Inez Smith, Chair of Trustees
Inez spent 18 years in financial services, with experience of process engineering, operational management, relationship management, project management and sales. This was followed by working at Peterborough Youth Offending Service as a Project Manager before moving to Froglife to set up the FACT project (previously known as The Peterborough Environment Enrichment Project)
Inez left her staff role at Froglife in 2007 to become Development Director at YMCA Cambridgeshire and Peterborough (now YMCA Trinity Group) and most recently was Deputy CEO and Head of Operations at Peterborough Council for Voluntary Services (PCVS). In these roles, Inez led on the strategic development of new work-streams and successful high value income generation through new grants and contracts.
Inez formerly volunteered on Hampton Nature Reserve, managed by Froglife, taking an active part in habitat work and surveying and has been a trustee since 2010.
Prof. Roger Downie, Vice Chair of Trustees
Roger has taught Zoology at the University of Glasgow since 1970 and, though he formally retired in 2010, he continues with some of his research and teaching interests.
Roger began his life in science as a developmental biologist, but soon broadened his interests to include life histories, ecological aspects of development and wildlife conservation. Under-graduate and later to Iceland as a junior member of staff his life changed as a result. Roger has undertaken a long series of research visits to Trinidad and Tobago to study amphibians and marine turtles, usually accompanied by undergraduates and often postgraduates too. Roger has also contributed to marine turtle and amphibian work in Cyprus.
Roger served for many years as Secretary to the Board of Management at Friends of the Earth Scotland and has served as Vice President and President of Glasgow Natural History Society, and is Chair of the Clyde Amphibian and Reptile Group (CARG).
Dr. Silviu Petrovan, Trustee
Silviu has always been interested in reptiles and amphibians and has worked as a herpetologist on several research projects, primarily in Romania, Honduras and Indonesia. Silviu formerly worked for Froglife as Head of Conservation.
Silviu is a fully qualified vet and holds an MSc in Taxonomy and Biodiversity Conservation from the University of Bucharest. In 2007 he moved to the UK to start a PhD in animal ecology at the Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences, University of Hull. The focus of his research was the landscape ecology of brown hares and rabbits in grasslands. This was followed by a People’s Trust for Endangered Species postdoctoral contract investigating the impact of biomass energy crops on farmland biodiversity, using brown hares as a model species.
Silviu works as a Research Associate for Conservation Evidence at The University of Cambridge.
Xavier Mahele, Trustee
Xavier has always had a keen interest in natural history with a particular interest in amphibians, their evolution and conservation. In June 2019 he completed work experience with Froglife’s London T.O.A.D team and has been coming back as a volunteer ever since! He’s had an amazing time at Froglife helping out with events, surveying, writing, and now as a trustee.
He is currently an undergraduate at Imperial College London studying ecology and also a visiting student with the amphibian disease research group at the ZSL Institute of Zoology.
Gordon MacLellan, Trustee
Gordon is a zoologist and teacher. With an additional background as an artist, puppeteer and dancer, he now combines scientific and expressive fields to offer challenging and exciting workshops.
As “Creeping Toad” he works with a blend of art, science and straightforward celebrations. Gordon says “I work on the principle that we live in a world worthy of celebration and most of my work these days revolves around that idea. So I work with groups to find ways of exploring and experiencing the places where they live, work and play”
Gordon brings to Froglife this mix of zoology, education and art with 30 years of experience of ways of engaging groups with issues, places and wildlife. That has included fundraising, community project management and writing for publications.
Frank Clark, Trustee
Frank spent ten years in the RAF, followed by three years in Singapore, before leaving to work for a major fork lift truck manufacturer. He spent the remainder of his working life in engineering sales.
Frank’s interest in wildlife developed when he retired and moved to a mountain village in Northern Italy, standing on the top of a mountain and looking down on golden eagles soaring below.
Frank is a volunteer Custody Visitor with the Cambridgeshire Police Authority and is an active volunteer on Hampton Nature Reserve, managed by Froglife, undertaking almost daily inspections.
Dr. Phil Wheeler, Trustee
Phil Wheeler is a conservation biologist and Senior Lecturer in Ecology at the Open University. He has carried out research on a wide range of species and ecosystems from hares in British farmland and moorland to the dynamics of the tropical forests of South East Asia. Although most of Phil’s work in the UK has been with mammals, more recently he has supervised research projects on amphibians and reptiles, including partnering with Froglife since 2013 on studies of Great Crested Newts.
Phil has been teaching people about the environment since he was at school, first working as a volunteer and later employed with education charities in inner-city Manchester and since 2003 as a university lecturer at the University of Hull’s Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences and from 2015 at The Open University.
For information on Froglife’s staff click here.