Meet the Committee

Our dedicated committee members volunteer their time to organise everything we do! They come from a range of professional backgrounds and have a huge amount of combined experience. Click on a picture to find out more about the individual and how to contact them! 


Lou Sykes

Hi everyone! I am really excited to have joined AFON as the new Creative Director. I work within the Rivers Trust movement designing and delivering river restoration projects as well as hosting catchment partnerships. I'm particularly interested in the big picture scenarios, working at landscape scale, and how we can get people to appreciate everything nature has to offer. When I'm not at work you can find me out and about exploring my local area or doodling in my sketchbook. I'm really looking forward to working with a great committee of young people and seeing what AFON can achieve in the next couple of years. 


Emily Burton

​Hi everyone! I feel really lucky to have recently joined the brilliant  AFON committee. I currently work at the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick, coordinating volunteers and delivering practical conservation work out on the seabird islands in the Firth of Forth. I didn’t go to uni, instead gaining experience with various conservation charities around Europe including the RSPB, WDC, and Birdlife Malta. I’m excited to see what we can achieve together over the next few years!

Connor Davies

Hi everyone! I work in Bristol as a Learning and Engagement Presenter at Bristol Zoological Society (Bristol Zoo and Wild Place Project) and I’m part of the Youth Board at Chester Zoo. My main passion is helping to increase education and engagement with conservation, especially in young people, and trying to increase the opportunities for young people to get involved with decision-making in conservation. This is why I’m so excited to be Mentoring Officer at AFON, helping to provide career resources and access to mentoring from incredible conservation professionals for young people across the UK! Outside of work, I’m usually found taking photos of animals, searching for peregrines in the Avon Gorge or getting lost in a book in local park!

Dawood Qureshi

Hi there! I'm a freelance Journalist, Wildlife Filmmaker, Marine Biology graduate and Television Researcher at the BBC Natural History Unit. I'm also Ambassador for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and have written for multiple sites and magazines, including The Wildlife Trusts, The Beaver Trust, Bloom in Doom Mag, and Nature's Gold Magazine. I love film and telling stories through film, and also write about politics and social justice. I enjoy drawing, photography, looking for bugs, and musical theatre outside of AFON, so my passion for nature still rings true in my other hobbies!. I am passionate about stories, and sharing and crafting these stories, using them and the skills I've gained to raise awareness to important issues, and changing them for the better, all whilst traveling and exploring the natural world, as a filmmaker, conservationist and writer.

Laura Saunders

​I am an MSci Hons Biology graduate from the University of Nottingham, having specialised in animal behaviour and conservation. I am delighted to have joined the AFON committee and to be a part of a network which brings together and inspires young people who are interested in nature and conservation. I am a big believer in the power of the collective voice, and I am very excited about what AFON has already achieved and what it can achieve in the coming years. For me, the long-term goal is a career in conservation, so I fully appreciate how important and valuable AFON is to young aspiring conservationists. In my spare time I volunteer at Attenborough Nature Reserve, love being in nature spotting wildlife and I am currently working on my species ID skills. I hope to help AFON grow even bigger and better over the next few years and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together, as a network!

Hamdiya Osman

​I studied Animal Management in college and Animal Conservation Science at University after miraculously finding both courses last minute. This showed me how inaccessible options to study outside of well-known degrees were to most people and it’s something I often think about throughout my career in conservation. My passion lies in helping young people discover nature as I feel very lucky to have found the courses I had that led me to where I am today, and want to share that with others. After graduating, I worked closely with the Cheetah Conservation Fund in my parents native land Somaliland, and as a trainee with the London Wildlife Trust. My hobbies include writing blogs about conservation topics and photography. 

Ellie Humphrys

​Ellie is a graduate of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science at UWE. After completing her degree, she travelled to the current-swept Komodo National Park where she became the dive centre's Social Media Manager and completed her Divemaster - an awe-inspiring experience filled with giant dancing manta rays and iridescent cuttlefish. Returning home, Ellie decided to continue her education by starting an MSc in Sustainability and Behaviour Change and finds passion in learning how to effectively communicate environmental issues to various audiences

Emma Steel

Emma studied BSc Zoology and MSc Environmental Science at the University of Aberdeen, and has worked with various conservation charities in Scotland including Whale and Dolphin Conservation and the RSPB. Emma currently works as a Policy Assistant with a focus on Outdoor Access in Scotland and volunteers as a Young Leader for the Scottish Wildlife Trust. In her spare time, Emma enjoys hiking Munro's, camping and wild swimming - and exploring all Scotland's natural environment has to offer.

Lauren Cox

​Lauren has worked in a number of roles within conservation groups across Europe and New Zealand including The Wildlife Trusts UK and Forest & Bird NZ. After finishing an MRes in Sustainable Futures at the University of Bristol, Lauren hopes to continue working within the conservation sector to encourage greater engagement with the natural world amongst young people and the wider general public. Outside of supporting AFON with the delivery of policies and campaigns, Lauren enjoys being outdoors with her dog, spotting bees in the garden and growing vegetables down the allotment.

Ben Marsh

​Ben studied Geosciences at Royal Holloway University of London and now works as a GIS leader in subsea cables. More than anything Ben loves to be outdoors hiking, climbing or anything in between. Outside of work Ben practices his wildlife photography and hopes to use the images to help people connect with nature and to promote the importance of access to green spaces.


Tilly Hopkins

Tilly studied Graphic Design: Visual Communications at the University for the Creative Arts and most recently worked as a Visitor Experience Assistant for the National Trust. She enjoys combining her creative skills with her passion for helping the natural world, aiming to raise awareness, inspire, educate and engage people through her designs. In her spare time, Tilly enjoys exercising, photography, birdwatching and posting wildlife images to her nature blog on Instagram

Ellen Daugherty

Email to be updated soon!!​

Ellen is a Biological Sciences grad from the University of Birmingham. After a couple of years travelling and working in the charity comms sector, she’s decided to continue her education by starting an MA in Nature Writing. Ellen is passionate about the restoration of the natural world and encouraging young people to love the outdoors


Regional Reps

We have regional reps across the UK. Find yours and join your local group, and discover like-minded people and events in your area!

Interested in becoming a regional rep for your area?

If yes, please email: