Freshwater Habitats Trust is led by the Senior Management Team

JB staff profile photoDr Jeremy Biggs – Director

Dr Jeremy Biggs is the co-founder and Director of the trust. Jeremy has over 25 years experience in the field of freshwater biology. His research interests focus on the maintenance of aquatic biodiversity at a landscape scale, and how different land management practices can mitigate the effects of pollution on the water environment. He leads several large partnership projects such as the Water Friendly Farming initiative and the Million Ponds Project. He is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Environment Bank Ltd, of the Research Advisory Group for the Defra Demonstration Test Catchments Project, and is a trustee of Wildlife and Countryside Link. He is also actively involved in the voluntary wildlife recording sector and is life member of the British Dragonfly Society.



Dr Pascale Nicolet – Director of Policy and Implementation

Pascale has worked with the trust since 1999 as a freshwater ecologist. She has extensive experience of wetland plant and macroinvertebrate surveys, ecological assessments and monitoring, and pond creation and management. She is a member of the Trust’s Senior Management team, the National Coordinator of the Million Pond Project and the Secretary of the European Pond Conservation Network (EPCN).



SAM_0251PWPicSharpenedPenny Williams – Technical Director

With a background in ecology, conservation and geology, Penny has worked for the trust for 20 years as a freshwater ecologist, with particular interest in translating science into practice and making a practical difference to the ecological quality of freshwaters.



JEF_photo_resized_croppedJaney Forgan – Finance Director

As the only accountant in the team, Janey keeps a tight control over all financial and legal matters, making sure everyone else keeps in line – or at least trying to (herding cats springs to mind)!  Joining the trust in May 2011, Janey has worked in charity finance and management since 2000, originally in international development, with Oxfam and SOS Sahel, before moving into the environmental sector with Climate Outreach Information Network.  When not fighting with budgets or chasing contracts, Janey can be found in a different guise playing melodeon and morris dancing… although you may not recognise her!


NE staff profile photoDr Naomi Ewald – Freshwater Research Manager

Naomi is a freshwater ecologist with a particular interest in macroinvertebrates, temporary ponds and the freshwater habitats of the New Forest. Her work takes her all over the country undertaking surveys to determine pond quality and provide pond management and pond creation advice; and many of you will know her from the training events we organised for PondNet. She also undertakes research for the Freshwater Habitats Trust, often in partnership with other organisations to protect our rarest species such as the Tadpole Shrimp and Great Crested Newt, to determine the impact of invasive non-native species like New Zealand Pigmyweed, and increasing our understanding of water quality issues to develop sustainable strategies for the protection of freshwater landscapes like the New Forest.

Freshwater Habitats Trust staff

AC staff profile photo croppedAnita Casey – Research Technician

Anita joined the trust as a laboratory assistant for the Water Friendly Farming project in 2012. She is responsible for collection and practical analysis of freshwater from the catchment areas associated with the project. When she emerges from the laboratory, she ventures out into the field to collect water samples.


FD staff profile photo croppedFrancesca Dunn – Freshwater Research Assistant

Francesca joined the team in early 2013 after completing an MSc course in Conservation and Management of Protected Areas. Her Masters dissertation examined various methodologies for volunteers to monitor localised macrophyte species, such as Pillwort and Tubular Water Dropwort, as part of our PondNet survey. Francesca’s main role is to assist the Freshwater Research Manager. She has a long-held passion for freshwater wildlife and is enjoying getting her hands dirty!


JF staff profile photoJo Fever – Office Manager

Jo joined the trust as the Office Manager in 2008 after several years of administration and management in the publishing sector. Jo supports all staff; keeping them organised, providing admin support, HR and H&S advice, book keeping, credit control and other financial support. Jo is also the Company Secretary for the Freshwater Habitats Trust. Jo loves to learn new things and is currently undertaking various short science courses with the OU covering everything from the weather to volcanoes and distant galaxies. She has a particular interest in the small things that make the world go round and can often be found rooting through the undergrowth with her camera.


adrianna Adrianna Hawczak – Water Friendly Farming Research Manager

Adrianna recently joined the Freshwater Habitats Trust and manages the Water Friendly Farming project based in Leicestershire. With a particular interest in nature’s habitats she holds a BSc in Marine Biology and an MRes in Aquatic Ecology. A qualified electro-fisher and a previous auditor for freshwater macroinvertebrates, Adrianna is involved in a long-term project which investigates the effects of agricultural practices on water bodies. She will be assisting the implementation of mitigation measures in collaboration with the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and will continue to manage the monitoring of chemical and biological components of the landscape. Adrianna is also bee keeper, a Butterfly Conservation transect walker, a member of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and a qualified massage therapist.



Elaine McGoff – Senior Freshwater Ecologist

Elaine started working with the trust in 2012. She has a PhD in freshwater ecology from Trinity College Dublin, specialising in the effects of lake habitat structure on macroinvertebrate communities. She was previously based in Sweden working on the European project WISER. This project was a collaboration of European research institutes working together to support the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) by developing tools for the integrated assessment of the ecological status of European surface waters. To date her main interests have been identifing both larval and adult stages of aquatic macroinvertebrates in conjunction with habitat surveying, and subsequently trying to decipher the patterns in the complex multivariate world of aquatic macroinvertebrates! She is currently turning her hand to working on the Earthwatch and Water Friendly Farming projects, in addition to the Ock catchment hosting programme.


Becca Williamson – Communications Officer

Becca joined the Trust in 2006, bringing with her years of experience of freshwater and amphibian conservation, especially great crested newts, with a particular focus on helping people contribute to biological recording and conservation projects.  Becca is based in Northwest England where she works with local people and communities to promote freshwater conservation. Becca balances part-time work with raising her own two little tadpoles.


me1 Thea Powell – Project Administrator for People Ponds and Water

Having surveyed mud, plants, little beasties and vertebrates whilst hiking UK hills and whilst wading through Asian swamps, Thea has been working within the People Ponds and Water Project since it’s start up in 2015. Her postgraduate focused on species behaviour and modelling community dynamics, since which she has helped several NGOs – managing communications, outreach and development. Thea’s main role is to oversee the People, Ponds and Water in office, supporting all actions and everyone involved – which includes 100s of volunteers helping the Trust within this project. She hopes to use her design, managerial and research skills to continue to help protect species, and is excited to now focus on fresh water.

Anne HeathcoteAnne Heathcote – Northern England Regional Officer for People Ponds and Water

Anne joined the team in 2015 to work within the People, Ponds & Water Project. She has a longstanding interest in freshwater habitats following a childhood spent hanging around ponds in a pair of wellies searching for her favourite creatures – frogs, newts and toads. These day she also loves getting out and about in the countryside in her yellow VW campervan, an ideal vehicle for transporting pond dipping & butterfly nets, bat detector, mothtrap and assorted ID guides. She particularly loves getting close to rivers and canals and can generally be found, whilst out on riparian walks, skulking under bridges looking for otter spraint.

PC Pinkhill 18th March 2015 Pete Case – Central England Regional Officer for People Ponds and Water

Pete joined Freshwater Habitats Trust in 2015 to work within the People, Ponds & Water Project, though his first interest in freshwater wildlife can be traced back to a childhood spent hunting for dragonflies and newts on farmland in rural Nottinghamshire which eventually led to a career in nature conservation. For many years he has worked for The Wildlife Trusts restoring river floodplains through Water Framework Directive (WFD) projects, managing wetland nature reserves for wildlife and people, and working with local community groups to help them understand life in the ponds and rivers of Worcestershire.”

IH staff profile photo

Ian Hughes – Freshwater Ecologist

Ian has been with FHT for one year having worked with Jeremy since prehistoric times on issues surrounding Triops and crayfish. He meddles with threatened species to coax secrets out of them in a bid to understand them enough to give them a better future.