Science and Policy

Here are the bios for the mentors who work in Science and Policy. Please have a look to see who you think may be able to help you best as part of the mentoring scheme before making an application (details on the main mentoring page). If you are unsure, the Mentoring Officer can provide advice.
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Mary Ledie

Mary Ledlie is a senior data manager with the RSPB’s conservation data management team. She supports all aspects of species data management, ensuring data are available internally and externally to inform conservation work. She previously worked/volunteered for the National Trust, UNEP-WCMC and The Wildlife Trusts, as well as overseeing the conservation work on a nature reserve in Seychelles and undertaking postgraduate research on coral reefs.


Matt Williams

Matt Williams is an environmental policy expert and has been a leader in the youth environment sector for the past decade. He's a wildlife photographer, nature writer and podcaster too.

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John Randall

John Randall has a lifelong passion for wildlife. His career has included being a professional ornithologist for bird tour companies and working in No. 10 Downing Street as the PM’s environment adviser.  He has a great deal of experience in politics as a Member of Parliament for 18 years and is a current member of the House of Lords.  


Richard Benwell

Richard Benwell is chief executive of Wildlife and Countryside Link, England's largest environmental coalition. Previously he was policy advisor to the Secretary of State at Defra, working on the Environment Bill, the Agriculture Bill and the Fisheries Bill. Before joining Defra, Richard worked in policy and advocacy at WWT and RSPB and was a senior clerk in the House of Commons Commission. His PhD was about the design of carbon emissions trading systems. Richard has also been a director of Westmill Solar Cooperative, a community energy project near his home.


Stephanie Prince

Stephanie Prince is a marine conservationist passionate about seabirds, and dedicated to reducing the impacts of bycatch. She’s a project manager at the RSPB leading the BirdLife International Marine Programmes advocacy work with High Seas fishing nations. Previously a field worker monitoring albatross, penguin and seal in the South Atlantic, she’s a massive advocate for communicating about wildlife, giving talks and running social media campaigns. 

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Rob Lambert

Dr Rob Lambert is an environment academic at the University of Nottingham, previously the University of St. Andrews. He is the author of books, chapters and journal articles on subjects as diverse as environmental history, species history, nature conservation, ecotourism, wildlife tourism, and conservation conflicts. He also writes for the popular environmental press, lectures on expedition ships around the UK coast and has worked on major TV and Radio wildlife documentaries.

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Alistair Watson

Alistair Watson is an Environmental Project Manager for electricity infrastructure projects. He identifies potential interactions between construction and wildlife, undertakes ecological constraints surveys and recommends mitigation. He has previous experience in practical conservation, a biological records centre, habitat surveying and statutory nature conservation.

He is a keen citizen scientist promoting

recording, protection and enhancement of wildlife.

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Dan Carpenter

Dan Carpenter is an ecologist and environmental data scientist with over ten years of experience in academic research, local authority ecology and Local Environmental Records Centres.  Dan is passionate about biological recording and using the best available data in decision making for nature conservation and land management.

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Emily Cunningham

Emily Cunningham is a marine biologist by training, Emily worked for the Environment Agency, Ascension Island Government and The Wildlife Trusts before becoming an independent consultant in 2017. In 2019, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees at the Marine Conservation Society. Her career highlights and challenges have been plentiful and she is keen to help others hoping to make it in this competitive sector.

 Interested in becoming a mentor? We would like to make our panel of mentors more reflective of the young people who we hope to support. This means we'd love to hear from women and from Black, Asian and ethnic minority people. Please have a look at the information booklet and mentoring agreement and get in touch with the Mentoring Officer: