I am the conservation programme manager at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, the wildlife conservation charity that owns Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park. I am currently responsible for managing the conservation breeding programmes for pine hoverflies and pond mud snails, the native biodiversity programme at Highland Wildlife Park and our relationship with the Institute for the Conservation of Wild Animals in Brazil. I also managed the reintroduced population of beavers in Knapdale Forest up to completion of the Scottish Beavers project at the end of 2020. I continue to remain involved in beaver conservation in Scotland via the Scottish Beaver Forum.
I was previously a Marsden-funded research fellow in the Gemmell Lab at the University of Otago in New Zealand, studying the genetics of small populations of threatened species. My work focused on inbreeding and sperm quality in South Island robins and hihi (stitchbirds). I was also involved in projects on New Zealand fur seals, and marine ecosystems.
I love getting out in the field and working with wildlife, conducting research that is useful for conservation management and that moves the field forwards. I am also a passionate and effective science communicator and take every opportunity I can to spread the word on conservation issues and science. I enjoy teaching and supervising students. On this site, you can learn more about my research, my science communication activities, and the amazing organisations and people who make my work possible.
Scientific employment and education
Apr 2019 - Present: RZSS, UK - Conservation Programme Manager
Jan 2016 - Mar 2019: University of Otago, NZ - Research fellow, Marsden Fast Start
Sept 2014 - Dec 2016: University of Otago, NZ - Postdoctoral researcher
Apr 2014 - Aug 2014: Victoria University of Wellington, NZ Research assistant
Aug 2014: Victoria University of Wellington, NZ - PhD Ecology and Biodiversity
Jan 2011: Manchester Metropolitan University, UK - MSc Conservation (Distinction)
Jun 2003: Clare College, Cambridge University, UK - BA (Hons) Natural Sciences