Overseas Field Staff
Joe Sharpe - Project Coordinator - FIJI
Joe first came to Frontier on the then “Tanzania Forest Research programme” way back in 2001 as a research assistant, an experience that allowed him to consider Human-Environment relationships and how they are perceived by both locals and foreigners alike.
On returning to the UK (several jobs and excursions to SE Asia later) the obvious choice was to take a degree in Social Anthropology at Sussex. Post-Uni Joe then went on to work in a National Park in Thailand as a Foreign Liaison Officer followed by a 3 year stint as a Senior Operations Manager for a London-based logistics firm. Having gained experience in the private sector, and learned how to run a successful business, he decided that these skills could be better applied within a context for which he has real passion for – Conservation.
Joe returned to Frontier in 2009 to work in the operations department and from September 2010 will again be heading back to his beloved tropics to take on the role of Project Coordinator at the Frontier Fiji Marine Conservation Project.
Neil Cook - Principal Investigator - FIJI
Having spent his early years in Vanuatu, Neil returned to the UK and split his time between family in England and New Zealand. An unhealthy obsession with the ocean resulted in a BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology and an MSc in Tropical Coastal Management. Neil has travelled, volunteered, lived and conducted research in Costa Rica, Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Fiji and back in his beloved Vanuatu.
The desire to pursue a career in the NGO environment led naturally to Frontier's London HQ. Beginning as Volunteer Coordinator, Neil took up the role of Partner Projects Manager six months later and after nearly two years in London HQ he moved to the Frontier Fiji Marine project in the role of Principal Investigator to continue his love affair with all things marine, and Fiji Rugby.
Katherine 'Kat' Rowe - Assistant Research Officer - FIJI
Katherine, or ‘Kat’ as she likes to be known, has recently completed her MSc in Tropical Coastal Management. During the course she travelled to the Maldives to conducting socio-economic surveys in island communities to determine community attitudes and perceptions towards a recently established Marine Protected Area.
During her studies, she also spent a lot of time searching for Whale Sharks and Mantas! Kat is a keen diver, being lucky enough to learn to dive in Fiji two and a half years ago when she completely fell in love with being in and on the water. Since returning to the UK she has continued to dive and gained her Divemaster recently. After so much diving in the UK, she is keen on dumping her dry suit and getting back in warm, tropical water again with visibility better than three metres.
Cazz Pickles - Conservation Assistant - TANZANIA
Cazz graduate from the University of Bristol in 2010 with an MA in Medieval History after falling in love with all things Medieval whilst studying Theology and Religious Studies at undergrad. She wanted to know more about why and what people believed in the medieval period so spent most of her time at uni annoying the anthropology department and asking complicated questions. She specialised in feminized theology and spent a whole year trying to convince anyone who would listen that Mary Magdalene wasn’t a prostitute. (She wasn’t.)
Cazz then spent a few years working with vulnerable kids and adults teaching circus skills, specialising in hula hooping, and quickly discovered that she loved working with people - working out what makes them tick and trying to get people to see things in new and interesting ways. That’s how she came to work for Frontier; so much of conservation is based on getting people to redefine the way they view and interact with their surroundings and understanding how this can benefit not just the environment but them too.
Heading out on the TZS project is just another part of Cazz’s slightly psychotic CV but she can’t wait to start working with the communities and the people who make up an integral part of the work Frontier is doing. Her personal interest in psychology and group dynamics will hopefully come in handy and if all else fails she’ll just start juggling.
Ben Sobkowiak - Assistant Research Officer - TANZANIA
Ben has always had a fascination with the natural world and learning about different cultures, right back to days spent reading through encyclopaedias as a kid (embarrassing, I know!). This led him to taking an undergraduate degree in biology at Bristol and then onto completing an MRes in Biosystematics jointly at the Natural History Museum and Imperial College. Sandwiched in between was the obligatory gap yeah travelling to South-East Asia and America, it really gave him some perspective on living in other cultures and reaffirmed the desire to see many different parts of the world.
Ben’s goal is to spend his life learning about new things and being an active part of new discoveries whilst travelling to as many places as possible, and what better way than scientific research. Ben has travelled to the Tanzania Savannah project as an Assistant Research Officer in order to challenge himself to conduct worthy science in unpredictable environments, and also to see a hugely interesting part of the world.
Upon returning he plans on studying for a PhD in the evolutionary factors affecting effective conservation, using the valuable skills he will have acquired on the project.
Naomi Booth - Assistant Research Officer - Madagascar
Naomi recently graduated from Durham University with a Physical Geography degree which was packed in around her passion for sports and travel. Willing to give everything a try her sports include hockey, football, rock climbing and Thai boxing.
With a love for the great outdoors and all things wild her travel experience started when she was 15 in Uganda, and has involved everything from marine conservation in the Philippines to monitoring monkey behaviour in Kenya. Taking on the role of assistant research officer on the Madagascar marine project will allow her to use the research skills and knowledge gained during her degree in the most beautiful place on earth – the underwater world!