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.
Laura joined the Trust in 2020 as Volunteering and Community Engagement Officer. After completing a Zoology degree at the University of Liverpool she joined the RSPB as a warden intern to gain experience of conservation work in the UK. This led to other volunteer roles and employment in the sector, including a year with Chester Zoo, Cheshire Wildlife Trust and rECOrd on a biodiversity traineeship. Laura joined VWT after working as a Ranger for six years with the National Trust. Working as a volunteer and with volunteers has been a core part of Laura's experience. Office: Ledbury.
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 mammal species, with a particular focus on meso-carnivores and conservation translocations. Office: Southwell, Nottinghamshire and Ledbury.
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 more than 25 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. Office: Headford, County Galway.
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. Steve joined the Trust in 2016 to develop the Trust's carnivore conservation and research programme. 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. Office: Amberley, Gloucestershire.