Averil joined the VWT team in October 2022 as Operations Manager. She is keen to contribute to the local and national charitable sector, particularly in the arenas of sustainability and environmental conservation, having previously worked in HR and Administration at Herefordshire Wildlife Trust and the Bulmer / Brightspace Foundation. Prior to working for these charities, Averil was involved with local council administration, being a Clerk to two parish councils and a Project Officer for Herefordshire Association of Local Councils. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Masters in Arthurian Literature. Office: Ledbury.
As Head of Conservation, Sam's role is to lead the development and delivery of VWT’s Conservation and Science work in line with the Trust’s Ten-year Strategy. Sam joined VWT as Head of Conservation in May 2023. She completed her undergraduate degree in Zoology at the University of Aberdeen and an MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare at the University of Edinburgh. Her PhD with The Queen’s University, Belfast, assessed the impact of individual behaviour of captive-bred swift fox reintroduced on to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Montana, USA. Following six years as a research biologist with the Endangered Species Recovery Program in California, Sam returned to the UK to work as a Senior Lecturer and then Associate Professor at Nottingham Trent University, where she led the Species Recovery Unit and a species-recovery focused Masters programme. She has worked on conservation programmes for a range of species, with a particular focus on meso-carnivores and conservation translocations.
Sam holds a number of honorary positions, including the IUCN National Species Survival Working Group; Mammal Society Scientific Advisory Committee; member of the Association of the Study of Animal Behaviour; the Editorial Review Board of Frontiers in Veterinary Science: Animal Behaviour & Welfare; member of the IUCN Conservation Translocation Specialist Group and Canid Specialist Group; and is the UK IUCN Focal Person representing the IUCN UK National Committee to the Species Survival Commission. In addition, Sam sits on several regional or species-specific working and advisory groups. Office: Southwell, Nottinghamshire and Ledbury.
As Ireland Mammal Programme Manager, Kate covers a wide range of duties, from engaging with statutory and other bodies, managing bat reserves, fundraising, producing educational material and conducting practical research. With over 30 years’ experience working in Ireland in the conservation and research of Irish mammals, she is also an experienced educator and adept at public engagement and partnership building. She has recognised the importance of managing conflict to reduce the impact on all parties (including wildlife), and this experience has helped her bring conservation projects to successful outcomes. Kate sits on the Steering Committee of the Lesser Horseshoe Bat SAP and is also on the committee of Dark Sky Ireland.
Office: Headford, County Galway.
As Carnivore Programme Manager, Steve is responsible for VWTs portfolio of carnivore conservation projects and activities in line with the Trust’s Ten-year Strategy. Steve is a zoologist with a background in research on a number of mammal species, including water voles and badgers, and with a particular interest in the smaller carnivores. He has a PhD, from Royal Holloway University of London, on the impacts of introduced predators and their management for conservation. Prior to joining the Trust, Steve worked for many years as a wildlife biologist with the Animal and Plant Health Agency, managing projects on the development and deployment of TB vaccines for badgers. Steve holds a number of honorary positions including visiting lecturer, College of Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, member of IUCN Small Carnivore Specialist Group, The Mammal Society’s Scientific Advisory Committee and the Editorial Board of Mammal Communications. Steve joined the Trust in 2016. Office: Amberley, Gloucestershire.