Meet The Team
Steph carried out a PhD on brown hares at the University of Bristol in the 1990s and carried on working with protected mammal species throughout her career in as an ecological consultant, developing best practice in survey and mitigation for a range of species, for which she was awarded the Mammal Society medal in 2011. Since a post-doc project on Livingstone’s bat in the Comores, Steph has had a particular interest in bats and is a member of Natural England’s Bat Expert Panel. Steph has been a Director of Biocensus since 2011 and founded the specialist consultancy Nature Positive in 2020 where she specialises in business impacts on biodiversity, natural capital and ecosystem services.
Derek Crawley, Vice-Chair and Training Committee Chair
I have been a member of the Society for about 30 years, playing a more active role in the last 20 years. Previously I sat on Council for six years as Local Group Representative, retiring in 2018 but remaining co-opted for two years. I am a Trainer for the Society and currently sit on both the Training and Local Group Committees. I lead Verification of mammal records on iRecord for the Society which followed on from the coordinating records for the Atlas Project with its’ subsequent publication in 2020. I received the Society’s Medal in 2021. I am the founder chair of the Staffordshire Mammal Group and in my spare time for work I am a land based assessor and verifier for vocational qualifications, watch Otters and record as many mammals as possible wherever I am.
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.
Victoria Chanin, Honorary Secretary
Victoria Chanin has been working with Scottish Wildlife Trust in their Saving Scotland’s’ Red Squirrels project as both Project Officer for the South West, and Communications and Public Engagement Officer for the project since 2019. Prior to that, Victoria did bat, badger and botanical surveys as a sub-contractor for Alpha Ecology, a consultancy based in South-West Scotland, while volunteering at National Trust Scotland site Grey Mare’s Tail, an upland nature research with many botanical treasures, wild goats and peregrines nesting regularly. When Victoria isn’t working she enjoys a bit of swimming in local lochs throughout the year and getting out into the mountains with her son and dogs.
Penny Lewns, President
Penny graduated from Royal Holloway College, University of London in the 1980s with a degree in zoology and a keen interest in mammalogy, thanks to mentor and Mammal Society stalwart Dr Pat Morris. Her professional career was kick-started when she landed a job based at Bristol University undertaking a National Badger Survey, involving a 5-year long road trip in a camper van! In 1990, Penny became one of the first Ecological Consultants in the UK, running The Badger Consultancy, later renamed Protected Species Ecology. She specialises in Ecological Impact Assessments and protected species surveys, particularly for badgers, bats and dormice. Alongside her professional work, Penny has had a long involvement with The Mammal Society: as a member, as well as serving on committees and running field trips. She has been a trainer with The Mammal Society for over 15 years, and is a part-time lecturer at School of Life Long Learning, Aberystwyth University.
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.
Roo Campbell, Conference Secretary
Roo Campbell is a Mammals Advisor with NatureScot. Roo researched his DPhil on demography and life-history of the Eurasian beaver at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), University of Oxford, and the University of South-Eastern Norway. He has an MSc in Applied Ecology and Conservation from UEA in Norwich and a BSc (Hons) in Zoology from the University of Glasgow. Past work includes in situ wildcat conservation manager for Scottish Wildcat Action; GPS research on the behaviour of wild-living cats in Scotland; leading the first survey of beavers in the Tay river system; collaborative research on the behaviour of striated caracara in the Falkland Island; surveying wildcats for the Cairngorm Wildcat Project; small mammal and bat monitoring in southern England; and monitoring the beavers released at Ham Fen in Kent.
Sally is Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM), the leading professional body for ecologists and environmental managers in the UK and Ireland. In addition to overseeing the running of the Institute she currently leads on the CIEEM’s professional standards and professional development work and is actively involved in policy engagement and outreach work. Sally is a member of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising.
Rose Toney, Local Groups Committee Chair – email@example.com
Rose is the former Training and Events Officer for the Mammal Society and has continued to take an active role as a volunteer since leaving her position in 2020. She currently sits on three of the Society’s special interest groups: Training Committee, Local Groups Committee and Conference and Events Committee. With an MRes in Ecology from Aberdeen University, she has spent most of her career engaging with a diverse range of stakeholders from across conservation practice, policy, communities and research to take action to preserve the UK’s natural heritage. She has a particular interest in community science and mobilising local action to protect and enhance biodiversity. She has worked in a range of engagement roles within the third sector, research and statutory agencies for more than fourteen years and particularly enjoys working with volunteers. She has a keen interest in recording methods, which she has explored both through her professional roles and as a long-term volunteer for a number of organisations, including the monitoring of a Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve for over a decade, where she recorded the first records of Pine Marten and Water Shrew (her favourite mammals!) at the site.
Helen Mitcheson, Council Member
Helen is an environmental solicitor practicing in England and Wales and is part of the Planning and Environment Team at Trowers & Hamlins LLP as well as being co-director of the not for profit Cet Law which specialises in furthering law and policy to protect cetaceans . Prior to qualifying as a solicitor Helen worked as a marine mammal scientist and environmental consultant in the UK, the United States and Canada. It was two summers spent in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, learning about the plight of the North Atlantic Right Whale that opened Helen’s eyes to the importance of the interaction between scientific knowledge and law, and in particular the effective communication of this with regulators and policy makers. This was a major factor prompting Helen to pursue a career in environmental law. Helen has an MRes in Marine Mammal Science from the University of St Andrews and an LLM in Environmental Law from Newcastle University. She regularly presents on the interaction between marine mammal science and law, including at both marine mammal and legal conferences. Helen is also a guest lecturer on this topic at the University of St Andrews. Helen also has a number of roles within the UK Environmental Law Association, including being a member of the Nature Conservation Working Party and she is qualified marine mammal medic with the British Divers Marine Life Rescue.
Dawn Scott, Council Member
Dawn is a Head of Life Sciences at Keele University. She is also chair of the Sussex Mammal Group. Her research interests are in small mammals, carnivores, landscape ecology, wildlife management and human-wildlife interactions.
Tim Hounsome, Council Member
Ecological consultant Tim has spent much of his career accidentally working on a variety of mammals in the UK and abroad. His earliest memory of mammal fieldwork was as an eight-year-old boy fetching Longworth traps from the undergrowth in Woodchester Park for the late Derek Yalden. In a quirk of fate, and after a stint of chasing mink around Cheshire for his BSc and MRes dissertations, Tim returned to Woodchester Park 16 years later but this time to work at the badger research unit. He spent ten years here during which time he completed his PhD on the effects of badgers and livestock on ground nesting birds. This was part of a wider project that was looking at the interactions of many UK mammals in relation to badgers. As a result, this “ornithologist” spent most of his time designing and carrying out monitoring programmes of many UK mammals.
CEO – Andy Bool firstname.lastname@example.org
From a very young age I’ve had an enduring fascination with nature and have been lucky enough to come up close to lots of amazing animals over the years (my current favourite being surrounded by orcas on a boat trip off the south coast of Iceland in 2020). I’m passionate about making a positive difference for animals and their environment and have been lucky enough to be able to pursue that passion through working for conservation organisations over the last 15 years. I’m delighted to be able to bring my experience and passion to help the Mammal Society to grow over the coming years and achieve its goal of doing even more to influence the protection of UK mammals.
Post-doctoral Science Officer – Frazer Coomber email@example.com
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 – Charlie Le Marquand firstname.lastname@example.org
After completing her BSc in Zoology at Swansea University, Charlie gained an MRes in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation from Imperial College London and joined the Mammal Society as data and information officer in October 2019. Her research has included investigating the distribution of hedgehogs on the island of Guernsey using footprint tunnels and citizen science, looking at habitat usage of foxes in urban parks using camera traps and modelling how urbanisation as a land-use change affects local biodiversity.
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 to Wednesday. When she is not working, she loves walking, gardening and being a volunteer for her local Dorset Wildlife Trust.
Beth joined Mammal Society in October 2018 as Data & Information Officer. She has now left this role to pursue a PhD at Nottingham Trent University, but is still sticking by us as our Student Officer. In this role Beth is coordinating the University Mammal Challenge (UMAC) and Student Spotlight blogs, as well as organising student research projects and student elements of our events and conferences.
Sophie also completed her BSc in Zoology at Swansea University, but went to work in an animal movement lab using the latest tagging technologies to discover the secret lives of animals. From there she worked as a Field Biologist, leading educational trips throughout South East Asia in varying ecosystems, before returning to the UK to work with children. Sophie loves sharing all things science, and works through the charity’s socials to spark a lasting connection with followers to the natural world.
Broadcaster and children’s author Zeb Soanes is the Mammal Society’s first patron. Zeb is passionate about the natural world and looks forward to sharing the Society’s valuable work with a wider audience.