Please share an early/childhood experience that was pivotal to your personal relationship to wildlife.
I remember we used to find hedgehogs in the garden at our south London home, as well as one particular experience of finding a baby bird on the pavement when coming home from school. I must have been about 7 years old and not knowing any better took it home. Unfortunately, it died the next day.
How did you initially become involved with IWRC and why did you choose to become involved on a board level?
I attended a conference in 2001 in Florida and became hooked. I couldn’t attend the IWRC meeting every year but came whenever I could. I got involved with the Board because I was interested in training and working towards having agreed standards in wildlife rehabilitation across the globe.
Describe a specific area of interest or a particular passion within the scope of IWRC's mission.
The training is the area I am most interested in. I have seen so many examples of bad welfare in rehabilitation, and I think that having agreed-upon standards and trainings are the best ways to address these issues.
Describe a skill that you have that has been surprisingly useful to your work as a wildlife rehabilitator? (or as an IWRC board member?)
I have participated in many projects involving the radio tracking of mammals and this is a skill that is not often used by the rehabilitation community. Again, it is one of my passions to have more rehabilitators work towards a better understanding of the animals they rehabilitate by monitoring them after release, and radio tracking is one way of doing that.
Describe a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
Achieving my current position as Head of Wildlife at the RSPCA would definitely rank highly here.
If you could choose, who would you have as a mentor?
I was lucky to have Dr. David Macdonald as a mentor when I was working with his research unit in Oxford. If I was to choose another, then I would choose Dr. Jane Goodall.
If you were to do something else professionally, what would it be?
I would still like to work outside, but if not wildlife orientated, perhaps a ranger or something similar?
If you could be a wild animal, which would you be?
What is the thing for which you have waited the longest in line for?
I honestly can’t remember!
What excites you so much that it keeps you awake the night before?
Traveling, especially flying!
Describe any companion animals that you share your home and life with.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any companion animals with me at home, but I do get my dog fix in the office. Our office has a dog friendly policy, and there are a number of dogs that I see regularly, including a beautiful Irish setter called Bridie. She was rescued from awful conditions by the RSPCA and has now been re-homed by one of my colleagues. She is very photogenic and has a wonderful temperament!