Peter McGregor – Chair of Trustees
Peter founded CINNG in 2015 and since then has chaired CINNG’s Board. He is Visiting Professor of Animal Behaviour at ISPA – Instituto Universitário, Lisbon – but based in Cornwall, as he has been since 1998. His research and teaching interests in the natural environment, particularly behaviour, give an understanding of emerging environmental issues and potential solutions. The interrelationships between volunteering, the environment, society, and physical and mental well-being, were made clear during his leading role with SINNG, a student local action group on invasive species. This led to the founding of CINNG in order to develop the effectiveness of such interrelationships.
He is a member of Volunteer Cornwall’s Board and a United Nations Environment Programme specialist working group on social behaviour and migratory species.
Most of his leisure activities involve the coast, often sea kayaking in a Greenland kayak he built in the living room.
Ian Jones – Trustee
Ian is Chief Executive of Volunteer Cornwall, a well established charity that works to build and develop social capital in communities. Collaboration is key to this activity with a focus on improving individual wellbeing, the development of communities and the shaping of place. He has worked in the UK and overseas on community and economic development and in academia on leadership, complex systems and social networks. He was born in Liverpool where his career commenced with the establishment of a community magazine.
As well as being a trustee of CINNG he is a Governor of Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Chairman of Truro Cricket Club.
Trevor Renals – Trustee
Trevor is the senior technical advisor on invasive non-native species management for the Environment Agency (England), and has 28 years of experience in invasion biology. He is on the GB biological control steering group and has been involved in developing biological controls for established invasive non-native plants for 26 years. Trevor co-instigated the Cornwall Knotweed Forum in 1997, a precursor to the many Local Action Groups that are now engaged in invasive species management. He has always been an advocate of a partnership approach using volunteers and currently chairs the GB strategic partnership for managing floating pennywort. Trevor is also coordinating the eradication of water primrose in the UK; a programme that has achieved international recognition as good practice.
Nicola Morris – Project Coordinator
Nicola has been working in invasion biology for over 10 years and has been with CINNG since its foundation. She is involved in all aspects of CINNG’s work from research into public perception of invasive species and their management to development of educational materials and delivery of outreach and awareness.
Nicola also works part-time as Invasive Species Officer for South West Lakes Trust working at regional level in collaboration with national partners. She is a Trustee for Amphibian and Reptile Groups UK and Chair of Cornwall Reptile and Amphibian Group. Nicola and her family run a productive family smallholding on Bodmin Moor focusing on high welfare local produce.
Rhiann Mitchell-Holland – Administrative Assistant
Rhiann assists with running the Cornwall Invasive Species Forum, organising conferences and working on research projects, such as the Zebra mussel project. Involved since studying her BSc (Hons) in Applied Zoology, her interest in INNS amplified during the publication of her honours project, focusing on the impacts of Lagarosiphon major on freshwater environments.
Rhiann also works with the Your Shore Beach Rangers project, a collaboration between Cornwall College and Cornwall Wildlife Trust, delivering workshops to schools, colleges and community groups across Cornwall. Her experience in education (as an educator and presenter at Newquay Zoo), INNS, biodiversity and conservation, has highlighted the importance of expert knowledge exchange through collaborative work and the greater impact/wider mitigation this can have. Family life involves woodland adventures, coastal walks and beach exploration with her 3 children – who luckily, have embraced her nature obsession.
Sam Hammond – Project Officer
Sam is an experienced programme manager with a diverse background in education, conservation, ecology, farming and business. Sam has combined her passion for the environment and education in her career over the last 10 years. She also has a range of volunteering experience including working with CINNG to remove invasive species and deliver educational workshops. She volunteers in several roles including with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust engaging children with nature. Sam’s research, teaching experience and interests broadly fit into the field of conservation psychology, investigating the relationship between humans and nature. This combines her social science background in education and interest in mental health and well-being with her research in environmental biology.
Sam lives in South East Cornwall where she has recently renovated a cottage and is developing an edible forest garden with her young children.
Hannah Hughes – Project Officer
Hannah has worked with CINNG since finishing her BSc (Hons) in Applied Marine Zoology. She recently worked on our project surveying population densities of Zebra mussels in Bude Canal, Cornwall and has also been involved in community engagement of invasive species with CINNG. She helped set up our marine invasive species group in which she was the first chair and project leader. Alongside this she works as an aquarist at Blue Reef Aquarium, Newquay, educating the public of the impact of invasive non-native species on the marine environment, as well as the wider challenges biodiversity faces today. She is now applying to do her Masters in Conservation and Biodiversity at the University of Exeter.
Emma Weller – Project Officer
Emma is a dedicated and enthusiastic freelance ecologist, working on various projects around the South West. She has strong interests in freshwater ecology, invasive species, invertebrates and bats.
She first became interested in invasive species during her degree work experience, where she was involved in organising a volunteer day to remove Himalayan balsam. From there, Emma led her educational research towards invasive species, studying the effects of balsam on native plant diversity and the habitat preferences of Alpine newts. She has been involved with CINNG since its formation giving her the opportunity to be a part of their work, raising awareness of invasive species, to a range of age and knowledge groups. Emma has continued her involvement with CINNG and fits it in around her consultancy work and family.
In her spare time, Emma loves nothing more than exploring her local countryside with her three children.
Axel Gayot – Project Officer
Well travelled, Axel has developed an interest in invasive species after observing their impacts everywhere he has been, but also at his home, in France. His work with CINNG started in 2018 as part of a conservation project management course. Now studying in a Master of Research at the Marine Biological Association with Plymouth University, he uses his skills to focus on the CINNG research aspect. He is one of the three project officers who developed the CINNG marine department, currently working on a pilot study looking at invasive species secondary invasion in the South West.
In his free time, Axel loves spending time outside waiting for the next big swell to come or looking for more shipwrecks to dive.
Michael Collings – Project Officer
Michael started working with CINNG during his BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Zoology and works on a wide range of projects including habitat management, school visits and attending public events, but specialises in the creation of educational materials. Currently he is leading the development of new educational resources including an interactive global map which could be downloaded as a digital application (smartphone app) whilst also continuing his work as lead author on CINNG’s species ID guides. He is also applying to undertake a Research Masters on invasive species and biosecurity in partnership with South West Lakes Trust for spring 2021.