The Team

Staff

Cliff Benson

Founder and Managing Director

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Cliff is a naturalist and conservationist, involved in aquatic conservation since he was a founder member of WAYD (the Wildlife Association of the Yorkshire Derwent). The group was concerned with protecting the River Derwent in his native Yorkshire from canalization in the 1970’s. It was during this period he started his long association with local Wildlife Trusts.

He moved to West Wales in 1978 as a partner in Cambrian Bird Holidays helping to establish one of the UK’s first Eco Tourism enterprises. circumstances took him away from Wales but spent several Springs in protecting Red Kite Nests in Mid Wales volunteering with the Tregaron Community Kite Group. It was at this time he first met Iolo Williams, (now a good friend and honorary President of Sea Trust).  He returned with his partner Frederike, shortly afterwards he was involved in organizing a team of volunteers rescuing oiled sea birds during The Sea Empress Oil Disaster.

Consequently, Cliff began to realise our local Pembrokeshire Marine wildlife was under-recorded and set up Sea Trust as the marine section of the Wildlife Trust. In 2013 Sea Trust took over the management of the Ocean Lab on Fishguard Harbour which necessitated leaving the Wildlife Trust and setting up Sea Trust as a not for profit Community Interest Company, operating as financially independent autonomous community project.

When asked what he most enjoys about his work he answers:

I guess it’s finding out about and raising awareness of the incredible but poorly understood wildlife here in Pembrokeshire, literally on our doorstep. From great whales to our enigmatic little porpoises, I just love it when someone sees a Whale, dolphin or a porpoise for the first time with us”

Anna Elliott

Project Development Officer, Coleg y Môr

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Anna joined Sea Trust in 2016. She has an MSc in Environmental Biology, Conservation and Resource Management. Her MSc research project involved working with a local company to determine the ecological prospects of harvesting barrel jellyfish for collagen in Carmarthen Bay. This research was published in the ICES International Journal of Marine Science. Since completing her BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science 11 years ago, she has gained diverse work experience in the commercial and government sector. She worked in South Africa as an Environmental Consultant and Environmental Control Officer. Prior to that she worked on social ecology projects at Forest Research in Edinburgh. In her spare time Anna enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two daughters.

Chantelle Cove

Project Coordinator, Porpoise Photo ID

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Chantelle joined Sea Trust in summer 2016, initially as a volunteer and subsequently as the Project Coordinator. She has been working to launch the Porpoise Photo ID Project and carrying out the Photo ID surveys with the help of the project volunteers and Sea Trust photographer Ken Barnett. Chantelle completed her BSc in Palaeobiology at University College London in 2015, and has since worked as an intern research assistant with the EDGE of Existence programme at London Zoo before moving to Wales and starting work with the Porpoise Photo ID project. You can find her out on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path most days watching for porpoise and other marine wildlife!

Interns

Rens Hensgens

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Rens is from the Netherlands, and is with us on a five-month internship as part of his degree at Van Hall Larenstein. He has learned a lot during his internship with the Sea Trust, and have enjoyed seeing Pembrokeshire’s amazing wildlife.

Laura Lemey

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Laura is also with us on a five-month internship as part of her degree in Animal Management at Van Hall Larenstein in the Netherlands. She is originally from Bruges, Belgium and she hopes to specialise more in marine biology in the future.  She is enjoying every minute of her time in beautiful Pembrokeshire and its wonderful wildlife!

Volunteers

Sea Trust’s volunteers make all our work possible, and we are extremely proud of their dedication to the Sea Trust’s work and vision.

Ken Barnett

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Ken has been a Sea Trust volunteer for three years. He carries out surveys at Strumble Head most days of the year, and his brilliant porpoise photography has been the driving force behind our new Porpoise Photo ID project, which is stretching the limits of land-based porpoise photographic ID – currently only carried out in a few other locations worldwide.

Marged J.

Marged has volunteered with the Sea Trust since 2015 as our Education volunteer. She runs our weekly ysgol bro gwaun visits, as well as helping out with Sea Shore Safaris and other school and educational events. A native Welsh speaker and a previous Welsh-medium teacher, Marged helps the Sea Trust to provide its material in both Welsh and English.

Barbara Davies

Barbara started volunteering with Sea Trust in 2011, doing ferry surveys on a regular basis. She took her first WOW (wildlife observer wales) Cetaceans course in 2011, and has since completed the WOW Sea Birds, Seashore Life, Seals and Wildlife Observer Tour Guide courses! Her time with the Sea Trust led to Barbara studying for a Marine Biology Diploma in 2015 as well as becoming a STEM ambassador. Barbara has also been involved with tour guide, educational and aquarium work at the Ocean Lab. She currently represents Sea Trust at conservation meetings at Pendine and Pembrey air weapons ranges, and surveying and recording marine mammals at Cefn Sidan, Pembrey.

Volunteering for Sea Trust has allowed me to meet, work and socialize with people from all walks of life, backgrounds and countries and make some great friends along the way.

Steven Lucas

Steven has been a Sea Trust volunteer for 14 years! He regularly takes part in our small boat and land-based surveys and is a prize-winning photographer.

Theresa Barker

Theresa joined the Sea Trust in autumn 2016 and has been a huge help assisting with maintaining and upgrading the Sea Môr Aquarium as part of the Coleg y Môr project. She has also recently joined the Porpoise Photo ID project.

Brad Williams

Brad started volunteering with the Sea Trust in 2016 and has become a vital member of the team. Recently he has joined the Porpoise Photo ID project and will soon be starting a joint apprenticeship with the Sea Trust and Pembrokeshire County Council.

Gonzalo Labrot

Gonzalo studied Environmental Science at the University of Granada (Spain) and after a few years of living in Bristol, he had the chance to move to Pembrokeshire, where he’s been enjoying the beautiful landscape, nature and wildlife. In the future, he hopes to go into ecological consultancy.

Anna Cross

Anna has joined us as a Porpoise Photo ID volunteer, and has quickly taken to porpoise surveying and photography. She is a keen watersports enthusiast and is enjoying seeing the water from a new perspective!

Maddie Maddox

Maddie is a student at Pembrokeshire College with a keen interest in marine wildlife. She has thrown herself into volunteering with the Sea Trust and recently completed her first ferry survey with the Sea Trust aboard the Stena Line.

Jenni Lalande

Jenni has recently moved to the area from Cardiff, and is throwing herself into the local community and wildlife with us and also through her rowing club, where she has been lucky enough to spot bottlenose dolphins and grey seals while out on the water!

Rob Havard

Marion Tuck

Adrian Tyrell

Helena Goodall 

Alan Lewis

Alan is one of our newest volunteers and has so far worked hard in our garden area at the Ocean Lab, clearing it for the new season, as well as joining us on the occasional porpoise watch!

Steve Rosser

Steve is an experienced Sea Trust ferry survey volunteer and regularly leads Sea Trust surveys from Fishguard to Ireland.

 

Thank you to all of our past and current volunteers not mentioned here – we really do have too many names to mention. Thank you as well to our volunteer Directors: (Angela Griffiths, Hannah Harries, Anthony Lucas, Miguel Sanchez, Stephen Davis and Cliff Benson) and Dr Tony Gallon and his Sea Trust North Wales team who survey on the Holyhead to Dublin ferry route.