Our Teams

BeeAware is managed by a team of five trustees. We are grateful to receive support and advice from scientific and technical experts from a range of disciplines. Our thanks to Matt Shardlow, CEO of Buglife, the insect conservation charity, for initial advice. Our thanks also to Mr Wilfred Mole, owner, Jonathan Powell, apiologist, and David Scales, site security manager of Lower Pertwood Organic Farm for enabling our field-based bee monitoring project.


Fiona Williams (Founder & Joint Secretary)

Fiona read English at Oxford University before working as an editor and writer at organisations including the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University. More recently, she coordinated and instigated community environmental projects and campaigns and worked in charity fundraising. Fiona founded BeeAware to understand more about why bees were in decline and, if at all possible, to reverse that decline by using scientific evidence. She is a bee-lover and nature enthusiast and has always kept bee-friendly organic gardens and allotments. 

Martin Valatin (Chair)

Martin studied architecture at Liverpool University and later Hull. In the 1990s he was part of a delegation of young architects to the United Nations. In 2019, he published a book of his architectural projects to date. A keen organic gardener, he is also an artist with an interest in wildlife, including bees. He has considerable experience of environmental campaigns and citizen science projects and is on the Wiltshire committee of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England

Karen Churchill (Vice-Chair)

After obtaining a degree in psychology and physiology from Bristol University, Karen worked as a systems analyst and computer programmer. She also has considerable experience as a campaigner where she gained an understanding of environmental law. Karen keeps a bee-friendly organic garden and enjoys nature-inspired art and craft activities.

Derek Tessmer (Treasurer)

Derek started work as an apprentice in precision engineering for Gilllette and later Proctor & Gamble, where his roles included engineering manager with responsibility for building work, health & safety, and training of apprentices. Derek owns a woodland and gardens organically to encourage biodiversity, growing some of his own food.

Victoria Knapp (Joint Secretary)

Having originally trained and worked as a nurse, Vicki later studied horticulture and has been a professional organic gardener for 15 years. Currently managing a private estate with extensive bee-friendly planting, she has a strong interest in biodiversity and has observed first hand the decline in pollinators occurring even on organic land.

Scientific & Technical Advisers

Professor Dave Goulson

Fascinated by insects from early childhood, read Biology at Oxford University and later studied for a PhD in butterfly ecology at Oxford Brookes University. Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex. Published more than 300 articles on the ecology and conservation of bumblebees and other insects. Author of several best-selling books, including Silent Earth: Averting the Insect Apocalypse, which have been translated into more than 15 languages. In 2006, founded the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, Trustee of Pesticide Action Network, and ambassador for the UK Wildlife Trusts.

Marc S Taylor

An early interest in invertebrates started in the 1970s as a boarding schoolboy in the Quantock Hills of Somerset. A lifetime of volunteering led eventually to an MSc in Biological Recording and a late career change. Post-studies, spent three years as a surveyor on an agri-pollinator project with UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), surveying farms transitioning  from "standard management" to organic certification, often undertaking multi-year longitudinal surveys. Currently on the Council of the British Entomological and Natural History Society, where he organises indoor training/ID workshops, and sits on the Dipterist Forum Committee.

Dr Vibeke F Jensen

Experienced life scientist, veterinarian, data manager and data analyst. Has worked for 20 years as a researcher, mainly in Danish universities. Obtained a PhD in Clinical Sciences and Genetics from Royal Agricultural and Veterinary University (part of Copenhagen University). Has been scientific adviser to various international bodies. Currently veterinary senior consultant at the Danish Food and Agricultural Council and scientific adviser to Danish non-governmental organisation Council for Safe Telecomm-unications. Is motivated by contributing positively to a better society and environment.

Dr Graham A Collins

Originally trained as a dental surgeon before changing career to pursue his lifelong interest in entomology. Consultant entomologist and moth recorder for Surrey, as well as the author of several books, including Butterflies of Surrey and Larger Moths of Surrey. Member of the British Entomological and Natural History Society and Secretary of the entomological section of the Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society (founded in 1870).  Keeps a biodiverse suburban wildlife garden, attracting over 2000 species of insects, including 80 species of bee.

Jovita F Kaunang

Entomologist with a particular interest in bees as well as flies and beetles. Has published articles in various peer-reviewed entomological journals, including The Coleopterist and The Entomologist's Record and Journal of Variation. Has contributed her insect photographs to various publications, including books in the Surrey Wildlife Atlas series. She continues to run a wildlife gardening business and keeps an insect-friendly garden and allotment. She believes that such places have great potential for wildlife, including insects, where a balance can be struck between "pests" and their "predators". She believes more can be done within the planning system, and is working on the idea of a national inventory to protect against and monitor the loss of natural habitat.

James Lea

Read Physics at Oxford University, and after a stint as a management consultant, obtained an MSc in Satellite Communications Engineering from Surrey University. Ran a scientific software and aerospace company and worked in computer programming. including machine learning. Currently running his own IT project management business and developing his own software. Created BeeAware's monitoring stations, volunteering his time and expertise.