Senior Conservation Breeding Officer

About me

I grew up not far from WWT Slimbridge and have fond memories of visits to the centre with my family and on school trips, from a young age. I have been interested in wildlife for as long as I can remember but my passion for birds in particular, really kick-started during my time volunteering alongside the reserve team at Slimbridge following my university studies. I really enjoyed my time at Bristol University where I obtained a BSc Honours in Biology. I have always had a caring instinct, my father always thought a career in nursing would follow for me. I suppose my current role at WWT is not far from this, providing care for the captive spoon-billed sandpipers and godwit chicks for Project Godwit, prior to their release. As well as a keenness for birds and other wildlife, I also enjoy playing netball, walking and travelling the world.

Work

In 2011, I was part of the Great Crane Project team, assisting with the specialised costume-rearing of Eurasian cranes for release, in Somerset.

Following this I joined the conservation breeding unit, as main carer to the captive spoon-billed sandpiper population at Slimbridge and played a key role in successfully hatching and rearing 17 spoon-billed sandpipers in 2012. In 2013, I was a member of the expedition team responsible for headstarting spoon-billed sandpipers in Chukotka, arctic Russia.

In 2017, I began my role as lead aviculturalist on Project Godwit, the 2017-21 EU Life Project to headstart black-tailed godwits at WWT Welney. Since 2017, 112 birds have been released and the number of pairs at the Ouse washes has increased from three to twelve. Released birds have returned each year following the initial release, and successful nesting has been observed.

Skills

  • Egg collection and translocation.
  • Egg incubation and hatching and rearing of waterbirds including ducks, waders and cranes, in captivity and for release.
  • Bird surveying and monitoring.
  • Bird handling.
  • Reporting, data gathering and analysis.
  • Communications e.g. giving commentated feeds, writing blogs, giving interviews for press, radio and TV.