WWT

About me

I have been passionate about nature for as long as I can remember, doubtlessly fuelled by the countless trips to local nature reserves on the Catalan coast where I grew up, and fond memories of summers spent in the Scottish Highlands. My love of birds and wildlife eventually led me to pursue a career in conservation, and after finishing my schooling in Spain I returned to the UK to complete my higher education. It was during this time that I spotted my first avocet in the UK at Slimbridge, an encounter which to this day remains etched in my memory.

I graduated in BSc Zoology from the University of Aberdeen in 2016, and went on to obtain an MSc in Conservation & Biodiversity a year later from the University of Exeter. I worked on a various research projects during this time, collaborating with both conservation NGOs such as the Vincent Wildlife Trust as well as research institutions such as Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). I also volunteered for conservation organisations such as the RSPB and WDC during this time. Following the completion of my postgraduate studies, I returned to Slimbridge once again to begin working as an Ecosystem Health Officer for WWT.

Work

I joined the Ecosystem Health Unit in 2018 and currently work on a variety of projects relating to WWT’s wild and captive animal health programmes, providing support across the unit. I coordinate WWT’s Dead Bird Surveillance and am responsible for conducting a range of laboratory procedures relevant to wild and captive animal health. I work on various projects relating to animal disease, namely lead poisoning and Sarcocystis in wildfowl, and contribute to WWT’s quarterly report for the GB Wildlife Disease Surveillance Programme. I am also involved in projects which have a more social focus, specifically looking at the health and well-being benefits of wetlands and the issue of illegal shooting of Bewick swans. Furthermore, I am collaborating with researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) to investigate crop selection in greylag geese.

Skills

I have worked extensively in the field over the past five years, gaining experience in a range of field skills including trapping, handling, and releasing wild animals. I also have experience of habitat surveying, specifically to detect signs of water vole presence. Furthermore, I am experienced in performing a range of laboratory procedures and diagnostic tests, including PCRs and ELISAs. I well-practiced at handling large datasets, with database management being key to many of my roles. I am also proficient in data analysis, ranging from mixed-effect models in R to performing spatial analyses in GIS.