Meet The Team
Fiona Mathews, Chair
Fiona has been Chair of the Mammal Society since 2015 and is also Professor of Environmental Biology, University of Sussex. She led the Review of the Population and Conservation Status of British Mammals, and is particularly interested in linking scientific research with policy and ecological practice. She currently holds a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship to work on minimising the conservation impacts of major infrastructure projects.
Kate has been a member of the Mammal Society since 1999 and has sat on Council previously with several roles. She is founder of Cornwall Mammal Group and sits on both the Cornwall and Devon Mammal Group committees. Her working background was with the Wildlife Trusts, but for the last 10 years she has been an ecologist at South West Water, with a new focus on invasive species.
Rodger Pressland, Honorary Treasurer
Rodger is a member of the Chartered Institute of Managements Accountants, with experience gained in the accountancy profession; commercial, NHS and Charity sectors. He holds a diploma in Charity Accounting, from the Institute of Chartered Accountants and an MSc in Charity Accounting and Financial Management from the Cass Business School, City University London. He plans to keep us on track financially and use his charity sector expertise to help further the Society’s aims generally.
Paul Chanin, President
Paul has been a member of the Society since he was a teenager; his interest in mammals sparked by reading the first edition of its Handbook. He is now semi-retired after careers as a University lecturer and then as an ecological consultant, specialising in mammals, particularly otters, dormice and badgers.
Graham Smith, Chair of Science Advisory Committee
Graham is a Lead Scientist for the National Wildlife Management Centre (NWMC) at York, which is part of the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), an executive agency of Defra. He completed undergraduate study at Aberdeen University and a PhD at Bristol University looking at urban foxes and the potential control of rabies by developing a simulation model. In addition to foxes and rabies, his research has covered diseases (e.g. badgers and bovine TB, bat rabies, fox parasites), population management (e.g. rabbits) and even honey bees, Asian hornets and non-native species control. Graham has been a member of the Mammal Society since 1985, where, having spent a few years editing Short Communications in the early 2000s, he is now on the editorial board of Mammal Review and is now the Chair of Science Advisory Committee.
John is Emeritus Professor of Ecology, Queen Mary University of London with interests in the behaviour, ecology, welfare and management of mammals, particularly mice, voles, shrews, squirrels and beavers. He has been a member of the Society for over 50 years and is a past Council Member, Honorary Secretary and Conference Secretary. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of Mammal Communications.
Kate is a previous Council member of the Mammal Society, serving a term as Honorary Secretary from 2008 to 2014. She lives and works in the beautiful mountains of Snowdonia, where she is co-director of Cambrian Ecology Ltd, an ecological consultancy working across North and Mid Wales. Along with her colleagues, she set up and ran the Snowdonia Mammal Group (now North Wales Mammal Group) for several years, before passing on the baton to a new committee. Kate’s main ecological interest is in mammals and she has been involved in a number of research projects voluntarily, both at home and abroad. She looks forward to continuing her support of the Society in the new role of Conference Organiser.
After 17 years as a member of the Mammal Society, this is Pam’s first term as a Council member, having been elected in 2015, and she also serves on the Training Committee. Pam lives in Kent and has been the chair of the Kent Mammal Group since 2012, as well as taking an active volunteer role in the Kent Bat Group. Working as a lecturer at Hadlow College, she leads the programme for BSc Animal Conservation and Biodiversity and has a special interest in the applications of hand-held thermal imaging cameras to dormouse monitoring and bat surveying.
Derek is the founder chair of the Staffordshire mammal group, which was established in 2000. He has spent 37 years watching otters at Leighton Moss and elsewhere. He is co-ordinating the Mammal Society’s UK Atlas project.
Training & Events Officer – Rose Toney
Rose is the go-to person for queries relating to our programme of training and events. She is a big advocate for engaging people in all aspects of wildlife recording and conservation and has developed a number of citizen science initiatives. Rose has an MRes in Ecology from the University of Aberdeen and, before joining us, she coordinated the North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership for eight years, where she developed a love for pine martens. When not working, Rose can usually be found setting and checking camera traps or chasing butterflies.
Post-doctoral Scientific Officer – Frazer Coomber
Frazer joined the mammal society in February 2018 as a post-doctoral research officer. He completed his PhD at the University of Genoa where he studied the impact of shipping traffic on Cuvier’s beaked whales in the Mediterranean Sea. Frazer is passionate about all mammals and is interested in the effect of human disturbance on their ecology.
Data & Information Officer – Beth Smith
Beth joined in October 2018 to help answer general enquiries and analyse data from key citizen science projects, predominantly the Mammal Mapper App and Ecobat. Beth recently gained her Master’s from Imperial College London where she developed environmental DNA surveys to detect water voles and American mink in UK waterways and used camera traps to investigate the temporal responses of brown bears to human presence in Croatia. She is particularly interested in the linkages between aquatic and terrestrial systems, and where mammals feature in connecting the two.
Finance & Membership Officer – Janet Pressland
Janet covers all areas of finance and membership, including: monetary transactions; liaising with members, suppliers, bankers and advisors; increasing the efficiency of financial and membership systems, and producing annual accounts and financial reports for the Trustees. She is a qualified chartered accountant with over 30 years accounting experience in the not-for-profit sector, having worked for the NHS, The Woodland Trust, Barnados & 4 Children, to name but a few. Janet’s working days are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. When she is not working, she loves walking, gardening and being a volunteer for her local Dorset Wildlife Trust.