UK Office Contacts
The headquarters of Operation Wallacea are in Lincolnshire, England, where we have been operating since 1998. The UK team are on hand to take your calls and emails all year round.
Tel: +44 1790 763194
Dr. Tim Coles, Opwall’s Founder and Project Director, receiving the “Tourism for Tomorrow” Award
Opwall UK HQ
Who’s who at Operation Wallacea UK
Project Director and founder of Operation Wallacea: Dr. Tim Coles OBE
Dr. Coles founded Operation Wallacea in 1995, and the Operation Wallacea Trust (Charity no. 1078362) in 1998. In doing so he designed and ran a series of projects that have not only resulted in the levering of over $2 million of funding for tropical conservation practices, but have also established protected areas and national parks, discovered over 30 new vertebrate species to science (plus many more invertebrate species), and have achieved numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Tim has a PhD in fisheries management and over 13 years of experience in biological assessment in the UK water industry and National Rivers Authority. In 1990 he established both IEMA (the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment) and EARA (the Environmental Auditors Registration Association). IEMA now has over 12,500 individual and corporate members based in 87 countries, and is a leading international membership-based organisation dedicated to the promotion of sustainable development, and to the professional development of individuals employed in the environmental sector. EARA has now evolved into the IEMA Environmental Auditors Register, which has over 1,650 auditors listed in over 50 countries worldwide.
Tim and Operation Wallacea have received numerous awards for their work in the environment sector, including an RSA Better Environment for Industry Award, an EC Environment Award, the Best New Tourism Project Award from the Guild of British Travel Writers, and the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Award for Best Project in a National Park. Tim also received an OBE in the Queens birthday honours list 2012 for services to environmental conservation.
Director of Sales and Marketing: Pippa Disney
Pippa first went to Indonesia with Operation Wallacea in 1998 and fell in love with everything expedition and Opwall. Upon her return she embarked upon the university tour spreading the word of Operation Wallacea and fundraising to undergraduates. Now many years on, having travelled to Cuba, Greece, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, South Africa and Transylvania she heads up our sales, marketing and fundraising teams. Pippa has overseen the growth of Operation Wallacea running from a single country to what it is today and from recruiting volunteers from just the UK to now having sales offices in more than 10 countries, including USA, Canada, Sweden, Portugal, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. In 2010 Pippa was made a Director and is responsible for all school and volunteer recruitment. On expedition she spends as much of her time birding as possible and has a C-permit ringing license with the BTO.
Director of Operations: Alex Tozer
Alex first started working with Operation Wallacea in the summer of 2004, when he volunteered to work in a baking hot office in a dusty Honduran town for 3 months in the name of conservation. He has been addicted to Opwall ever-since, and is now involved in setting up and running the projects at each site. He has an MSc (distinction) in Psychology from Nottingham University, has professional qualifications in Occupational Testing, is an Emergency First Response Instructor, holds a C-permit bird ringing license and speaks bad South American Spanish with heavy english overtones.
Senior Operations Manager: Caroline Acton
Caroline began as a Research Assistant with Operation Wallacea in Indonesia whilst taking her BSc in Zoology at The University of Wales, Aberystwyth. She immediately caught the expedition bug and headed to Honduras as Operation Wallacea field staff almost as soon as her final exam was completed. From there she went on to work full time in Operations in the UK office, undertaking five expeditions to Honduras and one in Cuba. In 2010 her love for travel and all things Latin American lead to her taking time out from Opwall to wander the Ecuadorian Amazon for ten months searching out weird and wonderful creatures, eating an obscene amount of rice and beans, and subjecting South America to her Spanish. Now back in the UK office she is involved in the Operations and logistics for the expeditions and is currently running the Mexico and Ecuador projects.
Head of Research: Dr. Dan Exton
Dan has an undergraduate degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology, a Masters in Environmental Governance, and a PhD on the links between ocean primary productivity and climate change. His current areas of research interest include tropical subsistence fisheries and their management, coral reef community ecology, and the role of volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) in marine ecology. Dan is a highly experienced SCUBA diver and has participated in and run marine expeditions to many countries around the world over the past ten years. He has published a number of scientific papers and book chapters to date, and joined Operation Wallacea in September 2011, originally to coordinate their marine research programme. Dan is also heavily involved in large-scale conservation projects through the Opwall Trust charity, and collaborates with a number of universities, institutes and international conservation organisations.
Finance Manager: Gwen Roberts
Gwen joined Operation Wallacea in 2008 and after two summers in the office managed to get out to South Africa this year on an Opwall expedition, where she was our representative in Sodwana Bay and got to complete her PADI Open Water. After a fantastic summer in the field Gwen has returned enthused and ready to continue her studies in accounts after nearly a decade away from the books. Before joining the Opwall team, Gwen spent 8 years working for accounts practioners, the first 2 in Uxbridge where she completed her AAT. In 2006 she completed a charity trek across Cuba, where she managed to raise money by cycling between all the offices of her then employer in 3 counties, covering 200 miles in just 4 days, and motivating colleagues, some shed never met before, to join her along the way!
Senior Research Coordinator: Dr. Kathy Slater
Kathy first became involved with Operation Wallacea in 2001 when she joined the Indonesian expedition as a general volunteer after completing her degree in Biology and Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). She was immediately hooked on jungle living and returned to Indonesia with Opwall the next year to collect data for her MSc project on the Buton macaque. Following her MSc (distinction) in Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Liverpool, Kathy ran away to Mexico to conduct her PhD on the social relationships of wild spider monkeys. Upon completion of her PhD also at the University of Liverpool, Kathy returned to LJMU as a lecturer in Animal Behaviour. A few months later, Kathy found herself listening to the Opwall presentation at LJMU in the same lecture theatre as in 2001 volunteering to run a howler monkey project at the Opwall field site in Honduras. Less than a year later, Kathy joined the Opwall team on a full time basis to oversee the conservation management and primatology projects in Honduras and to coordinate student research projects across all Opwall field sites. Having lived in the jungle for too long to be accepted back into civilized society, Kathy continues to reside with her monkeys in Mexico.
Terrestrial Research and Operations Officer; Senior Scientist: Dr. Danielle Gilroy
Danni joined Operation Wallacea in November 2015 just after completing her PhD in Molecular Ecology at the University of East Anglia, Norfolk. She specialises in conservation genetics, having worked on the endangered Seychelles warbler for four years, and is a Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. A professed 'bird nut' and lover of all things ecology, Danni oversees the terrestrial biodiversity monitoring programme across Operation Wallacea's forest research sites and is based each summer in Cusuco National Park in Honduras as Head Scientist. Along with a number of other Senior Scientists, Danni is working on Cusuco's application to join the Natural Forest Standards scheme to sustain long-term funding for protection of the park through carbon-trading. Danni is also a dissertation co-ordinator and is heavily involved in the Dominica project. In what free time she has, she can be found obsessing over her rescue dog or doing a spot of local-birdwatching.
Marine Operations Manager and Site Manager Hoga island: Pippa Mansell
Pippa Mansell has been involved with Opwall ever since she undertook her dissertation at the Indonesian marine site in 2004. After graduating from Plymouth with a 1st Class Honours degree in Marine Biology and Oceanography in 2005 she wandered round the world for 4 years working on a number of marine and conservation projects in various countries whilst exploring and generally enjoying herself the rest of the time. Her love of Indonesia took her back to Hoga every year as a member of staff and she has been site manager there since 2007. 2009 brought Pippa back to the UK where for 6 months a year she was based at The University of Essex working as a senior research officer for Prof Dave Smith, head of marine research for Opwall. Pippa now continues coordinating the Indonesian marine site between April and September, and is also recruiting students from India to join the Operation Wallacea programme.
Marine Research and Operations Officer: Max Bodmer
Max started working for Opwall in Honduras as a Scientific Divemaster in 2011. Throughout the course of his undergraduate degree at the University of Oxford he returned every summer as a research project leader and Caribbean Coral Reef Ecology Lecturer. His research involves trying to restore populations of the long-spined sea urchin, a keystone species for the maintenance of coral reef health, to Caribbean coral reef ecosystems. Max joined the office team in October 2015 as the Marine Research and Operations Officer, where he assists in the coordination of Opwalls marine research programmes. He is also currently enrolled as a PhD student at the Open University where, in partnership with Opwall, he is continuing the research that he began during his undergraduate degree.
Strategy Advisor: Steve Oliver
A former Royal Marine SteveO has organised and run expeditions to the Tropics for the last 35 years. He has worked on expeditions with Operation Raleigh, Swale Treks, Trekforce, World Challenge as well as many Forces expeditions and special TV and film based expeditions. Steve is based in Jakarta and runs an Expedition Advisory Service for expedition groups going to Indonesia. He has worked with Op Wall since 1996 and has been part of the team that has helped the organisation grow from taking just a small number of volunteers to one destination in Indonesia to the current levels of research activity at 21 sites in 10 countries. SteveO is an invaluable source of advice on expedition management and runs the UK emergency team when the research teams are in the field over the summer or provides support at the field sites.
Science and Education Advisor: Dr Roger Poland
Roger was Head of Science at a College in the West Country and has a long association with OpWall. He went on the first Honduras expedition and has taken many of his students to other Opwall sites. Roger graduated with a Zoology degree from Leeds University followed by a PhD at Exeter University based on Mediterranean Sea turtles and Environmental Education. Since then he has been an active member and trustee of MEDASSET The Mediterranean Association to Save Sea Turtles. After teaching for 108 terms Roger has now joined OpWall and will be helping and advising on how OpWall and A levels students can get the best from their expeditions.
Science and Education Officer and Country Manager: Charlotte Palmer
Charlotte first joined Operation Wallacea on an expedition to Honduras in the summer of 2006 collecting data for her dissertation. After graduating from The University of Birmingham with a BSc in Zoology she returned to Honduras as Opwalls small mammal scientist for the seasons of 2007 and 2008. Eager to pursue conservation as a full time career Charlotte returned to University and completed an MSc in Applied Ecology and Conservation at the University of East Anglia. Gaining more experience Charlotte worked on conservation projects in Ecuador and Vietnam but in 2010 came back to Opwall to work in the UK office and spend her fourth season in Honduras. Changing continents for 2011 to 2014, Charlotte now manages the Indonesia project as well as overseeing the development of and co-ordinating work between the International office network.
School Sales Manager: Helen Clark
Helen graduated from the University of East Anglia in 2005 armed with a degree in Environmental Sciences. After a few years working in unrelated subjects, she remembered her passion and interest lay in conservation and she returned to UEA to top up her knowledge with a graduate diploma in Ecology. During her second run at UEA, she was presented with the chance to go to Egypt with Opwall in 2009. She went, and has been mildly obsessed with Egypt and Opwall ever since. She joined the full time office staff in January 2010 as part of the school sales team. Helen is now responsible for overseeing the schools bookings for the UK, is the initial contact for schools and is also helping to co-ordinate the bookings from the international offices. Her Opwall adventures have taken her to Sinai, Cusuco and the Bay Islands and she is always looking forward to the next one.
Finance Assistant: Natalie Askew
Natalie joined the Opwall finance team in April 2011. Before joining Opwall Natalie worked in a school for over 10 years, as a teaching assistant. Natalie decided on a complete career change and will now be spending her second summer manning the UK office. Natalie has two teenage children which keep her occupied in her spare time along with coaching a local boys football team.
Bookkeeper: Rich Henry
Rich joined Operation Wallacea in June 2014 after completing his BA(Hons) Degree in Accounting and Finance at The University of Lincoln. He has been working in a number of accounts departments over the last 10 years, and completed his AAT in 2012 before University. Rich has a family of 3 young children at home that keep him busy when not at work, and he attempts to fit in playing 5-a-side football when he has the chance.
Fundraiser, CoPE Coordinator and Country Manager: Rachel Daniels
Rachel graduated from The University of Sheffield in 2009 with a Masters in Biology. After graduating, she was offered an opportunity to work in the Panama rain forest for 3 months as a research assistant for the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. This experience reinforced Rachels desire to pursue a career in Biology and conservation, and by joining the Operation Wallacea team she has achieved this ambition. Rachel joined the Opwall fundraising team in August 2010 and has not looked back since, she now not only helps volunteers and school group to raise money for their expedition but also runs the CoPE scheme for our sixth form students. Rachel has spent two summers out in Indonesia helping to co-ordinate the forest project before taking the country manager position in Peru.
Fundraising Coordinator and Country Manager: Georgie Scott
Georgie first joined Operation Wallacea in 2006 when she completed her undergraduate dissertation research in Lambusango forest, Indonesia. Graduating in Environmental Management from Northumbria University, she then taught Environmental Education in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Having worked in India, New Zealand and Lapland she returned to Conservation work volunteering with the Scottish Wildlife Trust and completing an Internship with the RSPB. Georgie joined Opwall as staff in 2014 as part of the fundraising team, and now acts as the country manager for the Transylvania expedition.
Systems Manager: Toby Farman
Toby graduated from the University of Nottingham with a degree in Biotechnology in 2008, but after a 2007 Egypt expedition with Opwall developed a severe case of wanderlust and instead decided to travel the world instead of getting a real job. He spent two years travelling solo around Asia, Australia and South America with nothing but a rucksack, before returning home in 2010 destitute but fulfilled. Toby joined Opwall that September and has had a varied array of roles in the company ever since, notably running the Mozambique project in 2011, acting as South Africa country manager from 2012 to 2016, and looking after most of the technical aspects within Opwall.
Data Manager, International Sales Officer and Country Manager: Hannah Voss
Hannah has always had a passion for wildlife and following a volunteer conservation placement in South Africa in 2005 she attended University and graduated in 2009 with a degree in Conservation Biology with Animal Behaviour. Having saved as much money as possible during University Hannah spent 6 months travelling around South East Asia and India in 2010. Following a few years working in the veterinary industry and completing an MSc in Clinical Animal Behaviour, Hannah joined the Opwall team in 2013 as data manager.
Country Project Manager: Declan Crace
Declan has always had a love of wildlife and the outdoors. After his first experience of expedition life in Indonesia with Operation Wallacea in 2009 he knew that he wanted to get more involved in research and expeditions as a whole. 2010 saw him take part in another expedition to the Peruvian Amazon with university to complete his dissertation research. After graduating from the University of Kent with a degree in Wildlife Conservation in 2011 he spent a year travelling around South America and working for various conservation research organisations. This furthered his interest in research and resulted in a return to the University of Kent to undertake a research masters in Biodiversity Management. 2014 brought him back to work with Operation Wallacea in the Honduras forest site as a Camp Manager. He was then invited back for the 2015 season with a step up to Base Camp Manager and joined the Operation Wallacea Team on a full time basis following the expedition season. It seems fitting for him to now plan expeditions with the organisation which first inspired his passion for expedition life!
Expedition Travel Manager: Robin Atkin
Robin joined Operation Wallacea in September 2013 after spending twenty three years working for Thomas Cook where he held numerous management positions within the UK and Ireland retail network. He is responsible for heading up the ever growing internal travel department and is continually planning to implement new products and services which will be offered to Operation Wallacea participants. Robin has always had a passion for wildlife and conservation and is looking forward to using his extensive travel knowledge for the benefit of schools and university students alike.
Expedition Travel Officer: Jo Fitzwilliams
Jo first started working for Operation Wallacea in 2008 as an administrator. When the travel team was formed in 2012 Jo became a crucial part of it and in the summer of 2014 she flew out to Mexico to manage one of the forest camps. Jo is the president of a theatre society in her home town, Skegness, and is looking forward to getting out into the field again next year.
University and Schools Liaison Officer: Olivia Farman
Liv joined the Opwall team in June 2014. Assisting with the summer staffing, emergency evacuations and queries from hundreds of parents she decided a career with Opwall was for her. She will be assisting with our schools and recruitment teams. Having recently come back from her role as volunteer co-ordinator in Mexico she now thoroughly has the bug for expedition!
Country Manager and Volunteer Support Officer: Danielle Stern
Danielle joined us in June 2015 after completing her degree in International Zoology at The University of Leeds. Her passion has always been wildlife and conservation, with a particular interest in marine and aquatic biology leading her dissertation to research the effects of anthropogenic sound on invertebrates in inland waterways. She joined her university diving society and has had the diving bug ever since; driving her to take part in marine conservation programs in Fiji and Vanuatu. Danielle joined us in Indonesia as assistant site manager in 2015 and cannot wait for the next expeditions to begin!
Research & Operations Officer, & Country Manager: Dr. Heather Gilbert
Heather joined the Operation Wallacea team in January 2016, having just returned to the UK from a stint undertaking behavioural research with elephants in Thailand. Since completing her PhD in Neuroscience in 2012, Heather has worked at various terrestrial research sites around the world with experience studying a number of different taxa and ecosystems. Most of her research has focussed on mammal behaviour and biodiversity assessments, as well as working with local groups to achieve their conservation aims. Heather hopes to use this experience to assist Opwall students and scientists to create practical and useful conservation outputs for their sites.
Fundraising Coordinator: Carys Cunningham
Carys had her first experience of Opwall in 2012 when she headed off to the Amazon Rainforest on a Peru expedition for four weeks. After returning to university she was so inspired by the conservation work she assisted with that she became a founding committee member of her university's Conservation Society. After four years at university she graduated with a Masters in Zoology from the University of Liverpool. Her research topics at university included the learning behaviour of British passerines and the use of enrichment to enhance captive animal welfare. After graduating Carys spent a year working whilst regularly volunteering for the Lancashire Wildlife Trust in her spare time which kept her enthusiasm for conservation alive. Carys joined the Opwall team full time in June 2016 starting with an expedition to Mexico and is looking forward to her next adventure.
Schools Recruitment and Finance Officer: Sally Cave
Sally has had a keen interest in working for Operation Wallacea for a number of years and finally got her chance when she joined the team in July 2016. Sally decided that conservation and wildlife was for her following her honeymoon where she tracked gorillas in Uganda and observed orangutans in Borneo. Having spent the majority of her working life within finance roles (after completing a brief stint as a Butlin's redcoat in Blackpool), Sally was thrilled to spend her summer as a volunteer coordinator in Honduras with Opwall. She is now hoping for further adventures on another expedition soon!
We are located on Keal Road, just on the east side of Old Bolingbroke, nr Spilsby in Lincolnshire (PE23 4EX). The driveway is signposted both ‘Wallace House’ and ‘Hope House’. The offices are straight ahead as you enter the driveway.
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