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About RZSS

RZSS management

The RZSS family includes a wide range of dedicated teams working together to create a world where nature is protected, valued and loved.

You can find out more about our charity's diverse departments and the members of our strategy and steering team below:

Chief executive officer – David Field

David returned to RZSS in 2020 having been a section moderator at Edinburgh Zoo early in his career. His previous roles include chief executive of the Zoological Soc
iety of East Anglia, zoological director of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), curator of ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and assistant director of Dublin Zoo. An honorary professor of the Royal Veterinary College, David has served as chairman of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria (BIAZA) and is the current president of the Association of British and Irish Wild Animal Keepers.


Director of engagement and business development – Ben Supple

Responsible for all public-facing activities, including marketing, communications, discovery and learning, membership and fundraising, Ben began his career as a journalist with D.C. Thomson and spent over a decade with the Scottish SPCA before joining the Scottish Ambulance Service. A chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Ben has served on the board of Keep Scotland Beautiful and on the Diabetes Scotland Advisory Council.


 Director of finance and resources – James Stewart

Responsible for all financial accounting and management activities such as financial forecasting and accounts, VAT, corporate governance, risk assessment, payroll, insurance, pensions administration, IT and property and estates.


Head of living collections – Darren McGarry

Darren is responsible for all the animal species in our care at Edinburgh Zoo and Highland Wildlife Park, including husbandry, health management, nutrition and veterinary services. Originally employed on a youth training scheme, Darren has been with RZSS since 1986, working with birds, primates and hoofstock, and was head hoofstock keeper for 10 years before becoming animal collection manager, followed by head of animals, and then Head of Living Collections in 2013.


 Head of conservation and science programmes – Dr Helen Senn

Helen manages the RZSS conservation department and has worked at RZSS since 2011, with her roles including managing the RZSS WildGenes lab. A specialist in conservation genetics, Helen works on species conservation strategies and action plans across the globe.


Head of veterinary science – Prof. Simon Girling

Simon has been head of veterinary services at RZSS since 2009. He has been Recognised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as a Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine since 2003 and the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation as a European Veterinary Specialist in Zoo Health Management since the creation of the discipline in 2012. He is immediate Past President of the European College of Zoological Medicine, a previous President of the British Veterinary Zoological Society and sits on and Chairs a number of UK and Scottish Government Committees regarding animal welfare of domestic, wild and captive wild animals. 


 Head of business operations and visitor services at Highland Wildlife Park – Daska MacKintosh

Responsible for managing the visitor experience and facilities at Highland Wildlife Park.


Head of retail – Laura Paterson

Laura is responsible for retail at Edinburgh Zoo, Highland Wildlife Park and online for RZSS. Before becoming head of retail, Laura was business operations and retail manager for Edinburgh Zoo and joined in August 2017. She started her retail career in H. Samuels before moving onto Boots where she trained as a fragrance consultant, dispenser and finally assistant store manager. Before joining RZSS, Laura worked as retail and duty manager for The Real Mary King’s Close.



Head of marketing and sales – Lisa Robshaw

Lisa is responsible for marketing, events, membership and sales within RZSS, and has a 20 year career within the tourism and hospitality industry. She joined RZSS in 2019, having spent time at Historic Environment Scotland, Continuum Attractions and Visit Britain. 


Head of communications – Sarah Sia

Sarah joined RZSS as marketing and pr manager in 2018 and became head of communications in 2021, leading our charity's media, social media, internal communications, in-house photography and video, and customer complaints. A CIPR accredited PR practitioner with over a decade of marketing and communications experience, Sarah has worked in various e-commerce and external relations roles throughout her career.


 Head of information technology – Ade Worley

Ade is responsible for strategically developing, implementing and maintaining our charity's IT estate, covering areas such as applications, infrastructure and communications architecture, service delivery and information/data security. Ade joined RZSS in February 2017 as IT manager and became our head of IT in May 2018.  Prior to this he worked for the RSSPCC as their IT Manager for 14 years. He has extensive knowledge of the Scottish charity sector, and the challenges of delivering IT service within constrained budgets and resources.


 Head of property and estates – Gavin Whigham

Gavin is responsible for maintenance, refurbishment and new build projects within both RZSS sites, this also includes gardens, infrastructure, waste and sustainability. Gavin has worked with RZSS since 2013 and came to the society from a local authority where he enjoyed 17 years service working on social housing and education projects.


 Head of HR – Mark Haddow

Mark leads our Human Resources department in providing a high quality, proactive and effective service that is tailored to meet the current, emerging and future needs of the Society. Joining in 2019 as one of our HR Business Partners, Mark supported various areas within the organisation prior to moving into the role of Head of HR in December 2020. Mark's career spans across the public, private and charitably sectors, spending a good proportion of his working career in Aberdeen prior to returning home to the Edinburgh area.