The BCT team is made up of dedicated professionals who are passionate about bats and the conservation of our wildlife.
Julia Hanmer, Joint Chief Executive
Julia has worked at BCT since 1998, on the London Bat Project, then as BCT’s first Chief Executive. After having a break to start a family, Julia returned to BCT as Deputy Chief Executive, and then in 2009 moved back into the Chief Executive position. From 2014 she became Joint Chief Executive with Kit Stoner.
Julia has more than 17 years' experience of developing conservation projects and raising money to make them happen. Previously she worked at the Mammal Society, CPRE and ICI. She has an MSc in Conservation from University College London and a Zoology degree from Oxford University.
Julia has been member of BCT since 1991 and is a member of London Bat Group and a past member of Cheshire Bat Group. She is also founding Chair of BatLife Europe.
Kit Stoner, Joint Chief Executive
Kit has worked at BCT since 2002, joining as Training Development Officer. She has since worked in many roles at BCT: as Training and Helpline Manager, as Director of Operations and as Deputy Chief Executive. From 2014 she became Joint Chief Executive with Julia Hanmer.
Kit’s work at BCT inspired her to do a second undergraduate degree as a mature student in Wildlife Biology and Ecology and Conservation. She is now studying for a part-time MPhil looking at associations/communications between birds and lemurs in Madagascar. She is a member of the Cambridgeshire Bat Group and Chair of the Environmental Investigations Agency Trust.
Before entering the world of conservation, Kit worked in publishing, advertising and training.
Dr Carol Williams, Director of Conservation
From 2007 to 2010 Carol worked for BCT as the first Built Environment Project officer, whilst on secondment from Natural England. In July 2011 Carol returned to BCT, this time in the role of Woodland Officer. As someone who has a long-running special interest in woodlands this post brings together her two main passions of bats and trees. Carol has been involved in bat conservation for over 20 years and carried out a PhD on the winter ecology of lesser horseshoe bats. She is a member of the Cornwall Bat Group and also the Isles of Scilly Bat Group and carries out a range of NBMP surveys each year. She is a chartered biologist.
Dr Joe Nunez-Mino, Director of Communications & Fundraising
Joe has many years of experience in setting up and running a range of conservation projects both at home and abroad - many of these included bats within their remit. All of his previous projects involved engaging with people from all sorts of backgrounds, both directly and via the media - he even appeared on the BBC's Attenborough's Ark in 2012!
As Director of Communications and Fundraising he uses his skills and experience to continue to build on the success that BCT has had in both raising the profile of bats and encouraging more people to join BCT and their local bat group. The second and possibly most critical part of Joe's role is fundraising - the more money we can raise, the more work we can do to promote and support bat conservation at all levels.
Don't ever hesitate to contact Joe and the rest of the communications and fundraising team by emailing email@example.com. They are always happy to hear of any news stories regardless of whether they are local, national or international, as well as ideas for fundraising, from names of potential donors to novel ways of raising money. if you are running any sort of event (from bat walks to fun runs), get in touch so that Joe and the rest of the team can help you to promote them.
Lisa Hundt, Head of Biodiversity (Job Share)
Lisa joined BCT as the Biodiversity Officer in April 2008 following work in the public, private and charity sector. An initial interest, although not always positive, began from a young age watching fruit bats flying around her garden. This later developed during her time at Sussex University studying for a BSc in Ecology and Conservation where her dissertation topic focussed on the maternity roost characteristics of the Bechstein's bat. On completion of the degree Lisa spent time working in London for organisations involved in parliamentary lobbying and campaigning before moving up north to complete a masters in Environmental Law. Having spent enough time with her head in books, she decided to go back to ecology and worked as a consultant and roost visitor, during which time she obtained her bat licence.
Jan Collins, Head of Biodiversity (Job Share)
Jan joined BCT in 2013 to share the Head of Biodiversity role. Jan’s first exposure to bats was in 1999, mist netting and harp trapping bats in Vietnam as part of a biodiversity survey. She was struck by how different bats are from other mammals and by the diversity in species worldwide (and, indeed, the challenges they face!) so joined her Local Bat Group immediately upon returning to the UK. Bats soon turned into a career. Jan’s professional experience is primarily as an ecological consultant specialising in bats, but she also has experience in Environmental Records Centre and Local Planning Authority work. Within her consultancy roles she has provided surveys and advice covering a range of industries, including property and construction, commercial and retail, government, transport, energy and nature conservation. Jan is a full member of CIEEM, a Chartered Environmentalist, holds a Natural England bat survey licence and is a member of Kent Bat Group. Jan has been more specifically involved with bats and wind farms over recent years, including an MSc research project on surveying for bats at height and various wind farm development projects in the UK and abroad.
Helen Miller, Woodland Officer
Helen has two roles within BCT. Please see Training Manager below.
Pete Charleston, Investigations Officer (part time)
Pete has a lifetime of experience in investigation having served with North Wales Police for 30 years, the last eight of which was spent as a full time wildlife crime officer. He was the first officer ever to be seconded by the Police to a conservation agency building up what has been widely accepted as a very successful partnership with the Countryside Council for Wales. In that time Pete investigated and supervised investigations into over 2000 wildlife offences involving a broad range of species a large number of which involved bats. Since retirement in 2008 Pete has been contracted to provide a number of forces with wildlife crime advice and still acts as an advisor to the Chief Constables who lead on wildlife crime for the Police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Pete recognises that his expertise lies in investigations rather than bats. As such BCT benefits from those skills whilst the essential ecological expertise will be found amongst other BCT staff, bat groups and bat workers. He eagerly awaits the opportunities to visit and meet as many people as possible. His priority is that wherever possible his work will be aimed at securing compliance with the law amongst those who might otherwise commit offences.
Partnership for Biodiversity in Planning
Dr Katherine Boughey, Planning Project Officer
Katherine joined BCT in May 2012 as a GIS Technical Assistant. Her interest in bats began during her BSc at the University of East Anglia. During her PhD, also at UEA, she used data generated by the BCT's National Bat Monitoring Programme to investigate how bat distribution is affected by the composition and configuration of the landscape.
Since completing her PhD Katherine has worked as an ecological consultant, studied cave-roosting bats in Cambodia and woodland bats in Norfolk. She is a trustee of the Norfolk Barbastelle Study Group and a member of Norwich Bat Group.
Alexandra Waechter, Project Assistant
Alex joined BCT in summer 2015, new to the world of bats but happy to be bringing her expertise in GIS and remote sensing to the BCT and the Partnership for Biodiversity in Planning project. She has had a lifelong interest in environment and conservation, fostered through many encounters with the wild places and wildlife of her native Canada, and leading her to pursue an undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Ottawa. There, she discovered the fascinating world of ice and went on to complete an MSc in Glaciology, using satellite imagery to map and investigate the velocity structure of glaciers in the Yukon Territory, work that will soon be published in the Journal of Glaciology. Her current career interests lie with the dissemination of environmental research to a larger audience and its effective incorporation into policy decisions.
Jo Ferguson, Built Environment Officer
Jo joined the Bat Conservation Trust in April 2015 as the Built Environment Officer; however she has been involved with bat conservation in a voluntary and professional capacity for over 10 years. Jo first became involved in bat conservation during a year’s placement with the Wildlife Trusts in West Wales in 2003. She was introduced during that time to bat survey equipment and monitoring techniques for some of the UK’s rarest species; barbastelle and both lesser and greater horseshoe bats. After experiencing these completely unique mammals at close quarters, she was hooked!
Many years of volunteering with various bat groups followed as she finished her degree in Zoology and gained Natural England bat licences for roost visits and surveys. Jo’s more recent professional experience is as an ecological consultant specialising in bats; providing surveys and advice covering a range of development projects, including residential, commercial and transport, for private, public and government bodies. However, she also has extensive experience in the conservation and scientific research sectors. When living in Melbourne for eighteen months, Jo used her bat survey skills to help run the micro-bats trapping and radio-tracking project in the botanic gardens with volunteers from Earthwatch. Her most exciting work however had to be surveying abandoned goldmines in Victoria for rare bentwing bats and finding when doing so, the occasional wombat!
Her passion for the importance of promoting biodiversity in the urban environment and public engagement is what she brings to this role. Jo is a full member of CIEEM and is a member of London Bat Group.
National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP)Team
Philip Briggs, NBMP Projects Manager
Philip joined BCT in 2003. He currently manages the National Bat Monitoring Programme.
Philip has been involved in the voluntary conservation sector since 1998. He developed an interest in bats through volunteering at one of London's best bat sites, the WWT London Wetland Centre, where he assists with regular bat surveys and leads bat walks and wildlife walks. He is a member of London Bat Group and Dorset Bat Group and spends a lot of his spare time leading or assisting with surveys of London's open spaces. Philip finds this very rewarding as, although London's bat habitat is somewhat fragmented, the region certainly has its fair share of interesting species. In 2007, he co-wrote a paper on trends in London's bat populations which was published in The London Naturalist.
Amanda Adebisi, Helpline Manager
Amanda joined the BCT Helpline team in February 2007. She has a first class degree in Animal Behaviour with Ecology and Conservation from Anglia Ruskin University and has a passion for mammal conservation. Her interest in bats developed from a young age, when she discovered one in her bedroom. Originally from Grantham in Lincolnshire, Amanda has gained experience in helpline and administrative roles for companies such as 4-Rail Services and Wickes Head Office.
As well as working on the Bat Helpline, Amanda undertakes surveys for the NBMP and takes part in local bat walks.
Peter Crome, Helpline Manager
Peter grew up in Australia where he has been involved in wildlife conservation since 1994. He spent years as a wildlife carer for native Australian wildlife including bats, marsupials and birds. Peter also volunteered at the Moggill Koala Hospital.
After pursuing a career as a ballet dancer which took him around the world, Peter returned to the environment sector, studying for a Bachelor of Environmental Management (Hons) at the University of Queensland. He spent six years with LRS Consultancy working on a wide range of environmental projects before joining BCT in March 2013. In his spare time Peter is a keen wildlife photographer.
Jessamy Barker, Technical Advisor / UK Bat Care Network Co-ordinator
Jess has worked for animal charities in London for the last decade, and on the Bat Helpline since 2011. She graduated from Chester University with a degree in Animal Behaviour, and has a love of weird wildlife. She's happiest photographing invertebrates and watching animals in the wild. In her spare time she is Membership Secretary for the London Bat Group, and enjoys attending events and giving talks to improve knowledge of bats. Jess is also a member of the BCT Bat Care Network.
Katy Hillman, Bat Advice Officer
Katy started at BCT as a helpline intern in the summer of 2011, returned for a full seasonal role and then became a permanent member of the helpline team in the autumn of 2012. She has had a keen interest in wildlife as long as she can remember which lead to her completing a degree in behavioural biology from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth as well as working many odd jobs including surveying resident whale and dolphin populations in Tenerife and teaching environmental education in the coastal salt marshes of Georgia, USA. However her main interest is in UK wildlife and conservation.
Keiron Brown, Bat Advice Officer
Keiron began his time at the Bat Conservation Trust as a Seasonal Helpline Officer in 2012. He rejoined the team in January 2013 as a permanent member of the team. Passionate about environmental education and wildlife gardening, Keiron is always trying to encourage people to get involved in conservation.
Originally from Cumbria and graduated in Biology from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Keiron enjoys contributing to science. He has worked on projects in England, Australia and Malaysia and is still currently volunteering on the Malaysia project with the Natural History Museum, which involved 6 weeks of living in the Bornean rainforest sampling for invertebrates. He is also a trustee for the Earthworm Society of Britain which includes teaching others how to identify this under recorded group.
David Jackson, Bat Advice Officer
David graduated in Environmental Science from the University of East Anglia in 2012 and first joined the BCT Helpline in January 2013 as an intern. His passions are Wildlife Conservation and Natural Hazards. David became a key volunteer delivering various wildlife conservation projects around the UEA campus. His dissertation studied the behaviour of birds and their interactions to discover whether UK garden bird species could solve tasks in order to gain food. His degree course also gave him the opportunity to visit the Greek Islands of Santorini, studying volcanic deposits and going up the newly active volcano, Nea Kameni, something he always wanted to do.
On leaving university David volunteered for several charities, including the PDSA, until he was offered an internship on the BCT helpline.
Olivia Morton, Bat Advice Officer
Olivia first joined BCT as a seasonal member of the team in 2013 and enjoyed it so much she came back again for summer 2014 and is now staying with us as a Helpline Officer. Olivia studied Biological Sciences as an undergraduate and Ecology as a research masters at the University of Brighton. She has undertaken a variety of projects on different small mammals in the UK, as well as leading an expedition to the spiny forest of Madagascar in 2010 to study habitat degradation and field studies in South Africa looking at herbaceous plants in the savannah. Olivia enjoys wildlife and being active in conservation and is proud to be working for bats.
Hannah Van Hesteren, Seasonal Helpline Officer
Having graduated with a degree in biology from University of Sussex in 2013, Hannah began volunteering in nature reserves around London where she developed a passion for bats. Hannah joined the helpline team as a Seasonal Helpline Officer in 2015 and is proud to be working for bats. She still volunteers in her spare time, attending bat surveys as often as possible. Hannah also has a love for bees, having conducted experimental research on the foraging habits of honey bees for her undergraduate dissertation. As a result, Hannah now has a keen interest in wildlife gardening, especially in an urban setting.
Laura Brown, Seasonal Helpline Officer
Laura Brown is spending a second summer with BCT, having worked as a Seasonal Helpline Officer in 2014. She’s originally from West Virginia in the United States and has a degree in Political Science from Alderson Broaddus University. She moved to London in 2000.
Laura spent a decade in financial services before pursuing a career change and obtaining a diploma in Animal Management from Capel Manor College. When not with BCT, she’s worked for veterinary practices in London, including the Royal Veterinary College’s Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital. In her spare time, she writes poetry, fiction and animal-related nonfiction, which have appeared in several print and electronic publications.
Laura Thomas, Seasonal Helpline Officer
Laura started at BCT in May 2015 as a Seasonal Helpline Officer. Her interest in bats was sparked during her Biology BSc with Queen Mary’s University of London where she was lucky enough to get the opportunity to use harp net traps and handle bats in the Bornean Rainforest. During her MSc in Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology at the University of Exeter she chose to do her thesis on the distribution and migratory routes of the Nathusius pipistrelle within the UK, which involved extensive analysis of UK bat calls. In her spare time she has helped to promote nature conservation within an urban environment by volunteering to help maintain parks.
Lisa Campbell-Bannerman, Seasonal Helpline Officer
Lisa’s passion for wildlife began in childhood when she spent time creature spotting in the countryside of North Wales, sailing around the Irish Sea, and getting involved with local conservation groups. Her passion for bats began when she witnessed a colony of bats swooping around her in a forest clearing. Lisa has been working and volunteering in environmental charities for years, and as a qualified teacher she has delivered educational sessions and coordinated training in horticulture, ecology and sustainability.
Lisa originally studied a BA hons and MSc in creative product design and taught design and technology for 5 years. She has also worked with adults with learning disabilities, and with energy performance surveys and certificates. Lisa now uses her creativity in her spare time to make biodiversity and sustainability inspired art.
Stephanie Garvin, Seasonal Helpline Officer
Stephanie joined BCT in May 2015 and hails from Northern Ireland. Her background up until 2007 was in community work and advice services. She began to travel and volunteer internationally in 2007 and primarily undertook placements in environmental conservation in Africa and Asia, including spending three years in South India working on indigenous reforestation and studying environmental leadership.
Stephanie has also spent the last 5 years teaching permaculture to students around the world and returned to the UK in Autumn 2014. Bats and other small mammals have always been a passion and she is looking forward to spending a season with BCT and gaining more experience in animal conservation work.
Andreia Correia da Costa, Helpline Intern
Andreia graduated from her MSc in Wild Animal Biology from the Zoological Society of London/Royal Veterinary College in 2013 and joined the BCT Helpline as an intern in 2015.
Her MSc thesis investigated the effects ingested lead has on red kites’ bone health; she is currently working on submitting her results for publication. Since finishing her degree she has completed a 5 week field course in tropical ecology and conservation in Tanzania with the Tropical Biology Association and participated in a student workshop on “Human drivers of emerging diseases” organised by the European Wildlife Disease Association. She recently became increasingly involved in science journalism and regularly writes articles on the website “Wildlife Articles”. She has also initiated her training in bird ringing.
Andreia has a wide range of interests including conservation issues, ecology, animal behaviour, sustainability, evolution and many others. However, she is working to pursue a career in research and conservation as she is interested in how diseases affect animal conservation. She is particularly keen on the “One-Health” concept which links animal, human and environmental health.
Aria Butterwick, Helpline Intern
Aria joined BCT as a helpline intern in summer 2015. Aria obtained a first class degree in Biochemistry and Biology at Keele University. She is an elected member of the Biology Society and the Biochemical Society. She has published work relating to the structure of immune proteins in Limulus polyphemus. She was formerly a volunteer animal carer for the RSPCA and currently volunteers for Stepney City Farm. She has also worked for the Veterinary Poisons Information Service in London where she encountered owls hallucinating after ingesting magic mushrooms, meerkats eating paracetamol, and a dog eating a Christmas tree (baubles included). She has a real passion for both domestic and wild animals.
Helen Miller, Training Manager
Helen joined BCT in 2005 initally as part of the Bat Helpline team, and then as Bechstein's Bat Project Officer. Since 2011 Helen has been BCT's Training Manager. Helen's interest in bats began whilst studying Zoology at university, following a talk from a local bat expert. She then went on to study for a Masters in Wildlife Biology and Conservation, choosing to research the winter activity of the cape serotine bat (in South Africa).Helen is the membership secretary for Essex Bat Group and a member of Surrey bat group. She is also a licensed bat worker.
Helen also has a temporary role in taking forward the woodland programme.
Lisa Worledge, Partnerships Officer
Lisa started at BCT in May 2011. Working with Anne and Steve, the Scotland and Wales Bat Officers, her role is to support bat groups and share information between BCT and bat groups, as well working on joint projects with Partner Groups. Her interest in bats was first sparked by a bat walk with the Birmingham and Black Country Bat Group in 2008, she was so hooked she became the group’s Secretary later the same year.
This is Lisa’s second career having worked in the IT industry for 13 years. After completing a BSc in Ecology & Conservation (Hons) at Coventry University, Lisa worked as an ecologist for Land Care Associates (consultancy arm of the Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife Trust) and as the coordinator for the Warwickshire, Coventry & Solihull Local Biodiversity Action Plan Partnership. Lisa completed an MSc in Biological Recording with the University of Birmingham in 2012.
She has some interesting additional aspects to her role including being the BCT contact for bat ring sales and, with Helen Miller, being one of the two contacts at BCT for bats and diseases. This has become something of a fascination for her and in her spare time Lisa is undertaking short courses in virology, immunology and epidemiology.
As the Partnerships Officer, Lisa is always looking for new ways to support and champion local bat group efforts, as well as identify potential projects to work with Partner Groups on. So please don't hesitate to get in touch with any queries, requests or ideas.
Anne Youngman, Scotland Officer
Anne is the Scottish Bat Officer for Bat Conservation Trust. Her interest in bats was first sparked by a talk from Bob Stebbings during her Environmental Science degree. His knowledge of bats and enthusiasm for the subject was so contagious she was hooked. Her work with the Nature Conservancy Council for Scotland and later Scottish Natural Heritage fed this interest further. During this time she was involved in giving bat advice to a range of audiences from householders, planners, developers, countryside rangers and vets. Anne has been involved in bat conservation for nearly 20 years. She is a licensed bat worker, a bat worker trainer and member of Central Scotland Bat Group. She happily roost–shared with pipistrelle bats before moving to take her current job. She is based in Dunblane (when she is not flitting about over other parts of Scotland).
Steve Lucas, Wales Officer
For Steve, nature conservation is a second career having originally started out as medical laboratory scientist for 14 years before going to University to study Environmental Biology at Swansea. After a successful degree, he went to work with the local Wildlife Trust working his way from reserve management to conservation officer before moving to the Countryside Council for Wales in 2001. Whilst at CCW as a Regional Species Officer, Steve was seconded to the Welsh Assembly Government for two years as a biodiversity officer overseeing species licensing as well as general biodiversity projects. During this he gained a post graduate diploma from Trinity College at Carmarthen.
Steve has always had a passion for natural history - probably his upbringing in East Africa for 7 years! Apart from bats, he has a long standing interest in terrestrial invertebrate ecology so leps/bees/ants/wasps and even those eight-legged friends the spiders! Now he works with several bat groups in south Wales doing both summer / winter surveys and monitoring, and has also involved in the Bechsteins project.
Marketing, Membership and Fundraising team
Roz Hutchinson, Trusts and Grants Fundraiser
Roz came to BCT after a long career in advertising followed by a career in charity fundraising and communications. Her career has included creating high profile advertising campaigns in the UK and Australia; raising more than a million pounds from charitable trusts for two charities and a stint as a consultant. She joined BCT in 2010 with a passion for protecting wildlife both here and across the world. Working in the fundraising team, she would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like to make a donation or who can help in this area.
Dawn Mackie, Fundraising & Membership Officer
Dawn joined BCT in January 2014 and is new to the charity sector. Fascinated by the species abundance and behaviour she could find in her own back garden, her interest in wildlife started from an early age.
Dawn's passion for bats began whilst studying for her degree in Animal Biology, during which she spent a short time at Durrell Wildlife Park observing behind-the-scenes operations. One of their hand reared bats, 'Gus', made a real impact on Dawn and sparked a desire and interest to learn more about these unique mammals.
For her disseration topic, Dawn spent three months volunteering in Honduras's largest National Park capturing and surveying the range of bat species. She focussed her research there on the impact of bat digestion on seed germination as a means of re-establishing areas of deforestation. The hands-on approach involved in this work intensified her desire to work with an organisation dedicated to the protection of bats.
Shirley Thompson MBE, Hon. Education Officer
Shirley’s background is in teaching, first for many years in primary schools, then later in environmental education with the Kent Wildlife Trust and at outdoor field centres. She first became involved in bat conservation in 1983 as a founder member of the Kent Bat Group, when the protection of bats and their roosts was very new.
The lack of any material on bats suitable for children led her in 1987 to set up the Young Batworker’s Club and to produce the Young Batworker, funded by the Bat Group Support Fund. At the inauguration of the Bat Conservation Trust in 1990, the club became BCT’s junior section. Shirley was a Trustee of BCT at that time, and was made Honorary Education Officer, a post she still holds. She is still editor of The Young Batworker, but is always being keen to promote education in is broadest sense, not as something confined to young people.
She is an active member of the Kent Bat Group, and a licenced roost visitor and trainer. However, she frequently points out that the longer you work with bats, the more your realise how little you know and how much there is still to learn. That’s what makes bat work so exciting!
Janet Baumkotter, PA to CEO / Office Manager
Janet joined BCT in December 2012 following a long career in communications and charity administration. After several years in Public Relations consultancy, she joined the Rural Housing Trust as Head of Communications. She remained with the national charity for 20 years, helping to build its reputation as an expert in affordable housing for local people, and became its Acting Chief Executive in 2009 responsible for the wind-down and closure of the organisation.
Jane Collett, Finance Administrator (Part-time)
Jane joined BCT in May 2010, working two days a week. Prior to this she had a career in the Civil Service (working for what is now the Office for National Statistics) and then worked in a number of paid and voluntary roles within charities, particularly in finance administration. Jane has a life-long interest in the natural world, and in recent years has started to develop this interest through part-time study at Birkbeck College London and through volunteering. She has a particular interest in mammals, and is excited to be working at BCT in an administrative capacity.
The BCT Team
Joint Chief Executive
Julia Hanmer / Kit Stoner
Director of Conservation
Dr Carol Williams
Honorary Scientific and Conservation Adviser
Prof Paul Racey
Head of Biodiversity
Lisa Hundt / Jan Collins
Planning Project Officer
Dr Katherine Boughey
Planning Project Assistant
Built Environment Officer
Jessamy Barker - Technical Advisor/UK Bat Care Network Co-ordinator
Katy Hillman - Bat Advice Officer
Keiron Brown - Bat Advice Officer
David Jackson - Bat Advice Officer
Seasonal Helpline Officers
Hannah Van Hesteren
Andreia Correia da Costa
National Bat Monitoring Programme
NBMP Projects Manager
NBMP Survey Coordinator
Communications, Membership and Fundraising
Director of Communications & Fundraising
Dr Joe Nunez-Mino
Fundraising and Membership Officer
Fundraiser (Trusts and Grants)
Hon. Education Officer
Shirley Thompson MBE
Administration / Finance
PA to the CEO/ Office Manager
Finance Administrator (Part-time)