1st Workshop on Wildlife Fertility Control:
What Now?  What Next?  Where To?

June 17 – 18, 2024

Spring Lane Building
University of York
York, United Kingdom


MEET OUR SPEAKERS 


GUEST SPEAKER

THE EARL OF KINNOULL

Charles Kinnoull is a Scottish crossbench member of the House of Lords. Lord Kinnoull was educated at Eton College, studied chemistry at the University of Oxford, and qualified as a barrister.
Lord Kinnoull was elected to sit in the House of Lords in 2015 and has, among other things served as Chair of the European Union Committee during the Brexit period. Today he is Deputy Speaker and in March 2023 was elected as Convenor of the Crossbench Peers.
Lord Kinnoull serves as president and chairman of several trusts that include the Red Squirrel Survival Trust (RSST) and the UK Squirrel Accord (UKSA), a UK-wide partnership of 45 leading conservation and forestry organizations (including the Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control), government agencies and companies, with links to voluntary red squirrel conservation groups.
As Chair of the RSST and UKSA, Lord Kinnoull has been a key supporter of the research to develop oral contraceptives to reduce the impact the non-native grey squirrel in the UK.

Léa Badoz 

“Fertility Control and European Law: The Regulatory Framework”
Monday, June 17, Session 3
After obtaining her Master’s Degree in International and European Environmental Law in 2017, Léa has worked with environmental organizations such as IUCN and BirdLife on various environmental issues ranging from mangrove governance to wildlife crime. Aware of the necessity to align policy and science, she is completing an MSc in Wildlife Biology and Conservation. Since 2021, Léa has been Programme Officer in the Wildlife Programme of Eurogroup for Animals exploring legislative and policy improvements for the welfare of wild animals across the EU. She is interested in finding innovative solutions to change mindsets and promote animal welfare as a condition for successful conservation policies.

Sarah Beatham 

“Delivery of Oral Contraceptives” 
Monday, June 17, Session 4
Sarah Beatham serves as a Senior Mammal Ecologist at the Animal and Plant Health Agency, She has more than 15 years’ experience in wildlife management research. Sarah specializes in developing and testing methods to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts in the UK and is leading the field research on the development of an oral contraceptive for grey squirrels.  Most of this research is contributing to her PhD studies at Durham University in “Developing and implementing novel methods for managing populations of grey squirrels.”

Professor Steven Belmain

“Fertility Control for Rodents”
Monday, June 17, Session 1
Steven Belmain is Professor of Ecology at the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, United Kingdom.  Steve is a long-term advocate for ecologically-based rodent management, generating information on the impact of rodent pests on people’s livelihoods and health and developing sustainable methods of control without the use of poisons. This work is within a One Health framework that relies on multidisciplinary teams to understand environmental parameters and human behaviour with a view to developing ways of changing behaviours that reduce risk of zoonotic spill-over, crop damage and stabilising habitat biodiversity. Steve’s research on rodents was a key component of a Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2019 for the University of Greenwich. His international research on rodents has led to him advising the World Health Organisation and governments of Bangladesh, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Hong Kong, the Bahamas and Nepal on rodent borne disease outbreaks and rodent management. Steve has starred in a nature documentary for the Discovery Channel Swarmchasers: Rats! with recent feature articles Eat, spray, love: a day in the life of one of Britain’s 80 million rats, Australia’s Plague of Mice Is Devastating and Could Get a Lot Worse and Rise of the rodent: Is the next pandemic brewing in rats?

Stephanie Boyles Griffin 

“Which Contraceptives are Available?”
Monday, June 17, Session 1
“Wildlife Fertility Control: Critieria, Challenges, and Opportunities”
Monday, June 17, Session 2
Stephanie Boyles Griffin currently serves as the Senior Program Director in the Wildlife Protection Department at the Humane Society of the United States and as Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control.
For more than 25 years, she has worked with federal, state, local, and tribal agencies, non-governmental agencies, industries, academia, and policymakers to develop and advance the use of humane, effective, and sustainable methods for mitigating human-wildlife conflicts and promoting coexistence. She served as a Commissioner on the Maryland Wildlife Advisory Commission from 2011-2022 and currently serves on the Free-Roaming Equids and Ecosystem Sustainability (FREES) Network’s Steering Committee. She also serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Human Wildlife Interactions and recently served as a guest editor for a special issue of Wildlife Research on wildlife fertility control.
She holds a BA in Biology from Notre Dame of Maryland University and an M.S. in Environmental Science from Christopher Newport University. Her research has focused on assessing the efficacy, feasibility, fiscal and ecological benefits associated with installing and maintaining water flow control devices to mitigate conflicts with beavers on roadways in Virginia and using fertility control methods to manage federally protected wild equid populations in the U.S.

VERONICA COWL, PHD 

“Fertility Control for Wildlife: The Role of Zoos”
Monday, June 17, Session 2
Dr. Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Cowl is the Reproductive Biologist for Chester Zoo, UK and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), the Netherlands. Dr. Cowl has worked in wildlife fertility control for 8 years, focusing on the application in ex situ managed animals. Dr. Cowl coordinates the activities of the EAZA Reproductive Management Group, which supports European ex situ breeding programmes by providing specialist advice in reproductive management. Alongside partners in the USA, she manages the ‘Contraception Database’, which holds over 56,000 records of contraceptive use in global zoos and aquaria and is used to develop contraceptive recommendations for managed wildlife. She holds a PhD in Animal Biology from the University of Manchester, UK.

KAY HAW

“Collaboration, Communications and Fertility Control to Effectively Manage a Well-established, Invasive Non-native Mammal”
Monday, June 17, Session 4
Kay Haw is the director of the UK Squirrel Accord. A partnership of 45 signatories working together to protect the UK’s red squirrels and broadleaf trees from the negative impacts of introduced grey squirrels, including developing a grey squirrel oral contraceptive. Kay has a strong background in woodland ecosystem and invasive species issues, and a keen interest in human-wildlife conflicts and science communications. She was creator and editor of the Woodland Trust’s Wood Wise publication, which shares sector-wide best practice, and is now a member of the Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control’s Science Communications Working Group. She is also a previous chair of the Wildlife and Countryside Link Invasive Non-Native Species Working Group. Kay is currently studying part time for a master’s degree in applied wildlife conservation at the University of the West of England.

MATTHEW HEYDON, PHD

“Fertility Control and Rewilding”
Monday, June 17, Session 4
Dr. Matthew Heydon is Deputy Director for Human-wildlife Coexistence Science at Natural England, the UK Government’s conservation advisor and wildlife regulator in England. Matt has 25-years’ experience as wildlife advisor to government, having previously researched the impact of hunting on red fox populations in England and Wales, and logging on small ungulates and carnivores in Malaysia. Matt’s work focuses on finding solutions to human-wildlife conflicts, with an emphasis on conflicts involving legally protected species. In recent years Matt has also advised on policy and regulation of the re-introduction of former native species and co-authored the UK government’s code and guidance for reintroductions and conservation translocations in England.

JENS JACOB, PHD 

“Fertility Control for Rodents”
Monday, June 17, Session 1
Dr. Jens Jacob studied ecology and zoology in Jena, Germany and Miami, FL, USA. Since starting his PhD in 1997, he focused on applied rodent research. Following a 4-year position at CSIRO Wildlife Research (Australia), he became the leader of the Rodent Research Group of Julius Kuehn-Institute (Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture) in Münster, Germany.
His research interests include 1) rodent population management that is ecologically and economically sustainable in various systems and various regions of the world, 2) assessing and mediating risk associated with rodent management and 3) the ecology of rodent-borne pathogens to help to take early and optimal action.
Dr. Jacob has published >150 scientific articles, chairs expert groups and is subject editor vertebrates for international peer-reviewed journals.

ALISTAIR KEELY

“Fertility Control in the Media: How do we Communicate the Science?”
Tuesday, June 18,  9:00 AM
Alistair Keely is Head of Media Relations at the University of York, responsible for a small team of press officers who help build the institution’s reputation across research and corporate communications, as well as promoting student and staff achievements. Alistair is also responsible for supporting the institution in a crisis and managing its profile. Prior to the University of York, Alistair worked as a journalist, primarily for the Press Association, where he ran the Yorkshire office for 12 years.

MANEL LOPEZ-BEJAR, PHD

“Fertility Control, Diseases, Welfare and One Health”
Monday, June 17, Session 3
Dr. Manel Lopez-Bejar is a leading researcher and academic in the field of veterinary medicine, focusing extensively on animal welfare and fertility control. As the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), he brings a profound commitment to advancing animal health and welfare through innovative research and education. Dr. Lopez-Bejar’s work has significantly advanced the understanding of the physiological and endocrinological aspects of animal welfare. His research on stress endocrinology has contributed to developing better welfare practices across various animal species, particularly in understanding how stress affects reproductive health and behavior.
His expertise also extends to fertility control, where he has pioneered several techniques that enhance reproductive efficiency and management in domestic and wildlife populations. This includes significant contributions to assisted reproductive technologies, which have implications for conservation efforts and the sustainable management of animal populations.
With over 250 peer-reviewed articles, Dr. Lopez-Bejar has a prolific output that underscores his leadership in these critical areas. His role as head of the ERPAW Research Group (Endocrinology, Reproductive Physiology and Animal Welfare Research Group) and membership in the multidisciplinary research group on Human and Animal Infertility of Barcelona (GRI-BCN) further highlight his influence and commitment to multidisciplinary approaches in veterinary science. Dr. Lopez-Bejar’s work not only enriches academic knowledge but also fosters practical solutions that improve the lives of animals globally, reflecting his dedication to the One Health initiative and animal welfare.

GIOVANNA MASSEI, PHD

“Human Wildlife Conflict, Trends and Role of Fertility Control”
Monday, June 17, Session 1
“Wildlife Fertility Control: Criteria, Challenges and Opportunities”
Monday, June 17, Session 2
Dr. Giovanna Massei serves as Director of the Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control Europe office and a Senior Researcher at the University of York, UK. For 25 years Giovanna has led research on wildlife management in the UK and overseas. Giovanna received her PhD from the University of Aberdeen (UK). Her research  interest focus on fertility control to manage wildlife and free roaming livestock and on the ecology and population control of wild boar. Giovanna published circa 150 scientific papers and popular articles and she’s an Associate Editor for the journal Human Wildlife Interactions.

Andrea Monaco

“Human Dimensions: Fertility Control And Public Attitudes”
Monday, June 17, Session 2
Andrea Monaco serves as a researcher at the National Institute for Environmental Research (ISPRA) in Italy. He has participated in numerous national and international projects in the field of conservation and management of large mammals and alien species, often with a focus on human-wildlife interactions. Currently, Andrea supports national health authorities in the management of the African swine fever epidemic. Andrea is a member of the IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group and one of the founders of the Large Mammal Management Group of the Italian Mammal Society. He is also involved in science outreach and communication. In addition, Andrea teaches at the masters level at the University of Insubria. He studied Natural Sciences at the University of Milan and continued his studies at the Universities of Siena and Rome.

Marco Pellizzari, DVM 

“Fertility Control for Birds in Europe”
Monday, June 17, Session 2
Dr. Marco Pellizzari is a highly respected professional in the field of veterinary medicine. As a distinguished member of the esteemed Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his practice.
For over two decades, Dr. Pellizzari has dedicated his career to studying and addressing issues related to the management of urban pigeons. His work is particularly focused on the use of fertility control methods as a humane and effective approach to population control.  His 22 years of rigorous research and hands-on experience made him a leading authority in this niche field. Dr. Pellizzari’s commitment to improving urban ecosystems and promoting coexistence between humans and wildlife is truly commendable. His work continues to contribute significantly to our understanding of urban wildlife management.

Kate Schoenecker, PhD 

“Fertility Control from Individuals to Populations”
Monday, June 17, Session 3
Dr. Kate Schoenecker has been studying the ecology of ungulates for 25 years as a Research Wildlife Biologist at the USGS Fort Collins Science Center. She received her master’s degree from the University of Arizona, Tucson studying desert bighorn sheep and her PhD from Colorado State University on bison and elk grazing ecology in the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Baca National Wildlife Refuge ecosystem. She currently leads the Ungulate Ecology research team, focusing on science to support bison conservation and wild horse and burro research across the west.

ANTONIO VARCASIA, PHD

“Fertility Control, Diseases, Welfare and One Health”
Monday, June 17, Session 3
Antonio Varcasia is professor of Parasitology and Parasitic Diseases at the University of Sassari. His research activity is focused in diagnosis, epidemiology and molecular parasitology of Cestodes Zoonosis, in parasitic diseases of domestic animals and wildlife with over 135 international scientific publications.
Research profiles:
https://www.scopus.com/authid/detail.uri?authorId=8541308500
Google scholar:
https://scholar.google.it/citations?user=ceUDAXUAAAAJ&hl=it&oi=ao

Felix von Blackenhagen

“A View From the Industry: Drug Registration in Europe” 
Monday, June 17, Session 3
Felix von Blackenhagen serves as Team Leader of the Wildlife Group of RIFCON GmbH. He joined RIFCON GmBH in 2005, initially in the field department, and later served as a risk assessor for birds and mammals for pesticide registration in the European Union according to Regulation 1107/2009 on the placing of plant protection products on the market. Prior to RIFCON GmbH, Felix did field work on risk assessment for birds and mammals in the context of pesticide registration for various CROs.
He studied ecology at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany, with a diploma thesis on mammal ecology in Finland, completed in 2002.