduated from Sheffield in 2010 with a BSc Biology with Biodiversity and Conservation. She is originally Swiss, and has been living in the UK/ Channel Islands for the past 9 years. She has always had a passion for wildlife, and spent her childhood roaming the local woods and hiking the Swiss mountains – marmottes, alpine choughs and mountain goats galore. She discovered a passion for birds whilst at university, and then worked at Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust for five years after university as a bird keeper. She has done stints of volunteering with the RSPB, the University Conservation Volunteers and the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (bird projects, of course!). Now she is based in Hampshire, still working with birds, discovering the local wildlife and is starting training as a ringer soon.
She is hoping to do fieldwork and work in practical conservation full-time in the next few years – for now, doing what she can when on holiday!

 

Jessen ShahJessen Shah

Naturalist.
Environmental blogger.
Conservationist.

Jessen’s passion for the natural world started at a young age, when he began to realise the threats facing wildlife. He started fundraising at the age of 10, was nominated as a finalist in the 2008 Young People of the Year awards, and recognised by Will Travers OBE. Jessen knew that he had found his lifelong passion. In more recent years, he has started his own blog in which he writes about environmental challenges and solutions. In the summer of 2014, he flew out to the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica. Renowned for its biodiversity, here he spent over two months assisting with research for various scientific papers. He also took this opportunity to conduct his own research project into the feeding behaviour of Leafcutter Ants. Looking ahead, his next goal is to study Conservation Biology at university from 2016 onward.

Check out Jessen’s blog: www.wildlifematters.org

 

Becky O'MeliaBecky O’Melia

Conservationist.
Youth Engagemet.
Communicator.

Becky has always loved nature and has been determined to have a career in this sector since age 5. She gained a BSc (Hons) in Animal Behaviour from the University of Chester. After six weeks volunteering on a wildlife reserve in South Africa in 2008 she discovered how rewarding introducing children to nature can be and decided to take her career in the direction of community engagement. Since returning from South Africa she has spent a summer volunteering at the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre in Wales, 3 months volunteering with Groundwork South on board the Elsdale Floating Classroom, and now works for the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust helping to run a busy visitor centre on a nature reserve. Becky is a Level 3 Forest School Leader who is passionate about teaching children and adults about the world that surrounds them and how to use it in a sustainable way which works alongside wildlife. She aspires to use her skills to engage people who don’t realise the importance of their natural environment and perhaps inspire the next great conservationist.

In her spare time Becky is usually found exploring the countryside in a pair of wellies, with her nose in a book learning more about wildlife and community engagement or drawing. Her next goal is to learn how to draw a bird as more than two circles and a triangle for a beak.

 

IMG_9865 edited in LR4Josie Hewitt

Conservationist.
Ringer.
Birder.
Naturalist.

Josie has had an interest in the natural world for as long as she can remember and is now a passionate conservationist with a particular interest in birds. In 2011 Josie began training as a bird ringer under the BTO’s Ringing Scheme and 3 years later, at the age of just 16, she qualified for her C permit which enables her to ring on her own. She is also a keen birder and visits her beloved patch as often as possible in the hope that one day something exciting might turn up! Josie has been fortunate enough to have some brilliant public speaking opportunities in recent times, including the AFON/BTO Young Ornithologists Workshop, BTO Annual Conference in 2014 and Birdfair in 2015. These opportunities have allowed Josie to share her experiences as a young birder as well as her passion and enthusiasm for bird ringing. Through doing this, she hopes to inspire and enthuse more young people to care about, and protect, the natural world. In the future, Josie hopes to study Conservation Biology or Ecology at university with a view to pursuing a career in ornithology.

You can keep up with what Josie gets up to on her blog here and find her on Twitter – @josiethebirder

 

DRDanii Rouse

Conservationist.
Birder.
Naturalist.
Ringer.

Dan has always had an interest in wildlife, especially birds. As of 2016, she will be starting a project with Peregrine to monitor the dispersal of chicks by Darvic ringing the chicks before they fledge. Dan always aims to inspire people to get in touch with nature and working with WWT in the education department has helped her to do this, she has been giving chance to educate children and people on the importance of protecting our wildlife. She aims to share her love for Wildlife and the avian kind with people to help protect Britain’s wildlife.

Website: www.danrouse.org.uk

 

Becca Campbell
Becca Campbell

Conservationist.

Photographer.

Scientist.

Hiker.

 

Becca became interested in nature from a young age; having parents who adored nature and took her on regular trips to beautiful locations instilled a deep love for fog shrouded mountains, deep forests and catching those wonderful glimpses of wild animals. In 2014, Becca graduated from Plymouth University with a BSc in Environmental Science. Her degree had involved spending a month in Malaysia studying various different tropical ecosystems and she felt honoured to finally visit and study the rainforest; an ecosystem she had become extremely passionate about conserving.

Over the summer of 2014 she spent 11 weeks doing volunteer conservation work in Iceland which was the single most incredible and rewarding experience of her life. She dreams about returning to Iceland on a daily basis.

Currently ensnared in two jobs unrelated to her degree, Becca is stubbornly looking for work in the environmental sector, as no other job could eclipse her fierce passion for conservation. She’s an environmental blogger, sells her knitting on Etsy with a firm eco-friendly mantra with regards to sourcing wool and uses it as an outlet to raise environmental awareness and she’s an active conservation volunteer. She hikes often and uses photography to express her love of nature.

Find her on instagram: woodbecca_

David Bodenham

Conservation Biologist.

Photographer.

Educator.

Filmmaker.

David Bodenham’s long-standing interest in the natural world, led him to a career in conservation biology, ecology, photography and film production. He studied a Bachelor of Science in Zoology (Ind) at the University of Leeds, and eventually moved on to a Master of Science in Biodiversity and Conservation, and from both gained the myriad of skills needed for a career in conservation biology. An advocate of evidence-based conservation, David has worked for such institutions as the University of Leeds, Natural England and the Discovery Channel and his work ranges from conservation research, to science education and film-making. David oversees the educational organisation, Eco Sapien and its team of volunteers. Created to educate people about the importance of biodiversity, Eco Sapien’s interactive educational workshops, ever-popular YouTube Channel, infographics and articles offer a portal into the spectacular world of biodiversity, and its relevance to our everyday lives.

Visit the Eco Sapien website: http://www.ecosapien.org

David’s work: http://www.davidbodenham.info

David Bodenham Photography: http://www.davidbodenham.com

David’s twitter: https://twitter.com/DavidBodenham

 

 

Annie Ives

Conservationist.

Educator.

Blogger.

Annie’s childhood was spent exploring the Suffolk countryside and visiting The Peak District and the Scottish Highlands on holiday which instilled in her a deep rooted appreciation of the natural world and wild places. Annie has been volunteering with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust Community & Education team since 2013 and has led two local Wildlife Watch groups since 2015. She loves getting messy and wild with the kids on nature reserves and engaging her local community with the nature on their doorstep. She enjoys writing about her Wildlife experiences on her blog and has a particular passion for invertebrates, especially bees! Annie completed her BSc degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Medicine at The University of Nottingham in 2013 (where she was on the UoN Conservation Society committee) and is starting a distance learning MSc in Wildlife Biology & Conservation later this year, with a view to becoming an environmental educator or biology teacher in the future.

Read her blog here: www.trailsntails.wordpress.com

 

Rhiannon O’Connell

Conservationist.

Educator.

Ecologist.

Rhiannon always knew she wanted to help protect the countryside, but, surrounded by farmers, she knew no other way to professionally connect with the land. She studied History at the University of Kent, finding herself continuously drawn to conservation volunteering and extracurricular lectures, she eventually wrote her thesis on the history of the National Park movement in Great Britain (broadening the controversial field of Environmental History).

Her first job out of university was as a membership recruiter for Friends of the Earth. Over the next two years she focussed heavily on CPD courses and volunteering, especially with Lancashire Wildlife Trust, constantly chasing her dream of a job in the environmental sector. Earlier this year Rhiannon was invited to spend a week in Fuerteventura with Operation New World, where she was given training in Phase 1 Habitat Surveys, landscape and seascape assessments, environmental impact assessment and much more. It also gave her a great chance to network and she has been reaping the rewards of that connectivity ever since.

Rhiannon’s next adventure starts at the end of August in Bangkok, teaching environmental education, in the hope of restoring the ecological balance of the Chao Phraya River and Valley. She plans to return to the UK in the future to offer her skills to the habitats she loves so dearly.

Isobel Mercer

Conservationist.

Environmental Education Volunteer.

Fighting climate change.

Isobel has been passionate about wildlife from a young age having been born in beautiful Devon into a family of nature lovers. An avid traveller, a year of backpacking in Australia and South East Asia where she visited many unique, diverse and threatened habitats led Isobel to return to university in 2015 to complete an MSc in Environmental Technology at Imperial College London, where she specialised in Global Environmental Change and Policy. For the past year Isobel has been working as a research analyst and adviser at Mercer Environment Associates, a London-based independent advisory firm set up by her father in 2012. Isobel has been working on various projects that investigate the link between land use and climate change and how the conservation and climate agendas are aligned. She is particularly interested in rewilding as a solution to some of these problems. Isobel is also an Environmental Education Volunteer for the London Wildlife Trust at Camley Street Natural Park and is about to start her own environment blog – so watch this space!

 

Emily Seccombe

Conservationist.

Scientist.

Naturalist.

Since graduating from the University of Oxford with a first class degree in Biological Sciences in 2016, Emily has begun her career in environmental conservation as an Academy Ranger for the National Trust, having previously volunteered with the National Trust on Working Holidays.

Her conservation passion lies with the ecology and conservation of amphibians. Whilst at college, she investigated the accuracy of the Habitat Suitability Index as an indicator for great crested newt populations. The Zoological Society of London awarded her the Prince Phillip Award and Marsh Prize (2013) for this piece of work. Her university dissertation looked into how common toads are affected by the way that field margins are managed under agri-environment schemes.

She ran an Edible Garden at university for two years and has volunteered with Sussex Wildlife Trust, the RSPCA’s education branch and PondNet (including collecting DNA samples from ponds to look for great crested newts).

 

Hannah Rudd

Conservationist.

Naturalist.

Blogger.

Hannah is an amateur naturalist and conservationist, and is currently an undergraduate studying Biological Sciences at Lancaster University. After her Bachelors degree, Hannah is hoping to go on to study a Masters in either Oceanography or Environmental Law, after which she will pursue a PhD. Hannah has always had a thirst for nature, having volunteered for a few organisations, such as RSPCA Mallydams Wood, and fundraised for several non-governmental organisations and charities, most recently the World Wildlife Fund. Although being encapsulated by the natural world as a whole, Hannah is particularly enamoured by the world’s oceans, its flora, and its fauna. At present Hannah has combined her love for writing with her passion for the natural world by writing a blog – Ecological Me – as well as guest writing for other publications. Hannah’s ambition is to become a wildlife journalist and broadcaster, producing the next generation of nature documentaries that will inspire future generations to come.

Follow her blog here: https://hannahrudd.wordpress.com/

 

April Windle

Conservationist.

Naturalist.

Having grown up in the South West, it isn’t surprising that April has a real passion for the natural environment. With extensive stretches of moorland, to vast networks of ancient woodland on her doorstep, there has always been plenty to explore, and ample opportunities to see the most stunning array of wildlife. In between studying Zoology at the University of Roehampton, she has contributed much of her voluntary time and professional career working with a wide variety of conservation organisations, immersing herself in any wildlife projects that come her way. For the last two years, April has worked for the Exmoor National Park Authority, where she helps manage the Park’s biological data. In addition, she dedicates much of her time recording the natural environment, with organisations such as the RSPB, Butterfly Conservation, South West Water and the National Trust. April is incredibly excited to see the youth conservation movement progressing so positively, and feels inspired by all the other members who share the same passion to protect and conserve our amazing UK wildlife.

 

Alex Cherry

Conservationist.

Naturalist.

Alex’s aim is to promote no-till (a.k.a Conservation Agriculture) as a system to regenerate soils and provide an economically and environmentally sustainable future for agriculture in the UK. On his family farm in Hertfordshire he has created an annual No-Till Show and Conference called Groundswell which brings together great thinkers from across the agricultural and scientific spectrum to disseminate information and experiences of ways to farm in a more regenerative way. His aim is to inspire farmers to future proof their businesses and their soils whilst influencing policy makers to take soil health into consideration in a post-Brext Britain. He invites anyone interested in soil regeneration to come along and join the Groundswell! www.groundswellag.com

 

Charlotte Blunt

Conservationist.

Naturalist.

Charlotte has always been interested in Wildlife, going out for long walks as a child, bird watching and enjoying everything nature has to offer. It has been within the last few years she has wanted to get involved in conservation as a career, feeling that she wanted a more hands on approach to helping nature. This has come from her love of photography; taking photos of landscapes as well as wildlife have inspired this change. This has helped her explore new species, look out for them and trying and convert others to the excitement nature brings. As a keen birdwatcher, she often spends her weekends out in nature, enjoying the scenery and adding to her bird count. Charlotte is currently a member of Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and RSPB. She attends talks and activities put on by them all. She is also a member of Wild Horizons at Rutland Water Nature Reserve. Charlotte is looking to gain volunteering experience to help in her future career and hopes to make a greater difference to the world around her.

 

Elizabeth Sandwell

Conservationist.
Scientist.
Writer.

Lizzie is currently in her final year at the University of Reading studying Zoology. She has a fervent curiosity in the natural world, with particular interest in animal behaviour and conservation. Currently the majority of her time is spent researching and writing her final year project, based around captive primate behaviour in response to environmental enrichment. This project has improved Lizzie’s knowledge of animal welfare as well as developed her fieldwork skills. Additionally, Lizzie is passionate about safeguarding British wildlife and can see herself working well as part of a conservation organisation, with the aim to drive forward conservation efforts in the UK. Writing about wildlife is a core aim for the future, as she hopes to bring wildlife issues and scientific advancements to the forefront of society and pass on the drive and determination to conserve nature.

 

Amelia Airey

Conservationist.
Scientist.
Biological Recorder.

While at University Amelia undertook research in the cloud-rainforest in Ecuador. This focused on the associations in the light from the canopy and Lepidoptera (Butterfly) morphology, distribution and biodiversity. Since completing her undergraduate degree in Bio-Veterinary Science she has spent time with the RSPB in Norfolk at the Mid-Yare Reserve (Strumpshaw Fen) and was involved with practical management, and a variety of surveys including Meadow Quadrats, Ditch Surveys, Breeding Bird Surveys, invertebrate transects including working monitoring the Fen Raft Spider in Summer 2016. Amelia continues to focus on surveys and biological recording and within her current role focuses on Local Wildlife Sites and Phase One Habitats Surveys. Within her position as Trainee: Ecological Recording Officer she has lots of different opportunities to learn, gain experiences including landowner liaisons, practical management, community engagement and training volunteers as well as having time to enjoy the Lancashire wildlife. Check out her Blog: https://ameliaairey.wordpress.com/

 

Philip Tennyson

Environmental Youth Leader.
Ecologist.
Environmentalist.

An Environmental Youth Leader with The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Philip strives to engage new audiences with environmental issues. He is active in the community and endeavouring to create new partnerships with local businesses and land-owners. Working towards an end goal of connecting living landscapes to improve all green spaces for biodiversity. Looking for any new initiative to engage young minds in nature. Philip has planned, initiated and completed various green space renovations in the urban setting. These renovations have united the community whilst raising awareness for environmental issues and generally educating the public on natural history. His main expertise are Bat habituation and wildflower/grass ID. However, he is a general all rounder for all things natural with a keen thirst for knowledge. In the coming years I hope to obtain protected species licences and move onto larger landscape projects.

 

Emma Ackerley

Wildlife Conservationist.
Primatologist.
SciComms Advocate.

Growing up in the inner-city urban realms of Manchester, Emma spent most of her childhood in the garden, begging her parents to take her somewhere wilder, like Chester Zoo or The Peak District. Once Emma turned 18, she whisked herself off to Fiji to become a Marine Conservation Research Assistant with The Society for Environmental Exploration. Following this, she completed a Zoology degree at Aberystwyth University, and has recently completed her MSc. in Advanced Wildlife Conservation in Practice, volunteering lots throughout. Her research interests surround testing new technologies for enhancing animal welfare and management practices. Study species have involved dairy cattle, dwarf mongoose and chacma baboons, predominantly in South Africa. She also has a keen knowledge and skillset in science communications, and is presenting at The Primate Society of Great Britain conference. She hopes to work in communications or potentially carry on to a PhD in biological anthropology/primatology.

 

Josephine Crouch

Wildlife Conservationist.
Youth Movement Coordinator

Josephine is a wildlife conservationist from London, motivated by the ongoing over-exploitation of endangered species. Since graduating in Zoology, she has gained experience volunteering and working for NGOs, monitoring and mapping out trade routes of endangered species caught in the illegal wildlife trade all over the world, as well as in implementing operation logistics for developing conservation efforts on the ground against wildlife trade. She has a particular fondness for ‘uncharismatic’ species, that are often overlooked in international discussions. She aims to develop innovative solutions, implementing effective policy that bring meaningful change to these ongoing conservation challenges. As a writer, she shares her thoughts and opinions on wildlife trafficking on her website: SkinandBones.info

Inspired by so many young, diverse conservationists, along with her team she established Youth for Wildlife Conservation, an organization that supports youth in their conservation careers and their conservation projects, providing a space for youth to network and discuss ongoing challenges to wildlife conservation and advance the youth movement. Follow Josephine on Twitter: @jjsidney

James Dunlop

Conservationist.
Ecologist

A fortunate opportunity during Jamie’s undergraduate to study abroad introduced him to the wonders of the natural world, made him reconsider his busy life and take time to notice the, often subtle, goings on in the world around him. Sadly this led him to realise that many of our natural places are slowly fading away. Jamie took the decision to skill up with time spent in Mauritius learning from some of the most successful conservation programs in the world (e.g. the Mauritian Kestrel was saved from just 4 breeding pairs), and how best to use the precious resources that are available to work and protect nature around us. Now, Jamie works with a young NGO in Australia, the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, who are bringing conservation success stories for nature to the forefront. So much of conservation is on the defence, it is time we take it on the offence!