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.

 

 

Holly Dunn

Citizen Science Project Officer, Porpoise Photo ID, People’s Porpoise Project

Holly (2)Holly joined Sea Trust in 2017 as Project Coordinator and she has recently been promoted to Citizen Science Project Officer. She has taken over the Porpoise Photo ID project working alongside Sea Trust photographer Ken Barnett and several volunteers. Holly has an MSc in Marine Biology and a BSc in Animal Behaviour & Welfare. Her past research investigates harbour porpoise distribution and habitat use within high tidal-energy areas around the Welsh Coast. She has also spent time in Madagascar and South Africa as an intern gaining experience surveying marine megafauna in the field. You can find her out on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path most days watching for porpoise and other marine wildlife!

 

 

Brad Williams

Apprentice Aquarist & Tour Guide

17097323_1478677732166506_3981103971110618689_oBrad started volunteering with the Sea Trust in 2016 and has become a vital member of the team. He has recently started an apprenticeship with us after he successfully completed his traineeship with Sea Trust and  Pembrokeshire County Council. Brad helps with guided aquarium tours, aquarium maintenance and front of house.

 

 

 

 

Lloyd Nelmes

Project Coordinator, Porpoise Photo ID

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Lloyd is Sea Trust’s newest member working alongside Holly as Project Coordinator allowing the porpoise photo ID project to expand. Lloyd has a BSc in Marine Biology and is currently working on improving his dive qualifications. Being around the sea so much has unfortunately allowed him to notice the increase in marine plastic pollution so has made it his mission to clean up the Pembrokeshire coast with Surfers Against Sewage organising beach cleans all year round. If he isn’t on the shore looking for our local wildlife he is in the sea surfing or diving with it!

 

 

 

Interns

We currently have 5 interns. We are looking for interns from January 2019. If you are interested in our internship programme please contact us.

Sarah Dickson 

Volunteer Research Assistant

Sarah started volunteering with Sea Trust in June for a 10 week placement. Sarah is currently studying Zoology at the University of Leeds and has a strong interest in marine mammals. As a volunteer research assistant, she enjoys going out on surveys and helping with the porpoise photo ID project.

 

 

 

 

 

Rachel Buchanan

Volunteer Intern

Rachel is an arts manager who has always loved nature conservation, and when the opportunity came to do a master’s degree in legal research, she wrote about the marine conservation provisions in the Law of the Sea. Interning at Sea Trust is a chance to do some practical conservation work to back up her learning, and she is enjoying spotting porpoise as well as picking up lots of fun facts about jellyfish.

James McKay

Volunteer Intern

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James is a recent graduate of Marine Biology BSc from Swansea University. He enjoys taking part in conservation projects and educating the public about local species. He’s obsessed with sharks, along with marine mammals, and he hope to work closely with sharks and their conservation.
Previous interns
Many thanks to all our previous interns. Sea Trust would not be possible without all your hard work. There are too many names to mention everyone but special thanks to our interns over the past few years who have helped to get the aquarium up and running again. Gita Matlášková, Laura Rommens, Jens Rasenberg, Fenella Wood, Sophie Crouch, Sophia Ellis, Laura Lemey, Rens Hensgens, Ruben Caballero, Ruben Serrano and Santiago Delgado!!!

 

We also take final year students who need to collect data for their final year dissertation. In 2017 we hosted Sophia Ellis from Swansea University. We’re happy to say she received a 1st for her project “Spatial and temporal variations in the distribution and abundance of harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, along a fixed transect between Fishguard and Rosslare Harbour“.

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. She has recently joined the porpoise photo ID team.

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.

Stephen Lucas

Stephen 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.

Joel Kemp

Joel is a marine biologist and diver. He volunteers with us most weeks and surveys cetaceans from Strumble Head and the Breakwater.

Rob Havard

Rob has a degree in photography and has been helping us with our Porpoise Photo ID surveys.

Marion & Adrian Tyrrell

Marion and Adrian are part of our Porpoise Photo ID volunteer team. Adrian is originally from Goodwick and especially enjoys the Outer Breakwater surveys. Adrian and Marion both love being outdoors and when they are not volunteering with Sea Trust they are busy on their small-holding.

Adam Goodall 

Adam is one of our Porpoise Photo ID volunteers. He loves animals and being outdoors.

Ben Hughes

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One of the latest volunteers, Ben is an artist, beach cleaner, puppeteer, storyteller and photography enthusiast dedicated to conservation. Ben has a passion for animals which stems from his father’s work towards invertebrate conservation. Ben has just finished college and is looking for some experience in various fields. Ben says this project sounded perfect for him as he loves looking out to sea whatever the weather and seeing what wonders are out there.

Lorraine Brookes

Having moved to fishguard last August Lorraine has always had a strong connection to the sea from sailing to diving, along with working to clean local beaches with MCS. Lorraine was keen to do more for the animals and locally for people and seatrust is a great way of making a difference.

Amanda Davey

“I have a real passion for nature, wildlife and our amazing coast.  As an open water swimmer, I spend a lot of time in the sea, so to have the opportunity as a Sea Trust volunteer to learn more about the marine life that so kindly lets me share its environment is a real privilege. I love to walk the coast path with my dog Ripley and also enjoy exploring it from sea level in my kayak. I feel so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world, the more I can be outside to enjoy it and the more I can learn about how to preserve it the better!”

Rhodri Davies

Rhodri graduated from Cardiff University in 2017 with BSc Hons Marine geography, and has since worked on a cetacean project in Ceredigion and with the Bimini Sharklab in the Bahamas. He is passionate about all areas of marine conservation and determined to pursue a career in science, believing that the smallest and most inconspicuous creatures need a bit of attention too.

Anthony Morris

Anthony is a keen photographer and has been volunteering on the Porpoise Photo ID project in order to expand his photography skills.

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 and interns 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.