Guidance from our biosecurity network

The 'Biosecurity for LIFE' team are available to offer advice and recommended biosecurity actions. 

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Our Biosecurity Experts

The biosecurity team are here to support anyone living on, or travelling to, islands who would like to make improvements to biosecurity practices. 

Whether you are an islander, visitor, business or agency we can help you to make biosecurity 'business as usual' to protect our islands and the amazing wildlife that lives there.  

If you have a question about how to write a biosecurity plan, improve biosecurity measures, set up surveillance, plan an incursion response or biosecurity in general then please get in touch using the contact form below. 

Meet the team: see below for information on our biosecurity staff including the regions that they cover and contact details.

Our biosecurity experts

Picture ofThomas Churchyard

Thomas Churchyard

RSPB Project Manager - Biosecurity for LIFE

Tom leads the Biosecurity for LIFE team. Tom managed the successful eradication phase of black rats from the Shiant Isles, Hebrides and is passionate about preventing invasive species re-colonising islands or reaching islands where they have never been present.

Biosecurity for LIFE
Scotland
Picture ofLaura Bambini

Laura Bambini

RSPB Senior Project Manager. 

Laura is the Project Executive for our Biosecurity for LIFE project. Laura raises awareness of biosecurity for seabird islands and promotes best practice in eradications and biosecurity both in the UK, and across Europe.

RSPB
United Kingdom
Picture ofKaren Varnham

Karen Varnham

RSPB Island Restoration Officer 

As co-author of the Island Biosecurity Manual, RSPB. Karen provides advice on biosecurity measures for non native invasive predators ensuring effectiveness, compliance with legal requirements and in as humane a way as possible.

RSPB
United Kingdom
Picture ofSophie Thomas

Sophie Thomas

RSPB, Senior Project Manager

Sophie oversees island restoration work in the UK and assists initiatives internationally. As co-author of the Island Biosecurity Manual, RSPB, Sophie is rolling out the best practice guidelines for biosecurity at RSPB reserves and islands managed by others.

RSPB
United Kingdom
Picture ofHolly Paget-Brown

Holly Paget-Brown

Biosecurity for LIFE Officer

As Biosecurity for LIFE Officer for the Shetland and Orkney Islands, Holly works across the Northern Isles with communities and local teams to implement biosecurity measures on 15 Seabird SPA islands.

Biosecurity for LIFE
Shetland and Orkney Islands
Picture ofSarah Lawrence

Sarah Lawrence

Biosecurity for LIFE Officer

Sarah is our Biosecurity for LIFE Officer for the 17 seabird island SPAs in west and central Scotland and northern England. Sarah also works with the project's biosecurity detection dog to ensure islands across the UK remain rat-free.

Biosecurity for LIFE
Scotland
Picture ofTessa Coledale

Tessa Coledale

Biosecurity for LIFE Officer

Tessa's role as Biosecurity for LIFE Officer covers the island SPAs designated for their breeding seabirds across ten sites, five in Wales and five in Northern Ireland. 

Biosecurity for LIFE
Wales and Northern Ireland
Picture ofJaclyn Pearson

Jaclyn Pearson

Biosecurity for LIFE & Island Officer

Jaclyn is a part-time Biosecurity for LIFE Officer and specialises in removing rodents from inhabited islands. She managed the eradication of rats from St Agnes  and is assisting eradication feasibility on Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland.

Biosecurity for LIFE
Isles of Scilly
Picture ofAfra Skene

Afra Skene

Biosecurity for LIFE Officer

Afra is a Biosecurity for LIFE Officer for the Shetland and Orkney Islands. Afra is working with communities and professionals to increase biosecurity across the Northern Isles.

Biosecurity for LIFE
Orkney and Shetland

Contact Thomas Churchyard

RSPB Project Manager - Biosecurity for LIFE

Tom leads the Biosecurity for LIFE team. Tom managed the successful eradication phase of black rats from the Shiant Isles, Hebrides and is passionate about preventing invasive species re-colonising islands or reaching islands where they have never been present. 

Contact Laura Bambini

Laura is the Project Executive for our 'Biosecurity for LIFE' project. Laura raises awareness of biosecurity for seabird islands and promotes best practice in eradications and biosecurity both in the UK, and across Europe.

‘Our biosecurity experts’ please: The team at Biosecurity for LIFE are here to support and assist you, plus other colleagues have volunteered their advisory skills. We’re all part of the same team and it’s part of SIRP’s core role to provide advice

Contact Karen Varnham

Karen is the co-author of the Island Biosecurity Manual, RSPB Karen provides advice on how to carry out biosecurity measures for non native invasive predators ensuring effectiveness, compliance with legal requirements and in as humane a way as possible.

Contact Sophie Thomas

RSPB, Senior Project Manager

Sophie oversees island restoration work in the UK and assists initiatives internationally. As co-author of the Island Biosecurity Manual, RSPB, Sophie is rolling out the best practice guidelines for biosecurity at RSPB reserves and islands managed by others.

Contact Holly Paget-Brown

As Biosecurity for LIFE Officer for the Shetland and Orkney Islands, Holly works across the Northern Isles with communities and local teams to implement biosecurity measures on 15 Seabird SPA islands.

Contact Sarah Lawrence

Sarah is our Biosecurity for LIFE Officer for the 17 seabird island SPAs in west and central Scotland and northern England. Sarah also works with the project's biosecurity detection dog to ensure islands across the UK remain rat-free.

Contact Tessa Coledale

RSPB Biosecurity Officer

Tessa is one of our Biosecurity for LIFE Officers. Tessa's roles covers the island SPA's designated for their breeding seabirds across ten sites, five in Wales and five in Northern Ireland.

Contact Jaclyn Pearson

RSPB Biosecurity Officer and Island Officer

Jaclyn is a part-time Biosecurity for LIFE Officer. Jaclyn specialises in removing rodents from inhabited islands, she managed the eradication of rats from St Agnes and Gugh and is assisting eradication feasibility on Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland.

Contact Afra Skene

RSPB Biosecurity Officer

Afra is a Biosecurity for LIFE Officer for the Shetland and Orkney Islands. Afra is working with communities and professionals to increase biosecurity across the Northern Isles.