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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Jan Collins, Head of Biodiversity
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.
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.
Watch this space
Sonia Reveley, Volunteer Co-ordinator (Discovering the connection woodland project)
Sonia joined BCT in March 2016 and will be working on a Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) project which will be carried out at Swanton Novers National Nature Reserve (NNR) in Norfolk. The project will work closely with volunteers to learn how bats use woodlands and the impact that long term woodland management is having on them. This will allow us to discover more about our woodland heritage, and involve the local community with the collection of important data that will help to protect Swanton Novers Woods and its wildlife for future generations.
Sonia first became interested in bats in 2011, when she took part in a radio tracking session at the National Trust Blickling Estate, with the Norfolk Barbastelle Study Group (NBSG). Since then she has become a NBSG trustee, assisting the group with various surveys and gained her MSc in Applied Ecology and Conservation from the University of East Anglia. Sonia has worked as a bat surveyor, as a Research Assistant on the Management of Bats in Churches project and as a Project Officer for Norfolk Wild Nights, delivering nocturnal events in rural Norfolk, using churches as hubs. Sonia also has a Level 2 Class survey licence.
The project is looking for volunteers to help with bat surveys, call analysis, walks, talks and events. If you would like to help and you live close to Swanton Novers NNR, please contact Sonia.
Pete Charleston, Conservation Wildlife Crime Officer
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, including a large number of bats. Since retirement from the Police in 2008, Pete has been contracted to provide a number of Police forces and other agencies with wildlife crime advice. He has been with BCT since 2010.
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. 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
Catherine Wyatt, Planning Project Officer
Catherine joined BCT in October 2015 as the Project Officer for the Partnership for Biodiversity in Planning (www.biodiversityinplanning.org). Her degree in Environmental Biology sparked an interest in marine and freshwater environments and after studying a Masters in Aquatic Resource Management, she started her career as a wetlands research technician. This was followed by a move into the biodiversity conservation sector where she spent several years coordinating the Hertfordshire Biodiversity Partnership and developing the Hertfordshire Local Nature Partnership. She joins us after working for Surrey County Council on an EU funded mineral restoration project.
Catherine has always had an interest in nature conservation and wildlife, possibly as a result of growing up in South Africa. She is looking forward to learning more about bats during her time at BCT.
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.
Monitoring & Science Team
Dr Katherine Boughey, Monitoring & Science Manager
Katherine joined BCT in 2012. As Monitoring and Science Manager she oversees the National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP) and BCT's scientific work. She has extensive experience in spatial analysis, GIS and survey design. Her PhD at the University of East Anglia used NBMP data to model that habitat associations of UK bats at a variety of spatial scales, demonstrating the importance of small woodland patches and hedgerow trees for bats.
Prior to becoming Monitoring and Science Manager, Katherine led the Partnership for Biodiversity in Planning, a partnership of 17 key organisations representing the planning and conservation sectors that are working together to improve the consideration of biodiversity in the planning process. She is an experienced bat surveyor, having worked with bats in many countries, including in Cambodia, where she was part of a team that identified two species of bat not previously recorded in the country. She is a founding member of the Norfolk Barbastelle Study Group and a member of Norwich Bat Group.
Philip Briggs, NBMP Projects Manager
Philip joined BCT in 2003. He currently manages the National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP).
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.
Becky Wilson, NBMP Survey Coordinator
Becky joined BCT in May 2014 as a Seasonal Helpline officer and later in the year moved to a permanent role in the NBMP team as the Survey Coordinator.
Becky has a degree in Biology from the University of Southampton and has always been passionate about wildlife conservation. In 2013 she interned at the Botanic Gardens Conservation International, where she took part in completing a Red List of the tree family Betulaceae as part of the Global Trees Campaign.
Becky fell in love with bats whilst carrying out her dissertation on the effects of LED lighting on bat foraging behaviour. She is a member of the London Bat group and enjoys taking part in bat surveys, especially NBMP Hibernation Surveys. Her favourite moment of working with bats was getting to see both greater horseshoe and lesser horseshoe bats while helping out with Hibernation counts in Dorset.
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.
David Jackson, Bat Advice Officer. Also coordinates both the UK Bat Care Network & Out of Hours (OOH) projects.
David joined BCT in January 2013; as an intern before progressing onto a seasonal and then permanent member of the Helpline. He studied Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia that allowed him to undertake a range of modules and fieldcourses, one of which led him to the volcanic islands of Santorini, and the active volcano Nea Kameni.
He didn’t have a great deal of bat knowledge before starting, but this has certainly changed. He now finds himself outside work leading bat walks and conducting roost counts, alongside trying to promote bat conservation where he can. Getting his rabies vaccinations, with the opportunity to handle bats, including the rare Bechstein’s bat has added another great experience. He volunteers at his local nature reserve, and generally tries to conduct other mammal monitoring surveys alongside bird counts. When time allows, he also continues with another hobby of painting; specialising in that of landscapes with just a hint of the urban world. Check out the Bats & Trees leaflet for his painting of a tree and potential bat features.
Olivia Morton, Bat Advice Officer and Helpline Church Assistant
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.
Jennifer Pope, Bat Advice Officer
Jen has worked on the helpline at BCT since 2007, starting as a Seasonal Helpline Officer.
Jen graduated with a degree in Marine Biology from the University of Plymouth in 2005 and carried on at Plymouth to obtain an MSc in Zoo Conservation Biology. She decided on a career in conservation after travelling to Madagascar in her gap year, where she studied for a BTEC in Tropical Habitat Conservation.
Jen works part-time mainly writing Natural England advice letters. Her hobbies aside from bats include her young family, hiking the Cornish coast path, diving and hen keeping.
Laura Brown, Bat Advice Officer
Laura Brown spent two years as a seasonal member, before becoming a permanent addition of the team in November 2015. 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.
Hannah Van Hesteren, Bat Advice 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. Hannah 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.
Hannah Ryan-Leah, Helpline Officer
Hannah graduated with a degree in Ecological Sciences from The University of Edinburgh in 2012, focusing on otter ecology.
Since then she has spent time travelling the world including Hawaii and Fiji and spending six months in Australia where she discovered her interest in bats – particularly watching fruit bats. However now her favourite bat is the Barbastelle!
Since then she has volunteered at a local nature reserve helping with bat surveys. In summer 2015 she joined BCT as the NBMP Intern specifically assisting with the Nathusius’ pipistrelle survey, and has returned in 2016 as a Helpline Officer.
Naomi Webster, Training & Conferences Manager
Naomi joined BCT in 2017. As Training & Conferences Manager, she is responsible for all the in-house and commissioned training as well as overseeing the organisation of various conferences each year. Prior to joining BCT, Naomi worked in education for the Wellcome Trust and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. During her 10 years in Jersey with Durrell, she gave more fruit bat talks than she cares to remember and always managed to mention their smaller local cousins as well.
Lisa Worledge, Head of Conservation Services
Lisa joined BCT in May 2011 as Partnerships Officer. 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. Lisa also line manages BCT's Training Manager and two Helpline Managers.
Her interest in bats was first sparked by a bat walk with the Birmingham and Black Country Bat Group in 2008. 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.
Andreia Correia da Costa, Fundraising & Membership Officer
Andreia’s current role started in October 2015, though she had two earlier roles at BCT; as a Helpline intern and then as a Conference Admin Assistant, helping to prepare for BCT’s annual conference.
Andreia graduated from her MSc in Wild Animal Biology from the Zoological Society of London/Royal Veterinary College in 2013. Her MSc thesis investigated the effects ingested lead has on red kites’ bone health; she is currently working on submitting her results for publication. Following her degree, she 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 is interested in science journalism and occasionally 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, and evolution. She is particularly interested in how diseases affect animal conservation and in the “One-Health” concept which links animal, human and environmental health.
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
Conservation Wildlife Crime Officer
Volunteer Co-ordinator, Woodland
Planning Project Officer
Planning Project Assistant
Built Environment Officer
Head of Conservation Services/Partnerships Officer
Training & Conferences
Training & Conferences Manager
David Jackson - Bat Advice Officer
Olivia Morton - Bat Advice Officer
Jennifer Pope - Bat Advice Officer
Laura Brown - Bat Advice Officer
Hannah Van Hesteren - Bat Advice Officer
Hannah Ryan-Leah - Helpline Officer
Monitoring & Science
Monitoring & Science Manager
Dr Katherine Boughey
NBMP Projects Manager
NBMP Survey Coordinator
Communications, Membership and Fundraising
Director of Communications & Fundraising
Dr Joe Nunez-Mino
Fundraiser (Trusts and Grants)
Fundraising & Membership Officer
Andreia Correia da Costa
Hon. Education Officer
Shirley Thompson MBE
Administration / Finance
PA to the CEO/ Office Manager
Finance Administrator (Part-time)