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CIOSLNP Board Members

Prof Kevin Gaston

Kevin J. Gaston is Professor of Biodiversity and Conservation at the University of Exeter. He is also a founding director of the Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI), 

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Kevin is amongst the most highly cited research ecologists. He has published 13 books and more than 400 science papers. He was elected to the Academia Europaea. His research interests span:

  • biodiversity
  • conservation biology
  • ecosystem services
  • urban ecology

He is particularly well known for his work on the factors that determine why some species are very rare and others extraordinarily common. This includes the diverse consequences, many of profound importance to humanity, that result.

Robin is a member of the House of Lords and chairs its EU Energy and Environment sub-committee.  He speaks in particular in the Lords on climate change and energy issues.  

He is a former board member of the Marine Management Organisation. As such, he also takes a close interest in the marine environment and fisheries.  

He is a trustee of the Green Purposes Company. This holds the ‘green share’ in the Green Investment Bank. He is a director of the think tank Policy Connect, and Wessex Investors Ltd.  

He represented Cornwall and Scilly as its MEP during the 1990s.  He lives in mid-Cornwall.

Oliver has been a social and environmental activist all his adult life. His partner and her brother own a 250-acre organic sheep and beef farm, where he works as a volunteer.  He’s a member of Extinction Rebellion. He sees the twin crises of climate breakdown and ecological collapse as the greatest challenge civilization has ever faced.

He is also a father, a grandfather, a beekeeper, a vegetable grower, a political activist, a bird lover, a cook.  Much of his career has been in campaigning to retain services and facilities in rural Cornwall. It has also been in finding ways of supporting those most isolated, impoverished or least able to fend for themselves in our communities. He has served as chief executive of the Cornwall Rural Community Charity. More recently he has served as chief exectutive of the Cornwall Community Foundation. He was awarded an OBE in 2000 for services to rural communities.

Karen has a legal and commercial professional background and worked for BG Group Plc for 26 years. She qualified as a lawyer with Linklaters then practised there for several years as a commercial lawyer. In BG Group Karen worked on several major projects and became Deputy General Counsel in 1997. Subsequently she had commercial and country management roles for BG Group in Trinidad and Canada.

Karen was an Environment Agency Board Member for six years from 2012. She chaired the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee. She took a particular interest in the work of the Devon Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Currently Karen is a governor of Cornwall College. She is Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee. She is also a member of the Remuneration Search and Governance Committees. Karen is also a trustee of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

Married with two grown up daughters her interests include:

  • hiking
  • rowing
  • ski-ing
  • sailing
  • working with environment groups including the National Trust and the Roseland Environment Action Team

Nick is Operations Director for the RSPB. He leads a team of 300 staff and 2,000 volunteers across Southern England. He has worked for the RSPB for nearly two decades, previously in Northern England and London. Whilst there he specialised in nature reserve and operational management

Nick has a particular interest in environmental leadership. he is interested in aligning partners and the wider public around a common cause.

Nick grew up in Wiltshire, where his family have farmed for many generations. This has given Nick both an affinity with the farming community and a passion to make the farmed environment more nature-friendly. Having been blessed with a childhood in the countryside, Nick is also a strong advocate for providing opportunities to connect young people of all backgrounds with nature.

Carolyn Cadman is the Chief Executive of Cornwall Wildlife Trust and their company, Cornwall Environmental Consultants.

Carolyn has previously worked in national roles for the Marine Management Organisation and Natural England, before joining Cornwall Council in 2015.

Carolyn’s team manage over 55 nature reserves across Cornwall, work with 1400 volunteers each year, host the accredited Local Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall an the Isles of Scilly. The team also deliver a range of marine and land-based conservation projects in partnership, including advice to landowners, farmers, fishermen and other business to take wildlife friendly decisions, advocating low carbon and nature- based solutions to the challenges Cornwall faces. More info at www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk  

Tom is an independent consultant based in St. Germans. His work focuses on Marine Protected Area:

  • planning and management effectiveness
  • project development
  • fundraising

He was formerly the Head of Marine Policy at the RSPB. Between 2005 and 2011 he led Finding Sanctuary. This was a project that brought together stakeholders from across the South West to design Marine Conservation Zones. 

Steve is the Area Environment Planning and Engagement Manager for the Environment Agency. He leads a department that focusses on working with others to create a better place for people and wildlife. 

Steve has worked in water and environment management since 1993.  He began his career with the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology working across the UK and overseas. He returned home to Cornwall in 1999 to join the Environment Agency. 

He has since undertaken several roles across the wide remit of the Environment Agency. This is to protect the environment and promote sustainable development in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 

Sarah has been the CEO of the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust since March 2013.

Before that she worked in the senior team at Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. She was looking after the teams responsible for:

  • land management
  • community engagement
  • environmental education 

She has worked in nature conservation for 20 years. She knew she wanted to “save the planet” when she was just 8 years old. She was inspired by the frogs, toads and slow worms in her garden and birds at her local gravel pit. 

Rob is the Cornwall Councillor for Redannick Ward in Truro. He is also the Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection.

Rob started his working life as a Solicitors Clerk in Westminster. He went on to set up a Motorcycle Courier company, which he ran successfully for 25 years.

Rob was elected to Truro City Council in 2006. Here he has twice served as Mayor of Truro. He was elected to Carrick District Council in 2007 and Cornwall Council in 2009. Rob has been Chair of the Harbours Board and was for the last 6 years Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee.

Rob is married to Moyra, a nurse, and together they run a B&B in Truro.

Jonathan is a Member of the Council of the Isles of Scilly as the Councillor for St Martin's, Isles of Scilly, and Lead Member for Environment and Climate Change. His day job is running an organic fruit and vegetable farm, Scilly Organics.

He has been involved heavily with environmental issues for the past 20 years. He set up Transition Scilly in 2008 and has actively worked with UK farmers and growers to help them reduce their carbon footprints, through Farm Carbon Toolkit. He co-created and now manages the Farm Carbon Calculator, a leading carbon calculator for farmers and growers to understand and reduce their carbon footprint.

Biography to follow

Wesley Smyth is the Area Manager for Natural England’s Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Team and has been involved in all aspects of Natural England’s work in Cornwall and the IoS.

Natural England is the government’s advisor on the natural environment. We provide practical advice, grounded in science, on how best to safeguard England’s natural wealth for the benefit of everyone. Our remit is to ensure sustainable stewardship of the land and sea so that people and nature can thrive. It is our responsibility to see that England’s rich natural environment can adapt and survive intact for future generations to enjoy.

Natural England’s ambition is not just to improve nature, but to see it thriving everywhere. This is because we recognise that a healthy natural environment is fundamental to everyone’s wealth, health and happiness.

Wesley has had a lifelong interest in wildlife with a breadth of experience of working with land managers and communities on the stewardship of our natural heritage.