UK Conservation Officer
1985-1988: BSc Biological Sciences, Polytechnic Southwest, Plymouth
2006-2009: MSc Biological Recording and Data Management, University of Birmingham
2010 – present: PhD Evolutionary relationships between endemic Sorbus species, University of Exeter
Based at Paignton Zoo
Role and research interests
My main role is to help deliver the UK conservation programme, which comprises several specific projects plus associated research. This involves working closely with partners to help develop and conduct conservation projects, sourcing funds and reporting to project funders. As part of the research component of these projects I supervise BSc and MSc students to undertake ecological research. This includes the monitoring and evaluation of conservation management and habitat restoration on our reserves.
I have a keen interest in the natural history of the British Isles, particularly plants and their interactions with other species. Key topics of interest include pollination ecology, molecular ecology, botanical recording and habitat restoration techniques.
My research skills are a mixture of field survey experience and analytical techniques.
I am part of the Molecular Ecology and Evolution Group at the University of Exeter, where I study reproductive ecology and evolutionary mechanisms of endemic Whitebeams (Sorbus). I am also vice-chair of the BIAZA Native Species Working Group, which aims to encourage zoos to engage in UK conservation.
Management evaluation of WWCT reserves
Ecology and genetics of rare, endemic whitebeam species
Species recovery of Strapwort, a critically endangered plant
Hazel dormice reintroduction
White-clawed crayfish reintroduction and awareness-raising