I grew up near the Ramsar sites of County Wexford, where as a teenager I started working on habitat surveys, largely for windfarms. After studying Chinese in SOAS I lived in China, New Zealand, and Belgium, where I worked in radio and NGO communications. I formally retrained as a conservation scientist in 2016 and started at WWT in 2018.
Most of my work is with voluntary partners outside WWT and the UK. I help the partners engage their local public and schoolchildren on the wonder and value of wetlands. The main networks I help are: the World Wetland Network, Wetland Link International and its East Atlantic Flyway initiative called Migratory Birds for People, and the Biowet Erasmus+ programme. I help find the knowledge and expertise of the network and share it with others. Much of this is behind a computer screen, by Skype, email, and social media, with occasional in-person meetings. Another very rewarding aspect of my job is supervising a capacity-building internship we run at Slimbridge for wetlands engagement colleagues from other countries.