Innovative mammal conservation

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Conservation Team

Dr Jenny MacPherson – Principal Scientist

As Principal Scientist for VWT, Jenny oversees the design and implementation of the Trust’s research projects to ensure they are rigorous and of the highest scientific standard. Jenny is a zoologist with a background in research on a range of mammal species, including pine marten, dormice, red squirrel, water vole and mink. She gained an MSc in conservation at University College London and then went on to a PhD at Royal Holloway. She joined the Trust in 2011 as project officer on the Mammals in a Sustainable Environment (MISE) project, working with volunteers and local communities on surveys and conservation of a range of mammal species in west Wales. In 2014, Jenny became the Trust’s Pine Marten Project Manager, managing the Pine Marten Recovery Project for England and Wales and the reinforcement of pine martens in Wales. She became Principal Scientist (formerly Science and Research Programme Manager) in 2018.

Jenny holds a number of honorary positions including Visiting Fellow University of Exeter, Member of DEFRA Reintroductions Task Force , Associate Editor Ecological Solutions and Evidence , Review Editor (Human Wildlife Interaction) Frontiers in Conservation, Open University Human Research Ethics Committee external member,  BIAZA Reintroductions Advisory Group member and member of IUCN Small Carnivore Specialist Group. Office: Maesllyn, Ceredigion.

Daniel Hargreaves – Bat Programme Manager

As Bat Programme Manager, Daniel leads the development and delivery of VWT’s Bat Programme in line with the Trust’s Ten-year Strategy. Daniel rescued his first bat when he was seven years old and has been fascinated by bats ever since. He has been involved with numerous global bat conservation projects, working with a wide range of species and helping to develop conservation initiatives in many countries, including Costa Rica, Thailand and Zambia. He was awarded the Pete Guest Award in 2012 for inspiring others and making an outstanding practical contribution to bat conservation. Daniel has also worked with many bat groups in the UK and developed the National Nathusius Pipistrelle Project to understand the migratory behaviour of this fascinating species. Daniel holds a number of honorary positions including membership of  the UK Bat Steering Group, Eurobats, the Natur am Byth steering group, and the Pembrokeshire Barbastelle Working Group. Daniel joined the Trust in June 2022 Office: Burtle, Somerset.

Dr Stephanie Johnstone – Project Manager for Martens on the Move

Following her role as Project Manager during the successful development phase of VWT's Martens on the Move project, Stephanie joined VWT in January 2024 as Project Manager for the four year delivery phase of the project, enabled by a further grant award from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. She has a background in conservation biology and endangered species management and over twenty years’ experience of working with landowners and volunteers to achieve landscape-scale conservation outcomes. Stephanie is from Australia where she undertook her undergraduate degree and PhD at the Australian School of Environmental Studies, Griffith University. Her PhD on the spotted-tailed quoll, a marsupial carnivore, was based in the Gondwana Rainforest World Heritage and the Darling Downs areas of the east coast and involved collaborations with Queensland and New South Wales Parks Services. Stephanie moved to Scotland from Australia in 2007 and has spent five years working as an ecological consultant and almost ten years working on red squirrel conservation, most recently with the Scottish Wildlife Trust on their Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels project. Stephanie Is Chair of the Dumfries and Galloway Pine Marten Group and is interested in all things carnivore and landscape scale species recovery. Office: Dalbeattie, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Victoria Chanin — Martens on the Move Project Officer

Victoria joined VWT in March 2024 as Project Officer with Martens on the Move. She will be working in the south of Scotland and north of England setting up a network of volunteers and training them in monitoring and surveying pine martens in Strategic Recovery Areas. Victoria comes to VWT from Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels, where she was Project officer first in southwest Scotland and then the southeast. Supporting eighteen volunteer groups carrying out grey squirrel control to protect red squirrel populations, she trained them in monitoring and surveying using camera traps and feeder boxes, as well as identifying hair samples using a microscope. Before that Victoria honed her surveying skills as a freelance ecologist doing mainly bat and plant surveys across south Scotland. Victoria is Secretary of the Dumfries and Galloway Pine Marten Group where she can indulge in her passion for monitoring wildlife and getting out into the woods with like-minded people. In her spare time she is studying a Masters in Wildlife and Conservation Management and about to start her dissertation which may well involve pine martens and survey techniques. Office: Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Lucy Nord — Martens on the Move Project Officer

Lucy joined VWT in spring 2024 as a Project Officer with Martens on the Move, focusing on the Pine Marten Monitoring Hubs and Haven in Wales and bordering English counties. They have spent the last two years working on the Bannau Brycheiniog Pine Marten Project, setting up camera traps and den boxes in the National Park to monitor pine martens dispersing from the reintroduction sites in mid-Wales and the Forest of Dean. Lucy had a previous life as a commercial solicitor. Wanting to follow their passion for wildlife, they switched into working in conservation in 2020 following a placement monitoring kiwis and their mammal predators in a New Zealand forest sanctuary. They went on to gain experience in mammal conservation at Sea Watch Foundation on their cetacean monitoring programme, but pine martens have enduringly stolen their heart. They wrote their BSc dissertation on the use of scat analysis to study pine marten diet so they have already developed a reputation for collecting poo. Office: Bristol

Rowie Burcham — Martens on the Move Communications and Engagement Officer

Rowie joined VWT in March 2024 as Communications and Engagement Officer for the Martens on the Move Project. Her role will include engaging a wider audience with the importance (and charisma) of pine martens and ways of getting involved with the project. She will also support VWT’s Communications Team to highlight the project’s wider work. Rowie has a background in environmental education, having previously worked as Outreach and Education Officer for the Alderney Wildlife Trust in the Channel Islands where she delivered a variety of engagement events, co-led the Pollinator Project and ran the Nature’s Classroom campaign to encourage the use of outdoor spaces for educational purposes. With support from the island’s community, Nature’s Classroom won the Channel Islands Insurance Corporation ‘School and Youth Group Green Award’ in spring 2023. Rowie graduated from Bangor University in 2020 with a BSc (Hons) in Zoology with Conservation with International Experience and, as part of her degree, worked at Seal Rescue Ireland as an Animal Care and Public Education Intern. In 2021, she spent a fantastic summer volunteering on Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire, learning different ecological survey methods and working with visitors to the island. Office: Ledbury.

Marina Bollo Palacios – Senior Bat Conservation Officer

Marina joined the trust in 2018. As part of her role, she manages the Trust’s lesser horseshoe bat reserves in England and Wales, which includes monitoring the bat colonies, maintaining the roosts and enhancing them for the bats, all with the help of VWT volunteers. Marina also leads on the long-term ringing projects for Barbastelles and Bechstein’s bat in Malvern (Worcestershire) and Bracketts Coppice (Dorset). She also helps in the delivery of other bat projects. Marina completed a degree in Biology and a MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation at the University of Sevilla, Spain and has been involved in conservation projects within various taxa in Britain, Portugal, Peru and Spain. She joined Vincent Wildlife Trust after working as a research assistant for the University of Sevilla. Marina enjoys problem solving and working with volunteers, and feels privileged to work so closely to bats. Office: Ledbury.

Jim Mullholland – Senior Bat Conservation Officer

Jim joined the Trust in 2023 as Senior Bat Conservation Officer. He is an ecologist and arboriculturist with specialisms in veteran trees and bats. He has worked for national charities — the Ancient Tree Forum and the Arboricultural Association — during which time he helped raise professional standards by writing industry guidance, delivering high-quality education and promoting cross-discipline working. He is an active bat researcher and is currently leading targeted research for Bechstein’s and barbastelle bats. Office: Ledbury.

Katherine Morley – Carnivore Conservation Officer

Katherine joined the Trust in June 2023 as Carnivore Conservation Officer. Childhood holidays in Scotland stirred up a passion for the natural world and she later completed her undergraduate degree in Animal Behaviour at Liverpool John Moores University before going on to complete her Master’s degree in Conservation Biology at Manchester Metropolitan University. Before moving into ecological consultancy, Katherine joined Cheshire Wildlife Trust as a trainee officer based in Delamere Forest, alongside other volunteer roles. During her time in consultancy she gained several years of experience in protected species surveying and mitigation and worked on a variety of projects from small developments to national infrastructure schemes. Office: Ledbury.

Max Henderson — Wildcat Project Officer

Max joined the team as Wildcat Project Officer in 2023.

Following childhood aspirations to become a “Geordie Steve Irwin”, Max started out volunteering on local conservation projects in the North East before receiving a bachelor’s in biology at Newcastle University.

After traveling abroad to study crocodilian endocrinology in his second and third years, he joined a Master’s programme in the US to study the reproductive health of crocodilian populations exposed to anabolic steroids and DDT.

Alongside his research, he worked to engage local people with environmental projects at an environmental field station in New Orleans and developed a keen interest in community-led environmental action.

Since then, Max has worked to support a variety of Welsh community-led environmental projects and to establish a housing co-operative for new-entrant farmers in Carmarthenshire. Office: Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.

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