Meet the Ocean Conservation Trust team – experts in everything from marine biology to conservation, education and communication – and all equally passionate about the future of our Ocean.
Roger Maslin – CEO
It’s my privilege to be the CEO of the Ocean Conservation Trust , to set the direction and steer the ship, but above all, to help everyone make as much of a positive difference as they can to our Ocean and enjoy themselves while doing so.
The Ocean conservation cause is very close to my heart, and the work we do on behaviour change and habitat restoration, combined with running UK’s largest Aquarium, which includes over 4,000 Ocean animals that don’t have a voice of their own – and, of course, the incredible team I have – all make it a pleasure to be a part of the Ocean Conservation Trust.
What I love about the Ocean is that it’s the foundation of life, yet we know so little about it and its infinite capacity to surprise , if we look after it.
Nicola Bridge – Head of Conservation Education & Communications
As a Conservation Biologist with many years of experience in both formal and informal environmental education and science communication, specifically linked to the Ocean environment, I’m passionate about delivering experiential learning in all aspects of the Trust’s educational work, ensuring that learning outcomes are key and that those interacting with us are always aware of their connection to the Ocean. I’m also responsible for our charitable outputs such as behaviour change campaigns and projects that help connect a variety of audiences to the Ocean, whether physically or virtually.
As well as working for the Ocean Conservation Trust, I hold the position of Chair of the Conservation Education Committee of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) – a role that sees me working with zoos and aquariums across Britain to ensure that quality conservation education is delivered in at their collections. I am also the President of EMSEA (European Marine Science Educators) and use my skill set to drive Ocean Literacy across the UK and Europe.
My favourite things about the Ocean are that it can calm you down on a stressful day or give you energy when you need it. It reminds me of holidays and good times with friends and family. It connects all of us around the planet and it is the home to the most amazing and remarkable creatures. I just love to be beside water, I do think I have some kind of mermaid blood in me as being under it is just as great!
Drew Colenso – Head of Operations
As Head of Operations, I am responsible for the delivery of our world-class aquarium facility, the National Marine Aquarium. This includes ensuring the highest possible welfare of all our animals, a safe, enjoyable and informative visit for our visitors and maintaining the income required to support our critically important charitable objectives.
I have always been passionate about our environment and working for the Ocean Conservation Trust has provided an ideal opportunity for me to utilise my skills, knowledge and drive to ensure my working life also supported my environmental ethics. After six and a half years, I am still as engaged and driven as I was on my first day.
Most scientific research looking for signs for life on other planets revolves around finding liquid water and shows humanity has an ever increasing respect for the role Earths water cycles has for all life on this planet. The ocean is fundamental to the water cycle, the food chain and the very oxygen we breathe: How can you not love it?
Julie Barbour – Head of Finance
As Head of Finance, I manage the reporting and cash flow for the charity and it’s subsidiaries, monitoring our performance against budgets and cash flow. With such expansive operations, this involves the finances for the operation of the Aquarium and our expansive school education programs, as well as grants we give to Ocean charities, projects run from grants we have been awarded and forecasting for an ever changing future of promoting Ocean Conservation.
I love working for a charity which is teaching all ages to preserve the Ocean habitat and to recognise its importance for us all in the healthy future of the planet. Seeing the numbers we reach and recognising the impact it has on those involved is heartening and gives me hope that every second breathe we take will still come from the Ocean in centuries to come.
Clare Fardon – HR Advisor
As HR Advisor for the Ocean Conservation Trust, I provide a full HR service to staff at the charity. I provide counsel and assistance to employees as well as support to managers on issues such as performance management, recruitment, staff development and compensation and benefits.
We have a very diverse range of roles at the charity and a wide variety of working patterns and practices which makes it interesting from an HR perspective!
I was initially drawn to work for the Ocean Conservation Trust because of all the amazing education and conservation work that is done here and can honestly say that I have never before worked with such a passionate and committed team of people. I love it!
With all the environmental issues facing the world, I feel very lucky to be working for an Ocean Conservation Charity which has a vision of a world supporting a healthy Ocean. Seeing the impact that we have with our education programmes and conservation projects is incredibly rewarding.
Olly Reed – Assistant Marketing Manager
My name is Olly and I’m the Assistant Marketing Manager at the Ocean Conservation Trust.
I’ve worked with the charity for many years and am proud to have grown with it. I mainly deal with the digital and creative side of marketing the charity and the Aquarium we run in Plymouth. Day to day, I manage our websites, media, social media and advertising too.
The positive nature of the charity is what attracted me to work here. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with global issues sometimes, but it’s great to work with a team of people that want to be part of the conversation in making it better.
Not only is the Ocean full of mind boggling and stunning animals, but for me it takes me to a happy place. Growing up by the sea has made the Ocean a huge part of my life and just swimming in it takes me to a place of calm like nothing else.
Mel Kruger – Communications Officer
My name is Mel, and as Communications Officer it is my role to handle external and internal communications for the Ocean Conservation Trust. As a charity, we do some amazing work in the field of conservation education around the world – and I’m responsible for telling these stories, making people aware not just of what we are doing, but also why we are doing it.
With a strong background in PR, digital marketing and journalism, I can often be found seeking out media opportunities that will enable us to communicate our key messages, encouraging ‘Ocean Optimism’ and pro-Ocean behaviours to safeguard our Ocean’s future – as well as ensuring that our award-winning education programme and our conservation projects around the world are widely recognised for the important role they play in connecting people with our Ocean.
I love everything about the Ocean, from its hidden, unexplored depths to the fact that is teeming with life you might never know is there if you didn’t take the time to look. But my favourite thing of all is that it connects us all – there is only one Ocean, no matter where in the world you happen to be. Many people still aren’t aware of the extent to which our Ocean supports life on Earth, and at the Ocean Conservation Trust, this is something we want to change.
Helen Gowans – Public & Community Engagement Manager
As Public and Community Engagement Manager, my role is to contribute to the delivery of the Ocean Conservation Trust’s mission of ‘connecting us with our Ocean’ by planning and ensuring the delivery of innovative and creative public activities and community partnerships, networks and initiatives. I have a strong background in conservation psychology from my Masters degree in Sustainable Environmental Management and came to work here because I believe that behaviour change is an important solution to many conservation issues.
I love the Ocean because there is always something new to find, about two-thirds of all marine life remain unidentified. There will always be something to discover for generations to come. It doesn’t get better than the Ocean!
Stu Higgs – Schools Programme Manager
As Schools Programme Manager, I manage the delivery and development of our Schools Programme, both in Plymouth and across our outreach hubs in South Wales and the North East of England. I’ve been in the role since 2015, and absolutely love it. I’ve always enjoyed life by, in, and on the sea and trained as a Youth Worker and Further Education practitioner here in Plymouth, so was delighted to take on this role for the Ocean Conservation Trust. My favourite Ocean animal? It’s a tough one – but it’s got to be octopus or jellyfish. Probably.
Marcus Williams – Assistant Curator
Charlie Preston – Senior Biologist / Diver
Victoria Spurdle – Functions & Events Manager
Jane Hamlyn – Assistant Finance Manager
Tony King – Engineering & Site Services Manager
Tim Nurse – Ticketing & Retail Manager
Mark Parfitt – Head Chef & Catering Manager