Meet our staff

Carla Owen

CEO

Carla has wanted to help change the world since she was 12 when she had an epiphany in Cambridge Sainsbury’s that meant she would never again eat animals. She thinks big, draws badly and eats less vegan chocolate cake than she would like.

Nicola Reeves

Director of Finance & Resources

Nicola fell in love with the idea of working for charities when she was only a teenager and is driven by a desire to help make the world a better place. She's always had geeky tendencies, having learned to code in BASIC at age 8 as well as winning the school maths prize twice, so has settled very well into the role of Director of Finance & Resources.

Isobel Hutchinson

Director of Public Affairs

Isobel is absolutely passionate about helping animals and making the world a kinder place, and worked at Animal Aid for seven years before her current role. She started out doing an internship at Four Paws, and studied French and Italian at university (taking the opportunity to volunteer at some animal sanctuaries while on her year abroad). Outside of work, she loves sewing, running, cycling and of course cooking and eating delicious vegan food!

Dave Cameron

Commercial Director

Dave’s career has taken him all over the world and for the past 28 years, he has worked in the drug development sector. Dave has also set up and ran several successful businesses and is always up for a challenge. All that said, he has always had a burning ambition to work in the charity sector and is excited about his role as the Animal Free Research UK, Commercial Director, where he will lead on the development of new commercial initiatives. Dave lives with his family, is a cooking enthusiast, likes to travel and continually endeavours to reduce his golf handicap! Dave is a cat-person, having rescued two cats last year!

Zoe Holt

Head of Development

Zoe has worked in the charity sector for nearly 20 years. Prior to joining Animal Free Research UK as the Philanthropy Manager, she was Development Director at Cruelty Free International for over 10 years. As well as being a huge animal lover, Zoe has a passion for music that her son believes skews a bit too youthful for her age.

Debbie Osborne

Philanthropy Manager

Debbie has worked in the voluntary sector for over 25 years with the majority of that time at The Body Shop Foundation working with charities such as Cruelty Free International and Animal Free Research UK. Most recently she has been a Trusts and Foundations fundraiser at Cats Protection and is delighted now to be using her skills for Animal Free Research UK. She has 3 elderly cats who are constantly competing for the award of ‘most in need of attention’ and 1 slightly over exuberant labradoodle who loves living by the sea in Devon.

Jess Whitlock

B2C Marketing Manager

Jess worked in the charity events industry for 4 years before taking her step into Animal Free Research UK, where she is excited to work with compassionate people and be part of a pioneering charity. Jess loves to explore the world and climb mountains (but not so much the upward climb!). She also has a deep love for pick 'n' mix and musicals.

Elise Flood

Fundraising Manager

Elise has worked in the charity sector for many years, having most recently been at Diabetes UK and UNICEF Australia in their fundraising departments. A life-long animal lover, Elise enjoys sunny autumn days, long walks across the South Downs and oat milk flat whites.

Amie Lovell

B2B Marketing Manager

Amie has over 7 years’ marketing experience spanning various sectors, however felt the time was right to move into an area more meaningful to her - and one which can make a real difference to both animals and humans. Amie enjoys long walks with her cockapoo, who has his crazy moments but is a complete joy! She also loves baking (& eating) cakes and cookies, and is a very keen runner hoping to get picked for the London Marathon one day! Amie is looking forward to bringing her experience to Animal Free Research UK and enhancing the brilliant work that the charity is doing.

Dominic O'Reilly

Media & PR Manager

Dom was a journalist covering sport and foreign news before joining the charity sector and working across health, education, youth development and international aid. A Dad of two teenagers he is hoping to resume beekeeping this Summer!

Anne Howkins

Finance Manager

Anne has worked in finance for more years than she’d like to discuss, the last five being in the charitable sector. Animals have been a constant in her life, horses, dogs, cats, chickens and various small rodents owned by her now grown-up daughters. Her current companions are an American Quarter Horse and a whippet, both of whom can run a lot faster than she can. She hopes that one day the whippet will be as well-trained as the horse. She also writes very short fiction and eats more sweet things than she should.

Imogen Ahlquist

Projects & Performance Manager

Imogen has a varied role at the charity managing a variety of strategic projects and helping to improve performance across the team. She adores all animals but has a particular affinity with felines, see here pictured with her loveable cat, who sometimes makes an appearance on calls.

Dr Stephanie Modi

Science Manager

As someone who loves science and is passionate about animal welfare, Stephanie is excited to be working for Animal Free Research UK. She has rescued and rehomed many animals including numerous dogs over many years and currently owns a retired greyhound who has decided that retirement means sleeping a lot.

Stephanie has worked as a research scientist, a science communicator and a secondary school science teacher and has concluded that animals are generally much easier to control than school children. In her free time, Stephanie likes to sketch, read biographies and spend time with her furry and non-furry family who are helping her to improve her knowledge of dinosaurs and Star Wars.

Darcie Wilson

Public Affairs Officer

Darcie has spent the last few years supporting teams and individuals in charities and on INGO consultancies and is excited to be a part of the great team at Animal Free Research UK. Prior to her work in charities, she worked in both the finance sector in London and as an English teacher in Vietnam. She has always been an animal-lover, with her family home housing many rescue dogs over the years (8 at once at one point...), and her current favourite pastime is watching her cat be very weird. She enjoys cooking vegan food, running (almost!) every day, and is a regular gig-goer.

Gemma Davies

Science Officer

After completing her MSc and PhD in cancer research at Cardiff University, Gemma was keen to move into the charity sector. As a lifelong animal lover, and owner of a Portuguese rescue dog, she is excited to work towards positive change for a cause she truly believes in at Animal Free Research UK. Outside of work, Gemma enjoys travelling, looking after her many house plants, playing the piano and taking her dog to his favourite place, the beach!

Richard Devany

Events Officer

Richard has over 15 years’ experience of working in the events industry, having been involved in everything from music festivals to conferences and exhibitions. In his most recent career years, he has been focusing on supporting and working within the charity sector, he is excited to join Animal Free Research UK and to contribute toward the goals of the organisation. Richard enjoys outdoor pursuits including mountain biking and skiing, as well as having a hobby of classic car restoration.

Hikmot Ademosu

Administrator

Hikmot’s background is in copywriting and copyediting, primarily for market research and financial organisations. Whilst she has only worked within the charity sector for a short time, she has always been keen on working with an organisation that aligns with her beliefs and Animal Free Research UK is that! Hikmot enjoys cooking, baking, rainy days – literally, and believes laughter is the best cure for many ailments.