Our Staff

Paul Kavannagh
Paul Kavanagh
Project Director

Paul has a significant background in conservation, and brings extensive experience to the project in protecting and preserving native biodiversity. He is responsible to lead the Sanctuary team and for overall project management. Paul is the primary point of contact for the Southern Lakes Sanctuary trustees and other stakeholders. 

Katrina Black
Katrina Black
Planner Specialist  

Katrina has highly-developed planning experience in a number of diverse and international roles. She provides planning advice and guidance in support of all elements of the Sanctuary project. This includes all aspects of invasive predator control and biodiversity monitoring. Katrina also plays a key role in fundraising, engagement and long term planning.  

Phil Green
Philip Green
Technical & Field Advisor 

Phil’s passion for climbing and the outdoors includes significant experience in environmental and conservation projects. His main role with the Sanctuary project is to provide technical advice and support to our staff and community organisations in the Whakatipu area. Phil can advise on trap types, trapping layouts, baits and lures, use of the database trap.nz and managing trap builds.

Bonnie Wilkins
Bonnie Wilkins
Whakatipu Hub Coordinator 

Bonnie is responsible for coordinating and collaborating with the Whakatipu community, and supporting the efforts of the Whakatipu Wildlife Trust. Her role includes assisting with all aspects of biodiversity and predator control, and carrying out trap network auditing and servicing.

Bonnie is also a pretty mean skier and can also nail a karaoke challenge.

Sarah Forder
Sarah Forder
Makarora Hub Coordinator

Sarah brings significant project and biodiversity experience to her role in supporting the Central Otago Lakes Branch of Forest & Bird. She works to coordinate and enable the extensive invasive predator control efforts in the Makarora region. Sarah also collaborates with Wānaka-based biodiversity and field staff on other Sanctuary projects.

Tom Reeves
Tom Reeves
Cardrona Hub Coordinator / Wānaka Field Crew 

Tom’s role is to help initiate new conservation projects and support existing organisations, landowners and community groups in the Wānaka and Cardrona areas. Tom also supports the Wānaka field crew where necessary.

Jo Tilson
Jo Tilson
Biodiversity Coordinator 

Jo has extensive experience in planning and implementing biodiversity monitoring work across Aotearoa New Zealand. She is particularly focused on the practical training of others to monitor protected species and invasive predators. She has a wealth of project experience, including the Paparoa Wildlife Trust monitoring the Roroa Great Spotted Kiwi.

Scott Bewley
Scott Bewley
Matukituki Hub Coordinator

Scott’s role supports the operations of two dedicated environmental trusts that have established trapping programs in the East and West Matukituki valleys. Both the Otago Kiwi Recovery Trust and the Matukituki Charitable Trust have teams of volunteers who are coordinated by Scott. He also assists with general biodiversity enhancement tasks in the Wānaka region.

Greg Whall
Greg Whall
Biodiversity Coordinator / Glenorchy Coordinator

Greg is responsible for enabling all aspects of the Sanctuary team. He helps to coordinate field work across Sanctuary hubs, and assists with all aspects of trap-building projects. His responsibilities also include sourcing project supplies and assisting in the field with predator control and monitoring. 

Paul Millis
Paul Millis
Wānaka Field Crew

Paul is responsible for undertaking trap servicing and building, maintenance on existing trap lines, installing new traps, helping with biodiversity monitoring and carrying out general field work as required.

Samuel Purdie 
Biodiversity Project Coordinator

Samuel loves creepy crawlies. This was alarming to his parents until he went to University and completed postgraduate studies in Science focussing on lizards. He can frequently be found turning over rocks, looking for interesting species and will be helping Southern Lakes Sanctuary with our planning and monitoring of these cryptic species. Samuel takes amazing photos of the creepy crawlies in our region and will be helping share information about our species through our media networks.

Petrina Duncan
Petrina Duncan
Upper Clutha Community Coordinator 

With a background in Zoology, conservation field work, teaching and science communication, Petrina brings a range of skills to her position. She supports Wānaka Backyard Trapping to improve their community engagement, communications and data management. She also promotes the achievements of Southern Lakes Sanctuary and its hub groups via various media channels. 

Michelle Coe
Michelle Coe
Administration & Coordination

Michelle’s role at the Sanctuary is to keep us all honest. Her primary responsibility is to ensure the smooth operation of a number of critical operational and governance ‘back-of-house’ functions. Michelle does this with the minimum amount of fuss, despite our best efforts to make her life difficult.

She loves waking to the sound of our native birds, and is always keen for opportunities to get into the field to better understand our conservation efforts. 

Matt Hollyer
Matt Hollyer Operations Manager
Matt is a huge part of the energy and drive behind the Sanctuary. He uses his highly developed entreprenurial and management skills to build or reinforce relationships with our Project partners, Consortium members, and the broader community. Matt pretends to know nothing about conservation.  He has, however, a massive soft spot for our amazing outdoors and the native critters that live there, and can often be found leading the way in planting trees, pulling weeds or carrying traps in the Sanctuary.
Ben Carson

Field Crew and Trap Building

Ben is responsible for building traps, tracking tunnels and joins our field crew to check and install traps throughout the region. Ben left England in 2017 for the fields and fjords of the Southern Lakes. Ben joined us after initially working on the Tuckers Beach Restoration Project, where his interests in conservation began. He can now be regularly found in the backcountry hunting, taking photos tramping. Some of the most amazing photos on our website and social media are from Ben.

Sarah Fredric
Sarah Fredric
Fundraising Manager

Sarah is here to make sure we have the money to continue with our mahi. She has experience in the fundraising space through work with a number of Queenstown based charitable organisations including the Wakatipu Toy Library and Altrusa.  

She loves getting out on her mountain bike, skiing and enjoying the environment that Southern Lakes Sanctuary is working to protect.

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This could be YOU
Our next amazing hire

A person committed to conserving, resorting or protecting our biodiversity? 

An individual who can perform in a team as part of the biggest landscape-scale conservation project in Aotearoa New Zealand?

Sense of humour, drive and a willingness to get your hands dirty essential.