Latest News - Scottish Wildcat Action - Meet Our Team

Scottish Wildcat Action - Meet Our Team

Scottish Wildcat Action’s (SWA) core team is made up of a range of professionals who all share a common goal – to help save the endangered Scottish wildcat from extinction.

Our team come from a diverse range of backgrounds and each member brings their own significant experience and knowledge to the project.

In addition to the main team members Scottish Wildcat Action also has a range of partners involved in the project, including the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage, The Royal Zoological Society for Scotland, National Museums Scotland, Forestry Commission Scotland, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Cairngorm National Park Authority and RSPB to name only a few of over 20 organisations.

So without further ado, let’s meet the team:

Priorities Area Manager Dr Roo Campbell

Dr Campbell is Scottish Wildcat Action’s project manager for the priority areas programme. He has significant experience of carrying out research on the behaviour and ecology of Scottish wildcats and received his DPhil in Zoology from the University of Oxford. He is based at Scottish Natural Heritage, Inverness. Roo has carried out detailed surveys on Scottish wildcats across Scotland since 2010 and investigated the behaviour of wild-living cats using GPS collars.

Roo’s other areas of experience include beavers (the subject of his DPhil and MSC dissertation - he also undertook the first survey of beavers in the Tay, examined the economics of beaver reintroductions and was involved in the fenced release of beavers in Kent); GPS tagging Striated caracara in the Falkland Islands; small mammal live-trapping and surveying with track-tubes; and bird and bat surveying. He has published peer-reviewed papers on some of these subjects in journals including Global Change Biology; Animal Cognition; and Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology. Authored SNH commissioned reports include no.s 768, 540 and 383.

Project Officer for Northern Strathspey and Morvern Wildcat Priority Areas Dr Keri Langridge

Dr Langridge is the Monitoring Officer for SWA, and has a background in research and field ecology. Keri graduated first in her year at Sheffield University with a degree in Zoology, and went on to complete a PhD in Behavioural Ecology before working and volunteering on research and conservation expeditions around the world, particularly for the Mauritius Marine Conservation Society. Keri also spent four years working as a field ecologist in the Scottish Highlands, before returning to research as a postdoctoral researcher in Animal Behaviour at Exeter University. While at Exeter, Keri adopted two cats from Cats Protection and became a life-long cat addict, going on to work as an Education Officer for Cats Protection in the Southwest.

Keri loves the research part of her job, and spends a large amount of time developing trail camera methods for targeting wild-living cats. She is responsible for analysing all the survey data (currently over 300,000 images) with the help of Roo Campbell, our resident modelling expert. Like the other Project Officers, Keri manages upwards of 100 volunteers, coordinates with landowners and runs education programmes - giving talks and trail cameras to schools and community groups. In addition Keri conducts large-scale TNVR (Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return) for feral and hybrid cats, and trains volunteers in live-trapping. Keri volunteers for her local Cats Protection branch at Nairn in her spare time.

Project Officer for Strathbogie Wildcat Priority Area Emma Rawling

Emma is responsible for this area of Aberdeenshire and for co-ordinating Scottish Wildcat Action's TNVR programme and volunteer team. She started her career as a veterinary nurse and animal welfare worker in Australia, with a speciality in rehabilitating wildlife. Emma moved to Scotland 15 years ago, and studied for her MSc in Wildlife Biology and Conservation, wanting to help whole species and habitats as much as individual animals. She has since worked all over Scotland as a wildlife ranger and warden, with a wide range of species like red squirrels, ospreys and beavers, geese, swans and many more. She is also passionate about getting young people and volunteers involved with wildlife and the outdoors.

Emma is never happier than when doing practical fieldwork with wildlife and specialises in the TNVR trapping of feral cats to help protect wildcats.

She is based at the Forest Enterprise Scotland office near Elgin.                  

Project Officer for Strathpeffer and Angus Glens Wildcat Priority Areas Nicola Tallach

Nicola earned an honours degree in Biology (Environmental Science) from Aberdeen University and after a brief stint in an office, assisting with the production of environmental reports, she decided that life behind a desk wasn’t for her. At that point, she jumped ship to volunteer for the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) as a Countryside Ranger and worked around Scotland for seven years. Nicola worked on wildlife and conservation projects and was involved in teaching school groups and the public about the environment around them.

After a couple of years of travelling and working on conservation projects in New Zealand and Australia (including trapping work on a predator free island), Nicola returned to work for an environmental consultancy for two years before joining SNH as an Area Officer in Wester Ross (and latterly, in the Inner Moray Firth Area). This work included working closely with a range of land managers to bring designated sites into favourable condition. Nicola has been with the SWA project for three months and is looking forward to getting out and about during the survey season, working with the community, volunteers and land managers to help protect wildcats. She is also planning to coordinate a steering group, focussing on best practice in wildcat friendly land management practices.

Communications Co-ordinator for Scottish Wildcat Action Duncan McKenzie

Duncan is responsible for the delivery of Scottish Wildcat Action’s communications plan, public relations, overseeing the project’s social networking channels and marketing. His work also involves close working and co-ordination with our partners and members of the local, regional and national media. Duncan has over 20 years of experience working in and with the media. The Napier University journalism graduate (BA Journalism) started working in local newspapers in the west of Scotland before moving to the Press and Journal, where he spent four years writing news and sport.

He then became Media Officer for Northern Constabulary and remained there for ten years (one of which he spent as Media Adviser/Head of Communications) and prior to joining SWA he worked for four years with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service as the Media Officer responsible for Highlands and Islands, Tayside and Grampian. His work at both the Police and Fire Service had conservation/environmental elements, including wildlife crime prevention (such as raptor persecution) and wildfire prevention. He is passionate about the natural world and is immensely proud to be part of SWA’s project to help save the Scottish wildcat from extinction.

Cat Conservation Project Officer David Barclay

David is the Cat Conservation Project Officer for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) and manages the conservation breeding programme for Scottish Wildcat Action. David has worked for the RZSS for 13 years and first started working with primates, before moving through all animal areas within Edinburgh Zoo prior to specialising on the carnivore section and becoming the Senior keeper of Carnivores, primates and birds at the Highland Wildlife Park. Prior to joining the RZSS he graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Animal Biology from Napier University and has since gone on to graduate from Sparsholt College with both an ANC in the Management of Zoo Animals and an FdSc in Zoo Resource Management whilst with the RZSS.

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Image for Duncan McKenzie

I'm responsible for the delivery of Scottish Wildcat Action’s Communications plan, marketing and promotion of the project's key messages through our website and social media channels. My role also involves media relations and PR.

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