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Join the Research Team

Get stuck in as part of our Research Team
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Enjoy the many benefits of CRRU membership
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Help protect "Stardance" and his friends in the Moray Firth
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Recycle unwanted goods to help the environment and raise funds for the CRRU
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Who we are

Dr Kevin Robinson

Lead Researcher

BSc Hons (Portsmouth, England) PhD (Stirling, Scotland)

Kevin is the longest standing member and Director of the CRRU team. In addition to over 20 years in the field of cetology, Kevin has an eclectic background in marine and fisheries science. He formerly taught at the University of Bangor as an honorary lecturer on the MSc Marine Mammal Science degree, but now dedicates all his time to the CRRU charity with projects in Scotland, Thailand and Gibraltar. In July 2005, he received the ultimate accolade for his work with the CRRU, receiving a Royal approval from Princess Anne at an honorary maritime reception at Holyrood Palace. He also came runner-up in the 2013 ITV Animal Awards for Wildlife Conservation.

Gary Haskins

Senior Research Assistant

BSc Hons (Portsmouth, England)

Gary has been a core member of the CRRU research team since he first joined the organisation back in 2006. Having worked on marine mammal projects in Scotland, the Philippines and California, he is a very experienced field researcher and boat handler. A extremely personable member of the team, Gary is also a keen photographer and very talented guitarist and musician.

Theofilos Sidiropoulos

Research Assistant

BSc (Lesvos, Greece) MSc (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Theo first joined the CRRU in 2015. He is passionate about furthering our understanding of the structure and functionality of the marine environment (along with a personal interest in climate change). In addition to his role as support staff for the CRRU, Theo is also involved with the Marine Conservation Society and volunteers at the St. Abbs Marine Station in North Berwick. In his spare time, he enjoys travelling, playing games and wildlife watching.

Connor Bamford

Research Assistant

BSc Hons (Southampton, England) MPhil (Cambridge, England)

Connor first joined the CRRU as a volunteer in 2012 and hasn’t really left since. He completed his BSc dissertation in collaboration with the CRRU in 2014 where he used photo-id on common dolphin to determine the extent, morphology and geographic variation in dorsal edge markings. Connor has a keen interest in marine matters and especially with the application of GIS for marine ecosystem protection. He has just completed his MPhil in Polar Studies at the University of Cambridge, focusing on the habitat preferences and spatial distribution of Antarctic cetaceans.

Texa Sim

Research Assistant

BSc Hons (Aberdeen, Scotland) MSc (Bangor, Wales)

After completing her Bachelor’s dissertation with the CRRU in 2014 looking at the reproductive success of female bottlenose dolphins in the Moray Firth, Texa was subsequently invited to join the CRRU team as a full time research assistant. She then went on to do her Master’s thesis with the CRRU on alliance formation in male bottlenoses in 2015. A long term supporter of the charity, Texa has a healthy appetite for all things marine, and loves to be on the water enjoying snorkelling, kayaking and sailing. She also loves to talk and sing (a lot!).

Jack Borrett

Research Assistant

BSc (Plymouth, England)

Jack graduated from Plymouth University in 2016 with a BSc in environmental science. He has been a long term friend and supporter of the CRRU, first joining the team in 2012 and returning in 2013 to complete his MMO training. He also carried out his undergraduate thesis with the CRRU on bottlenose dolphin abundance and distribution pattern in the Moray Firth. Jack enjoys cycling, tennis and the odd kareoke night.

Grace Russell

Research Assistant

 BSc Hons (Western Australia, Australia) MSc (Curtin, Australia)

Grace first developed an interest for wildlife conservation when she volunteered in South Africa at a mere 17 year of age. This made her change her anatomical degree to a completely different group of species. She went on to study Animal Science at The University of Western Australia. After graduating, Grace was accepted into an internship working for PDX Wildlife (Oregon) in collaboration with San Diego Zoo on a captive breeding programme for the giant panda. She then went on to study for a masters in Project Management and has since worked at the Centre for Whale Research in Western Australia.

Rebecca Hall

Research Assistant

BAppSc (South Australia, Australia)

In 2012, after 25 years working on various terrestrial vegetation conservation projects, Rebecca chose to pursue her passion for the marine environment. This initially led to her volunteering with CRRU, followed by MMO training in the UK and New Zealand. Since 2012, she has volunteered on marine mammal projects in New Zealand, Wales and most recently was extremely fortunate to assist with aerial surveys of blue whales in Victoria, Australia. She joins the CRRU team again in September 2016

Clare Echlin

Research Assistant

Clare joined the CRRU in August 2013 and has since worked as a member of staff, assisting with volunteer teams, handling the research boat and helping with data collation, input and analyses. She is a Marine Mammal Observer and has worked in Comoros, Mozambique, Ireland, Madagascar, the UK and Mexico. In her spare time, Clare enjoys travelling, Munro climbing, yoga and 80s pop music and has a self-confessed, unhealthy appetite for fine red and white wines, depending on the season.

Sonja (Pine) Eisfeld

Honarary Researcher

BSc (Bremen, Germany) MSc (Bremen, Germany) MSc (Bangor, Wales)

Sonja (or Pine as she is more affectionately known) is a senior researcher with the CRRU team who has been involved with the charity since 2003 when she formerly completed her MSc in Marine Mammal Science under the supervision of Dr. Robinson. She currently works with the Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society in Chippenham, but regularly assists with data analyses and the preparation of publications. Pine is a keen sportswoman and accomplished violinist and enjoys running, salsa dancing and classical music.

Dr Michael Tetley

Honorary Researcher

BSc Hons (Newcastle, England) MSc (Bangor, Wales) PhD (Bangor, Wales)

Mike first joined the CRRU in 2002 and eventually carried out his MSc thesis on the habitat preference of minke whales with the team in 2004. In 2006, he commenced a PhD study on his beloved minke whales, jointly supervised by Drs Kevin Robinson and Gay Mitchelson-Jacob from the University of Wales, Bangor. Mike currently alternates his busy study schedule between Scotland, Iceland, the USA, Canada and Japan and is still very much a key player in the CRRU research dynamic, teaching GIS courses with Dr Colin MacLeod and GIS in Ecology.

Dr Lilian Lieber

Honorary Researcher

BSc Hons (Aberdeen, Scotland) PhD (Aberdeen, Scotland)

Lilian is a MASTS Prize PhD graduate who formerly undertook a PhD at the University of Aberdeen working on the genetic connectivity and ecology of basking sharks. In 2013, Lili joined the CRRU team to assist with fieldwork whilst gaining the opportunity to sample genetic material from her beloved basking sharks in the Moray Firth. When she manages to get out of the lab, Lili enjoys competitive beach volleyball, hiking, photography and dancing.

Jenny Spinou

Field Programme Project Manager

Jen's multidisciplinary role in the charity is to assist with the running of the summer internship programme and general organisation of the field support staff and field team logistics. She is a mother of two teenage girls, who keep her hands full. She is a fantastic cook, and in her spare time enjoys circuit training/aerobics, white-water rafting, reading, travel and world foods.

Dave White

Board of Governors

In addition to his role on the board of governers of the charity, Dave is an experienced Marine Mammal Observer, having worked on seismic survey ships in the UK, Norway, Morocco, Brazil and Japan since 2001. In his spare time, he is an accomplished musician, and in 1999 he produced a fund-raising CD for the CRRU called "Bottlenose Boogie" with his partner and mentor Barbi. Dave has been actively involved with the charity since 1998 and remains a great friend and enthusiast.

Barbi White

Board of Governors

Barbi is a long-term contributing member and supporter of the CRRU and a great asset to the charity. She has worked with the core team, both in the field and on-shore, since 1998, and has been treasurer to the organisation since 2004. She recently helped to secure a number of estimable grants for the charity, and her dedication to the objects and ethos of the CRRU are second to none.

Richard Atkinson

Board of Governors

Richard has been a close friend and supporter of the CRRU charity since we first met in 2002 whilst he was undertaking a mammoth kayak challenge, circumnavigating the UK coastline in a one-man sea canoe. After several years of assisting the CRRU, in 2016 Richard was formally invited to join the CRRU's panel of estimable Governors, lending his many years of business acumen and experience to the charity's dedicated management team.

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