Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT)
Sven is based in Scotland, UK and has worked as a Reserves Manager for the Scottish Wildlife Trust since 2006. He has been responsible for a wide range of reserves and habitats across Scotland, including woodland, grassland, wetland and a major seabird colony.
Prior to working for the Trust, Sven obtained a First Class BSc degree from Edinburgh University, with honours in Conservation and Ecological Management. His undergraduate dissertation investigated the effects of within species competition on the productivity of a mountain birch forest in the Swedish Arctic, carrying out the fieldwork for the project while working for the summer at Abisko Research station.
Immediately after graduating he spend three months working for the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh on a fascinating project investigating the ecology of scrub and montane willows in Scotland. Sven went on to work for an environmental consultancy as an Ecological Clerk of Works on a major windfarm development in Central Scotland, joining the core practice as an Ecologist once the development was completed. Following this, he spent a year with the Forestry Commission Scotland in the Grants and Licencing department, assisting with casework across the Central, West and islands of Scotland.
Sven loves to spend time in nature, hiking, walking, camping, and wild swimming, seldom missing an opportunity to get into the water regardless of temperature, and completed a 10km open water swim in 2014. His interest in forests, trees, and wood stems from a passion for nature and the environment and from his compulsion to create beautiful and functional objects using a wide range of materials. His use of a range of techniques from modern joinery to green woodwork and spoon carving has more recently expanded into tool-making and blacksmithing.
Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC)
Danni is a conservation biologist based in Scotland, UK. She works for the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), helping with the nationwide Seabird Monitoring Programme and the current Seabirds Count census.
Her career began with an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Conservation, based in Canterbury in Kent, England. Her dissertation looked at amphibian diversity in the Peruvian Amazon, where she carried out fieldwork in the depths of the jungle, achieving one of her biggest life goals at an early age. Following this, she helped to run a winter shelter for the homeless and worked freelance on great crested newt surveys before leaving for New Zealand.
On the other side of the world she worked with the Department of Conservation in New Zealand, tackling the non-native and invasive great white butterfly (Pieris brassicae), a successful project which became the world’s first butterfly eradication. She made the most of her time travelling, learning what she could about the flora and fauna of New Zealand, Tonga and Mexico.
Returning to the UK to undertake an MSc by Research, she explored the effects of climate change on the breeding phenology (the timing of life cycle events with seasonal variations in climate) of the UK’s three native newt species. Alongside this, she managed Handa Island with her partner, where a love for seabirds blossomed and led her to pursue her current career path.
Wildlife is her passion and she loves to get outdoors, especially to document what she finds through photography. She was highly commended in the British Wildlife Photography Awards 2018 and has published a book titled ‘Handa Island’, showcasing the wonderful wildlife that inhabits the island and drawing attention to the pressures that many of our species are facing. She loves spending weekends camping in the woods, recording moths and ringing birds. She believes that survey and monitoring is key to wildlife conservation, and as such, is a keen naturalist, always striving to improve her ID skills and increase our collective knowledge through data collection.
Colin is a Search Analyst based in Brighton, England where he works for an international culturalisation and localisation organisation. With a focus on facilitating communication and understanding cultural nuance in Search, Colin’s role has been geared towards encouraging companies, communities and individuals to more effectively receive and disseminate information across a broad spectrum of topics.
Colin’s career began in Event Management, which after completing an undergraduate degree in Edinburgh, Scotland resulted in him organising and managing public environmental and culture-change events, particularly in the South West of England. Colin subsequently undertook a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development, which focused on understanding the international dialogues and policy decisions surrounding current sustainable development themes – from conservation to cultural preservation. This culminated in a thesis that sought to establish a greater understanding of how the nurturing of western political and policy agendas in South Asian nations (as a mechanism for enhancing sustainable growth) is contributing to a loss of traditions and a blurring of the lines between local communities.
As a volunteer for a local Brighton Environmental Education Charity, Colin’s work has focused on enabling easy-to-digest information become accessible to the general public on some of the most pressing issues that exist in the world today. With a particular interest in fostering collaborative links between academia and industry, Colin is keen to explore alternative avenues for how academic insights can be utilised effectively between individuals, communities and companies.
Whilst Colin’s job resides mostly behind a desk, he remains an avid skier with a real passion for mountain sports especially if it can be climbed, descended at speed, or results in a jaw-dropping view. Besides winter and mountain sports, Colin also has a keen interest in the French Dub sub-genre of music and has a real passion for subjective idealist philosophy and Western-Eastern fusion philosophies which can both be seen as avenues that explore the essential nature of what it means to be from a cross-section of seemingly conflicting stances.
Alka Wildlife, o.p.s.
Hannah is based in the Czech Republic, working for a conservation NGO. Alka Wildlife, o.p.s. focuses on developing research projects, identifying major threats and planning conservation measures for endangered species. Hannah’s role is split across three main target species; the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) and European ground squirrel (Spermophilus citellus). Her current role involves snow tracking, habitat monitoring and animal trapping and marking. She is also helping the organisation adapt their social media content and website to become more engaging to a wider audience including English translations, increased content and online presence.
Hannah has a broad background which began with her undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Science at Oxford Brookes University, England. She developed a comprehensive understanding of the human body and developed an interest in research while circumnavigating Mont Blanc for one of her earlier projects. Her dissertation focussed on the psychological changes we make to persevere through challenging situations and the physiological adaptations which occur in response to altitude and intense exercise. After graduating, she started her career in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) as a children’s Ward Manager in Oxford. Then, after moving to Bristol, coordinated a ground-breaking trial into Parkinson’s disease.
Hannah is an expedition leader, using her own personal knowledge and experience to lead groups of young people across the world, specialising in the Peruvian Amazon. Recently, she has led for the British Exploring Society to provide young explorers with ‘adventure with a purpose’, taking them into wilderness areas to explore, discover and share. Following her expedition in the summer of 2018, Hannah was nominated for the Watson Leader of the Year Award.
Marcus is a Software Engineer based in Bristol, England where he works for a financial technology company focused on fleet hire and management. He spends his time using an engineering approach to solve the many hidden problems created by modern, complex computer systems. His primary focus is on web development and design, tackling how to create experiences with minimal complexity and maximum engagement from end users.
Marcus began his career as a Graphic Designer, having completed his undergraduate degree in Visual Arts at the University of Greenwich. Noticing a gap in his skillset he went on to complete an MSc in Information Technology at the University of the West of England. Marcus then learned about the current challenges facing everyone who owns and maintains a computer system or deals with any amount of data outside of a spreadsheet, as well as how to understand and engage the people who use those systems. Alongside this he developed his understanding of software development, teaching himself to code in his spare time. He wrote his dissertation on effective management and storage of big data; the vast quantity, speed and variety of which has become commonplace only in recent years, and will continue to create obstacles for years to come.
Outside of his desk job, Marcus refuses to stay still unless sleeping. He has a passion for everything outdoors; he is an avid climber and mountain biker, and loves to ski and snowboard as often as he can. Surfing has become a recent passion for him and he is easily convinced to try out anything new, be it on land, water or in the air. He is a fan of popular science and has specific interests in Biology and Physics, he is currently learning about genetics and would one day like to pursue a career linking his current profession to his interest in this field.