Meet our team

The Lord Howe Island Rodent Eradication Project has been fortunate to have the involvement of a team of experts from all over the world.

Our team members are experienced in eradication and conservation projects and have recognised expertise in their fields.

Governance and Support structure

Employment opportunities: We are looking to involve a local workforce and have a number of positions available, if you would like to join the team please contact us

Andrew Walsh

Project Manager

Andrew is responsible for co-ordination and delivery of the entire project. He has lived on Lord Howe for the last two years managing approvals, planning and logistics in the lead up to implementation. Andrew has over 15 years’ experience in natural resource management across Australia with a focus on landscape management (particularly pest management and biosecurity), environmental impact assessment and approvals. He was previously Principal Environmental Scientist with a large environmental consultancy delivering a range of feral animal, biosecurity and land rehabilitation projects. He also worked for a number of years as a supervising quarantine and export inspector for the former Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS). Andrew holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Ecology and Biodiversity), a Diploma of Management and Certificates in Project Management and Quarantine.

Pete McClelland

Technical Advisor

Pete is a highly experienced island restoration specialist, focused on saving threatened species and habitats through the removal of invasive species and the translocation of threatened species. He will provide expert technical advice during the project.

Pete has had the role of Technical advisor during the planning and/or implementation of invasive species eradications both around New Zealand and internationally including- the USA- Aleutians (Rat Island); Australia- Macquarie and Big Green Island, the Pacific- Palmyra and Wake Islands, Lehua- Hawaii; Canada – Haida Gwaii; Europe – the Azores and Sardinia. Pete has also been a member of the New Zealand Department of Conservation’s Island Eradication Advisory Group (member for 7 years). Pete has a Masters in Applied Science and Bachelor of Science – Zoology.

Jaclyn Pearson

Assistant Project Manager – Community

Jaclyn’s primary role is community consultation and development of property management plans for the ground baiting operations. Jaclyn has joined us from her previous role as Project Manager for the Scilly Isles Seabird Restoration Project, which successfully eradicated rats from the permanently inhabited islands of St Agnes and Gugh in the UK to protect seabird populations. Jaclyn brings a wealth of experience in community engagement and conservation. She has Bachelor of Science. (Hons) Zoology and Project Management Qualifications.

Michael Shiels

Husbandry  Supervisor

Michael will lead the Taronga Zoo husbandry team for the captive management component. He  has 17 years’ experience in avian husbandry. This includes extensive experience in the health management of a wide range of bird species held in permanent care and in conservation breeding and  release programs.  Michael is the species co-ordinator for Regent Bowerbird, Regent honeyeater and Plains wanderer.  He represents Taronga on the Regent honeyeater recovery team and has co-ordinated of 295 captive bred birds over 5 releases since 2008.  Michael represents Taronga on the Husbandry management team and designed the captive management plan and the husbandry facilities for critically endangered Plains Wanderers at Taronga Western plains Zoo.  He was the Supervisor for the trial captive management for Lord Howe Island Woodhen and Currawong in 2013.

Hank Bower

Masked Owl Manager

Hank is currently the Manager World Heritage and Environment for the Lord Howe Island Board and has resided on LHI since 2007. He will manage the Masked Owl eradication component of the project. In his current position, Hank has provided direct involvement in the management and recovery of the islands ecology with significant focus on the islands biodiversity and threatened species. The position requires detailed knowledge of the islands species, the threats to each and an understanding of the most appropriate recovery methods applicable to each. Through this position Hanks has gained a sound knowledge of the Islands flora and fauna, including threatened species and have traversed much of the islands terrain. Hank has a Bachelor of Applied  Science (Hons) – Ecology and a Certificate in Bush Regeneration.

Anneke De Shutter

GIS Officer

Ann has recently started as the GIS (Geographical Information Systems) officer for the Lord Howe Island Rodent Eradication Project. Originally from Belgium she has spent the last 4 years in New Zealand working for the Department of Conservation.
As a GIS analyst Ann focused primarily on weed and (aerial) pest control, as well as looking at how improvements could be made to monitoring nationwide using satellite imagery.

In 2016 she got the incredible opportunity to be the GIS technician for the subantarctic Antipodes Islands mice eradication; tracking, monitoring and mapping bait usage and area covered, enabling 100% coverage.

Darcelle Matassoni

Project Communications Coordinator

A Senior Marketing and Communications Manager, experienced in developing and implementing strategies throughout Asia, Darcelle has worked on several environmental projects with the Lord Howe Island Board and Lord Howe Island Tourism Association (LHITA) over the last 2 years.

In her role as Project Communications Coordinator Darcelle will be working primarily on communications surrounding the REP and associated long-term conservation plan.

Focusing on communicating factual, transparent, information about the project Darcelle, will also be liaising with the community on the development and implementation of an Eco Tourism strategy (in conjunction with the LHITA) to grow a new tourism market for Lord Howe Island. Darcelle has a Bachelor of Business in International Trade and Marketing.