Science & Monitoring

Dr Katherine Boughey, Head of 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.

Email Kathryn: kboughey@bats.org.uk

Dr Lia Gilmour, Research Manager

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

Dr Agata Staniewicz, Research Scientist (Ecoacoustics)

Dr Agata Staniewicz, Research Scientist (Ecoacoustics)

Agata is the Research Scientist specialising in ecoacoustics and is working on innovative new bat population survey techniques using passive acoustic monitoring and AI. She joined the BCT in February 2024 after a 3-year postdoc in Poland, where she studied bird community bioacoustics in boreal, temperate and tropical forests. She completed her PhD at the University of Bristol where she investigated how acoustic methods can be used for monitoring sympatric crocodile species in Southeast Asia and West Africa. The broad theme of her research is to apply novel bioacoustic techniques to answer important questions across animal ecology, behaviour and conservation.

Email Agata: astaniewicz@bats.org.uk

Jack Hooker, Research Scientist

Jack Hooker, Research Scientist

Jack joined the Science Team at BCT in 2023 as a Research Scientist working on the Bat Migration and Offshore Wind Project. He now works on a variety of research areas at BCT, including bats in the urban environment, bats and waterways and the National Barbastelle and Bechstein’s Survey. Jack has recently finished his PhD at the University of the West of England where he studied the impacts of temporary habitat fragmentation on bats, including investigating the effectiveness of mitigation measures designed to maintain landscape connectivity for bats. In addition to academic research, Jack has worked as a consultant ecologist for many years and of course, specialised in bat ecology.

Email Jack: jhooker@bats.org.uk

Madeline Davis, Senior Science Projects Officer

Madeline Davis, Senior 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.

Email: mdavis@bats.org.uk

Alfie Gleeson, Science Projects Officer

Alfie Gleeson, Science Projects Officer

Alfie Gleeson is a Science Projects Officer 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: agleeson@bats.org.uk

Philip Briggs, Monitoring Manager

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: pbriggs@bats.org.uk

Dr Parvathy Venugopal, NBMP Survey Officer

Dr Parvathy Venugopal, NBMP Survey Officer

Parvathy is currently working as the National Bat Monitoring Programme (NBMP) Survey Officer. She joined BCT in September 2020 as the NBMP Survey Coordinator, after 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: pvenugopal@bats.org.uk

Stephanie Fernandes, NBMP Volunteer Engagement Officer

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: sfernandes@bats.org.uk

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