Helena is is based at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's Highland Wildlife Park near Aviemore. She is responsible for engaging the local community and other stakeholders with the ongoing efforts to restore Scotland’s wildcats.
Helena has a background in felid conservation and public engagement, with an interest in using social science methodologies to engage communities with wildlife restoration. During her undergraduate degree in Geography she researched visitor perceptions of Scottish wildcat conservation in zoos, while also becoming familiar with research methodologies in social sciences. Following graduation she moved to the USA to work for an accredited big cat sanctuary and campaigned and advocated for big cat welfare and an end to private exotic pet ownership.
After completing her master's degree, she then held a number of engagement and outreach positions in the UK, including as at the Royal Geographical Society. Helena is excited to use her knowledge of public engagement to further the work of Saving Wildcats.
MSc (University of Oxford) Biodiversity, Conservation and Management
BSc (Royal Holloway, University of London) Geography
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RZSS response to the UK Government’s intention to deprioritise species restoration
I was surprised and dismayed to read about the UK Government’s intention to deprioritise species restoration, which fails to recognise the importance of that vital pillar of biodiversity recovery, as well as flying in the face of recent guidance from the world authority for conservation, the IUCN.
Critically endangered wildcats now call the Cairngorms National Park home
The first round of wildcat releases in Scotland has been completed by Saving Wildcats, led by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) in partnership with NatureScot, Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS), The Cairngorms National Park Authority, Nordens Ark and Consejería de Sostenibilidad, Medio Ambiente y Economía Azul de la Junta de Andalucía.