zoo horizontal strip

Our team

Meet our senior team members

Our team is made up of talented people who come from a range of backgrounds, including commercial, educational, scientific and animal care disciplines.

Click below to find out more about the senior management team at Wild Planet Trust.

Clare grew up in and around the Bath area. At Plymouth University she studied Biology, majoring in Pollution Ecology and Conservation. She initially worked on conservation management plans for national parks then moved to the water industry working on environmental pollution and research projects.

After completing a Post Graduate Certificate in Education at Exeter University, she moved to the zoo industry as an Education Officer at Living Coasts. After gaining promotion to Operations Manager, she worked at the Living Coasts site until its closure in 2020. During her time at Living Coasts, Clare lectured in marine conservation, aquarium management and population ecology at Bridgewater College.

Clare has been involved in many zoo associations and groups over the years including the inauguration of the British and Irish Assocation of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) presenter’s conference, serving on BIAZA council for six years and currently sitting on the European Assocation of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) penguin taxon advisory group. At a local level, Clare served as Chair of Sea Torbay and Trustee for Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust. She worked with Plymouth University as an industry advisor and is currently Chair of Torbay Cleaner Coasts Initiative.

accordion image

Steve grew up in a houseful of animals in Northampton, before moving to Liverpool in 1994 to study for an Honours degree in Zoology.
After graduating, he worked as a mammal keeper at Banham Zoo, and an LVI keeper at Chester Zoo before moving to Hampshire in 2001 to work at Sparsholt College. Steve’s final role at the college was as Curriculum Leader for Animal Science, Veterinary Nursing, and Zoo Biology, managing a range of Higher Education programmes, and assisting with the delivery of the DMZAA zoo keeper training course. During this period he achieved a PGCE, an MSc in recreational learning, and Senior Fellow status of the Higher Education Academy.

Steve left the college in 2017 and relocated to Devon to work for Wild Planet Trust. Steve has held several positions here at the Trust: Group Education Manager, Curator of Birds and LVI, and his current role as Head of Department for Campaigns and Programmes.

accordion image

Lisa was an Animal Manager at the Isle of Wight Zoo for almost eight years, before moving to Chessington World of Adventures. She held multiple roles at Chessington, progressing from Primate Supervisor to Animal Collections Manager and then Assistant Zoo Manager.

Lisa moved to Paignton Zoo in 2019 and took on the role of Curator of Mammals. She currently holds the role of Head of Conservation Services (Interim).

Dave grew up in Newquay and on leaving school joined Devon and Cornwall Police as a career police officer, serving in both counties in a variety of operational and management roles. His final role was as the Inspector responsible for policing Newquay.

On retiring from the police force, he spent 8 years at the Eden Project with their Visitor Services team and then as their Operations Manager. Dave joined Wild Planet Trust in November 2019 as the Operations Manager at Newquay Zoo. More recently, Dave was the Head of Department for Delivery Support across the two sites.

He is now Head of Newquay Zoo. Growing up in Newquay he was a regular visitor to Newquay Zoo when it first opened in 1969 and this helped ignite a lifetime interest in the natural world. Now he is part of the zoo management team helping to showcase our fascinating world to new generations. He is a Member for the CELT Academy of Schools’ Board of Trustees.

accordion image

Jen’s career began in bars and restaurants in Torbay and she has twelve years’ experience in the hospitality industry, including six years at the University of Exeter Students’ Guild, where she progressed to Food and Beverage General Manager. During that time, Jen was responsible for overseeing a variety of hospitality operations and events across the campus.

Jen joined Wild Planet Trust in 2018 as Group Catering Manager, progressing to Paignton Zoo Operations Manager in 2020 after returning from maternity leave, and later to Head of Group Services. Jen is currently Head of Support Services at Wild Planet Trust.

accordion image

Susanne was born in Denmark where she lived until she finished her schooling. She moved to London and spent the next 20 years working for a selection of retailers from Salisbury’s to Habitat in various roles and locations.

When her son was born in 2007 she decided to up sticks from London and relocate to Devon with her husband. She was appointed Store Manager of the H&M store in Exeter where she stayed for a number of years until the opportunity of Retail Manager at Paignton Zoo came up.
Over the last 12 years she has worked in various roles within the organisation and is now Head of Visitor Services.

accordion image