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 and Operations)

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 & Operations.

Mimmo Di Giacomo (Director of Fundraising, Marketing and Communications)

I am keen about contributing to transformative changes in our society to benefit humans and animals alike. I love to engage and move people to support so many worthwhile causes. And I have a passion for moviemaking and made my first indie feature film as independent producer.

Rebecca Shepherd (Science Officer)

Rebecca oversees the management of our grants portfolio and assists with the delivery of our scientific strategy. She has been passionate about animal welfare and environmental issues from a very young age, and spent three years as a volunteer Community Ambassador for Animal Free Research UK while completing her MSc in Medicinal Chemistry. When she’s not busy taking care of her menagerie of two dogs and five rabbits, Rebecca loves exploring the British countryside, cooking yummy vegan meals, and relaxing with a good book. Rebecca is excited to be in a position where she can help promote our vision, research and key messages so that we can achieve our mission of creating a world where animals are no longer used in medical research.

Patrick Baker (Head of Marketing)

Patrick has spent a great deal of his life marketing things. Marketing drawings he made at school (primarily by sticking them on the fridge), marketing music he has made and plays that he has written. He is now very happy to be using everything he has learned to become Head of Marketing at Animal Free Research UK.

 Liam Devenish (Finance and Database Officer)

Liam had an epiphany while making his 2354th Frappuccino that working for a meaningful cause would really help him sleep better at night. After finding a passion for philosophy at University, animal rights had become a large focus and Animal Free Research UK felt a natural fit. Liam is a big movie lover and will take any opportunity to ask if you also felt Matthew Lillard should have been at least asked to voice Shaggy in Scoob! (2020). He vows never to watch that movie.

 Jess Whitlock (Supporter Engagement Officer)

Jess had 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.


 Isobel Hutchinson (Head of Public & Regulatory 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!


Page last modified on April 30, 2021 2:48 pm

Share this page