Science & Monitoring
Dr Katherine Boughey, Head of Science & Monitoring
Katherine joined BCT in 2012. As Head of Science and Monitoring she oversees the strategic development of the National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP) and BCT's scientific work. Prior to this, Katherine led the Partnership for Biodiversity in Planning, a partnership of 17 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 helped found the Norfolk Barbastelle Study Group, and 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. 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.
Dr Lia Gilmour, Research Manager
Lia joined the Science Team at BCT as Interim Head of Science and Monitoring and worked on the development and delivery of BCT’s Science and Monitoring strategies from March 2022 until March 2023. She now works as Research Manager part-time in the Science Team, overseeing the development of BCT’s Sound Classification System and managing BCT’s work in key research areas. Lia also works within the Conservation Team as Head of Conservation Projects (job share with Claire Boothby- see Conservation team). Before joining BCT, Lia worked on a diverse range of projects as part of her academic career, which included a post-doc at the University of the West of England, a research masters at the University of Bristol, also supervised by Kate Barlow at BCT, and a PhD also at Bristol, evaluating bat deterrence methods and the development of a thermal bat tracking system.
Email Lia: LGilmour@bats.org.uk
Philip Briggs, Monitoring Manager
Philip joined BCT in 2003 and has been involved in the voluntary conservation sector since 1998. He developed an interest in bats in 2001 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. He also leads the Richmond Bat Species Action Plan steering group which works to protect and enhance habitat and improve public engagement in this important borough for bats.
Email Philip: email@example.com
Dr Parvathy Venugopal, NBMP Survey Coordinator
Parvathy joined BCT in September 2020 as the National Bat Monitoring Programme Survey Coordinator, having recently completed her PhD, as a commonwealth Scholar, at Gareth Jones' Lab at University of Bristol. Hailing from Kerala in India, she completed both her BSc and MSc at College of Forestry, Kerala Agricultural University. In the latter degree, she specialised in wildlife studies. Parvathy is a biodiversity scientist with a passion for conservation biology and for communicating science to the public. Trained in India and the UK, she enjoys working in both Europe and Asia, combining the strengths of the two scientific cultures. She is committed to using science to promote and facilitate conservation and to using outreach and communication to explain the importance of biodiversity conservation/ environmental protection to a new generation in Europe, Asia and worldwide.
Email Parvathy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie Fernandes, NBMP Volunteer Engagement Officer
Stephanie is the New to Nature NBMP Volunteer Engagement Officer who joined BCT in April 2023. Her role includes volunteer engagement and outreach to underrepresented backgrounds, developing new resources to engage new audiences, and promoting various NBMP surveys to encourage more people to get involved in conserving our remarkable bat species.
In 2022, Stephanie graduated from the Royal Holloway University of London with a BSc in Zoology, where she participated in many exciting projects involving bats. She also has a fondness for flora and nocturnal animals of all sorts. Before starting at BCT, she worked as a science educator and presenter for primary school students in London to nurture interest in science and nature. Stephanie is dedicated to connecting more people to enjoy the natural world while also aiming to protect it.
In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys painting and creating wildlife illustrations, making jewellery, planting, and volunteering in her local community.
Email Stephanie: email@example.com
Dr Ella Browning, Research Scientist
Ella joined BCT in 2021 as a Research Scientist. Ella’s passion for bats started during her undergraduate degree in zoology at the University of Leeds. Since then, she’s worked on a range of bat research projects, focussing on understanding how bats are responding to anthropogenic environmental change and using passive acoustics to monitor bat echolocation calls. Ella completed her PhD at University College London where she used passive acoustic data collected under the National Bat Monitoring Programme to improve the understanding of bat population trends in Great Britain. In her role at BCT her work includes developing exciting new passive acoustic monitoring projects, sound classification pipelines, and standardising processing procedures for bat acoustic data.
Email Ella: firstname.lastname@example.org
Angelena Efstathiou, Science Projects Manager
Angelena joined BCT in July 2022 as the British Bat Survey (BBatS) Project Officer and then in August she took on the role of Science Projects Manager. Her role involves managing the BBatS and NightWatch projects, two citizen science projects using AudioMoth detectors.
Before joining BCT, Angelena was the Research Manager for African Bat Conservation (ABC) in Malawi. Her main research interest is human wildlife conflict mitigation which was the subject of her MRes thesis at Nottingham Trent University, which she conducted with ABC in 2017 and for which she was awarded the Bat Conservation International Student Scholar grant. She has undertaken research on bats and their roosts in both the UK and abroad.
Madeline Davis, Acting Science Projects Officer
Madeline got interested in bats as a teenager walking around churchyards with a detector listening out for pipistrelles. She then went off to university and worked on chalk grassland ecology and started to get interested in the biodiversity and climate crises. After doing her biodiversity and conservation Masters she worked on climate change policy and then went on to study political debates around land ownership and access. She has worked in various mental health charities as a frontline advocate, trainer, and data analyst, and has a strong interest in social justice (particularly data justice!).
Madeline joined BCT in 2023 as the Science Projects Assistant to help out with the passive acoustic monitoring on the BBats and Forest Projects, handling equipment and the acoustic data from processing to classification.
Other than bats, Madeline loves rock climbing, reading weird poetry, and being active in her local community.
Lucy Houliston, NightWatch Project Intern and Science Projects Assistant
Lucy Houliston is a digital content producer, speaker, and zoologist with a passion for the weirder side of wildlife. As well as bats and bugs, she has a particular affinity for sloths, having spent three years working as digital content producer for the Sloth Appreciation Society!
Lucy loves using her digital and storytelling skills to help educate and inspire the next generation of wildlife advocates and generate public support for conservation. She’s delivered talks on everything from sea cucumbers to salamanders at festivals and schools internationally; chaired nature- and conservation-themed panel discussions and educational webinars; and hosted, produced, and directed digital series and events in partnership with The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, Butterfly Conservation, and WWF UK.
Lucy is keen to make the conservation space a more accessible and inclusive one. Between 2018 and 2021, she volunteered to help the London Wildlife Trust develop its strategies to engage more youth from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds with local conservation efforts and, alongside her role at BCT, serves on Reserva: The Youth Land Trust’s board of directors. Here, she works to empower young people from around the world—including those from indigenous and other marginalised communities—in biodiversity conservation. Outside of work, Lucy enjoys writing, hiking, creating art, and conducting wildlife research!
Email Lucy: email@example.com Photo© Callie Broaddus
Alfie Gleeson, Science Projects Assistant
Alfie Gleeson is a Science Project Assistant at the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT). At BCT he supports a variety of science projects by handling and managing data from large scale passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) projects including: the National Forestry Index, the Special Area of Conservation Barbastelle project, and the Forest Rewilding project. He assists in the development of new projects, such as the airborne DNA project, as well as research support for existing ones, such as equipment testing for the PAM projects. He also communicates with stakeholders across projects to help ensure their smooth and timely delivery. Alfie recently completed his PhD on the evolution of great apes at University College London, where he combined the latest genetic and morphological methods to explore the relationship between complex anatomical structures and the diversity and evolution of genes underpinning those structures.
Email Alfie: firstname.lastname@example.org