Registered Charity Number 1165941

Our Team

Meet The Wild Welfare Team
Dr David Jones
Founder / Chairman

Dr. David Jones is the founder/ Chairman of Wild Welfare. He is a veterinarian and zoologist by training and is Director Emeritus of the NC Zoo having run it for 22 years. He was previously CEO of the Zoological Society of London and has spent his entire career, 47 years, in the wildlife and Zoo management field. He is also board chair of Environmental Defence Fund North Carolina and chair of the newly formed Brooke USA. David has worked in more than 50 countries, mainly in Africa and the Middle East. He has been on the Councils of both World Wildlife Fund U.S. and U.K. and was a former Chairman of Fauna and Flora International, the world’s oldest conservation organization. Currently he is Chairman of Central Park N.C., the principal non-governmental economic development group for the rural counties of central North Carolina. David has a special interest in the need to make environmental concerns relevant to people’s everyday lives and to show the close connection between our environment and economy.

Dave Morgan
Field Director

Dave Morgan has been involved in the zoo world for over 30 years. He managed two zoological collections in South Africa, specializing in reptiles and birds. Ten years ago he became the first professional Executive Director of the African Association of Zoos and Aquaria (PAAZAB) and has extensive experience, through that post, of assisting many collections on the African continent. Representing PAAZAB, he has had a close association with the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and served on the WAZA Council for five years, acting also as Committee Chairman for their Population Management Committee. He is currently a member of WAZA’s Ethics and Welfare Committee. Other associations have included the Board of the International Species Information System (ISIS), the editorial board of the International Zoo Yearbook and a member of the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission of IUCN. Apart from his work in Africa, he has consulted on zoo projects in China, Pakistan, India and Qatar.

Georgina Groves (Allen)
Projects Director

Georgina Allen has over ten years experience working for animal welfare, research and conservation organisations including the Natural History Museum, London; the World Society for the Protection of Animals and the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums. With a degree in zoology and masters in wild animal biology, previous experience includes strategic animal welfare campaigning in Southeast Asia, welfare and strategy capacity training, captive elephant welfare assessments, and research on UK farm animal welfare. Georgina has bridged the gap between the mainstream welfare and zoo communities and is committed to driving forward projects that deliver sustainable welfare solutions and end poor welfare practices for all wild animals currently held in captivity.

Sophie Beckwith
Sophie Beckwith
Communications Manager

Sophie Beckwith is a freelance journalist and a registered veterinary nurse. Working in the UK veterinary industry for nearly 20 years, she is committed to good animal welfare practices. Sophie is a volunteer and ambassador for the Animal Welfare Foundation UK as well as the lead nurse on an annual overseas neutering programme for stray cats. As well as her work with companion animals, previous experience includes nursing wildlife in South America and marine conservation in Greece. Sophie helps to oversee our social media, website and online presence and is our contact for all press and media enquiries.


Tiffany Blackett
Science Advisor

Tiffany is a veterinarian who has spent over ten years working for not-for-profit organisations associated with the care and rehabilitation of casualty wildlife, including the Wildlife Information Network. Demonstrating her commitment to protecting animal welfare, Tiffany also worked for eight years as an Animal Welfare Inspector in the Channel Islands, UK. In 2007, following her interest in the population demographics and health status of a local free-living wildlife species, Tiffany instigated the development and operation of the on-going red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) disease surveillance scheme on Jersey, Channel Islands, the undertaking of which is essential to help safeguard the long term health and welfare of this unique island population of red squirrels.

Erin Ivory
Elephant Advisor

Erin is an elephant welfare advisor for Wild Welfare. Erin is currently the Animal Management Supervisor for elephants at North Carolina Zoo. Before that, Erin was in Vietnam working on a project to improve the welfare of the animals at the Hanoi Zoo and Hanoi Wildlife Rescue Centre and acting as a consultant on an elephant management and welfare project within Dak Lak. Erin also successfully managed the transfer of Mila, an African elephant that had spent the majority of her life in a circus to be relocated from New Zealand to a rescue facility in the US. Through Wild Welfare, Erin will be continuing her work in Vietnam to improve the welfare for captive and wild elephants over there as well as facilitating elephant welfare projects in other countries.

Chris Lasher
Bear Advisor

Chris Lasher is an animal management supervisor at the North Carolina Zoo and has additional experience at providing welfare assessments of bears in North Carolina for profit parks and has been supporting our efforts in Japan to address the welfare of bears held in bear parks.

Hassan Syed
Technology Advisor

Hassan Syed is a global executive skilled at aligning business goals, organizational needs and technology to deliver high impact initiatives that facilitate growth. As our technology strategist, he brings 27 years of broad technology experience to the Wild Welfare Team. Hassan is well known within the Zoo community for his role in the ZIMS project. He led the global zoo community efforts in developing the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) from 2003 to 2011, delivering the first version of ZIMS software in 2010. Hassan has an exceptional track record of using technology for collaboration. He pioneered ISIS Community Portal to collaborate on the development of more than 300 standards for data collection on animal management and health, engaging 500+ subject matter experts from 37 different countries in the process.

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