The Lynx UK Trust CIC was formed in 2014 by a group of experienced conservationists and scientists with specialisations in wild felines, genetics, field research, reintroductions and education that have worked on projects worldwide. Since its formation, the team has grown and now includes many experts and volunteers, supported by several larger partner organisations; you can find short biographies for many of them below.
We are currently seeking licences to conduct a regulated scientific trial, studying the effects of a Eurasian lynx reintroduction to a selected site (or sites!) in Scotland and England. This will involve a time limited trial reintroduction so as to observe, measure and analyse the effects of lynx on various aspects of the UK's social, economic and natural environments.
Emily O'Donoghue, CIC Director and Company Secretary
Emily is an experienced wildlife biologist who has worked on a range of projects from reintroducing the great bustard to the Salisbury Plain to capturing and DNA testing black rhinos in South Africa. As director of the CIC Emily is responsible for the day to day administrative running of the lynx project.
Adam Eagle, CIC Director and Project Manager
Adam joined the project just after its inception in 2014 as a legal advisor on behalf of Clifford Chance LLP. Since then, he has grown into a role at the Lynx Trust as Project Manager, committing much of his spare time to ensuring everything is running smoothly. Adam has previously worked with wildlife conservation organisations including Rewilding Europe, Friends of the Earth and Wildcat Haven. On a personal level, Adam is a committed advocate of wildlife conservation who spends his holidays exploring wild natural places.
Dr Paul O'Donoghue, Chief Scientific Advisor
Paul manages a range of high profile, international wildlife projects, including working with some of the world's most endangered species such as black rhinos and pygmy hippos. An expert adviser for the IUCN Cat Classification Task Force, he is involved in conservation efforts for the Asiatic lion and Amur leopard, and leads a number of activities on the Scottish Wildcat Haven project, developing the genetic test for wildcat purity and overseeing all field and research operations.
Deborah Brady, Kielder Local Project Officer
Founder of wildlife education organisation Albion Outdoors, PhD researcher in mammal spatial ecology at University of Newcastle and a biology teacher of fifteen years experience, Deborah has an incredibly strong foundation from which to approach her work as Local Project Officer. Deborah was born and lives in Northumberland and enjoys being with her family in the great outdoors during her spare time.
Steve Piper, PR and Media Manager
Steve is a media professional producing feature films and documentaries as well as advising a range of organisations and charities on promotion and communications through media such as the web, press, TV and radio. With a background in corporate, arts and charity PR and marketing, his interest in wildlife conservation led to him establishing the Scottish Wildcat Association after shooting the film Last of the Scottish Wildcats in 2006, which developed, launched and then evolved into the Wildcat Haven project in the West Highlands, which he continues to provide media consultation to.
Dr Julian Chantrey, Veterinary Specialist
Julian is a wildlife vet and researcher who studies population dynamics and disease in wild animals. He received a PhD from the University of Liverpool in 1999 on wildlife epidemiology and is a European veterinary specialist in zoological medicine and wildlife population health. He has published work on projects about squirrelpox in UK squirrels, diseases of garden birds, cetacean strandings and the current roadkill badger survey for tuberculosis in Cheshire. Julian is the veterinary pathologist for several UK zoos.
Nick Morphet, Veterinary Specialist
Nick is a highly experienced vet who has worked as senior vet on the Wildcat Haven field veterinary team since 2012 carrying out feral and hybrid cat neutering, health checks, blood sampling, inoculations and anaesthetising of wild, hybrid, feral and pet cats in the Haven region, whilst also supporting fieldworkers with tracking and trapping.
Erwin van Maanen, Reintroductions Specialist
Erwin is an environmental scientist and ecologist with a passion for conservation science and practice, involved in the ecological study of avian and mammalian carnivores. He is chairman of the Rewilding Foundation, an NGO based in the Netherlands which facilitates and supports projects directed at safeguarding or restoring large-scale and interconnected ecosystems with keystone species worldwide, collaborating with organisations such as the US Wildlands Network.
Dr Ian Convery, Public Consultation and Forestry Specialist
Ian researches the relationship between people, places and conservation, with a particular focus on community engagement, he teaches on conservation biology, conservation and society and conservation in practice. Expert in both qualitative and quantitative research traditions, he currently supervises 8 PhD students as Associate Professor of Conservation & Forestry at the National School of Forestry, University of Cumbria, was Chair of the University Ethics Panel from 2009 to 2014 and received the 2012 Vice Chancellor's Excellence Award for Research & Enterprise.
Dr Darrell Smith, Public Consultation
Darrell recently completed his PhD at the University of Cumbria's Centre for Wildlife Conservation; his work focuses on valuing natural resources. Using a novel approach to values-based landscape evaluation, he combines quantitative and qualitative data to describe the cultural, ecological and economic relationships between people and nature. Adopting an approach that explicitly acknowledges the interconnected and interdependent nature of society's relationship with the natural world, he builds models designed to inform and support a deliberative approach to sustainable land-use decision making.
Roger Leese, Legal Specialist
(Global Pro Bono Partner at Clifford Chance)
Roger's primary areas of expertise are in commercial, corporate, banking and financial services disputes, however, as the Global Pro Bono Partner at Clifford Chance he takes a strategic interest in all charitable legal advice provided by the firm, and has paid particular attention to advising the Lynx Trust since work began in 2014. Alongside his work, Roger takes a keen interest in wildlife and conservation; it is this interest which led to his focus on this project.
Olivia Higgs, Legal Specialist
(Lawyer at Clifford Chance)
Olivia primarily advises the Lynx Trust on corporate law matters and is placed in the Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions Group at Clifford Chance, however, having worked on wildlife conservation pro bono matters for over two years, Olivia is also well placed to support the team in providing advice on UK regulatory and licensing matters and international conservation law.
Clifford Chance is one of the world's pre-eminent law firms with significant depth and range of resources across five continents. It prides itself on an outstanding pro bono and community outreach programme that enables everyone in the firm to engage enthusiastically and which delivers effective assistance to chosen charitable and not-for-profit partners. Clifford Chance always strives to exceed the expectations of its clients by providing them with the highest quality advice and legal insight, which combines the firm's global standards with in-depth local expertise.
Chris White, Economics Specialist
(Senior Environmental Economist at AECOM)
Chris works in the Strategic Sustainability and Climate Change team at AECOM, London. He works on understanding benefits of the natural environment, quantifying the value of ecosystem services and developing ways to integrate these values into policy and business decisions. Chris also works with the UNESCO Chair in Water Economics and Transboundary Governance as Managing Editor of the Global Water Forum. Chris is also a Research Associate at the Centre for Water Economics, Environment & Policy at the Australian National University; a Founding Member of the Food, Energy, Environment, Water Network; and has published several books on water economics, security, and governance.