Our Team

Mike Bell

Managing Director - 021 552 768

Mike has had an interest in birds since a small child and has developed this into a career in avian conservation and research. With a BSc in ecology and over twenty years of practical experience he has a widely versatile skill set; including endangered bird research, monitoring and management; predator eradication and control; bird capture, banding and tracking; project management and development.

Mike is dedicated to community based conservation and is committed to helping provide local communities with the skills and resources needed to achieve positive outcomes for species and habitats.

Toni Bell

Officer Manager - 021 0531 170

Toni is responsible for the smooth running of our business by ensuring all the admin is taken care of, and as such is a key pivot in our operation. In addition Toni also participates out in the field during some projects, assisting in trapping and bird research. This provides her with a good understanding of our business, and hence the ability to support staff and clients better.

Elizabeth Bell

Senior Ecologist - 021 2010 541

Biz has always been interested in islands and their ecosystems, particularly birds, reptiles and frogs. Biz completed an MSc in conservation ecology and has over twenty year’s field experience on invasive species management, ornithological and herpetological projects on islands. With such experience, Biz has an impressive array of skills which can assist your project, including project management, invasive species eradication, eradication feasibility assessments, biosecurity plan development, avian research and management, endemic reptile and amphibian research, management and data analysis.

Biz has led a number eradication projects on islands around the world including in the United Kingdom, Mauritius and Madeira. She currently runs significant long term studies including an on-going 19-year study on the breeding biology, population dynamics and at-sea distribution and behaviour of black petrel, and the monitoring of endemic frogs on Marlborough Sounds Islands.

Nikki McArthur

Senior Ecologist - 022 6476 735

Nikki has over ten years’ experience monitoring New Zealand’s biodiversity, with a particular focus on monitoring the population dynamics of native birds. After completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Conservation Biology, he spent several years researching North Island robins before spending the next seven years working in the local government sector, helping to run a biodiversity monitoring programme in the greater Wellington region. This experience has enabled him to develop strong native vegetation, pest animal and bird monitoring skills, as well as a good understanding of local government legislation and policy.

A keen member of Birds New Zealand, Nikki has also been involved in a number of community-led species re-introduction projects has volunteered his time to assist with monitoring the critically endangered Chatham Island black robin. As a keen birder, Nikki also has a strong interest in encouraging other birders to act as ‘citizen scientists’ by collecting and sharing high quality bird monitoring data that can be used by researchers and resource managers to make better-informed decisions about the conservation management 3of birds and their habitats in New Zealand.

Patrick Crowe

Ecologist - 027 2583 101

Patrick is the newest addition to the WMIL team. He graduated from Otago University in 2011 with a BSc in Zoology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Wildlife Management. Since then he has worked for the Department of Conservation in a variety of roles including kea research, island weed control, predator control and broad scale biodiversity monitoring. He brings a wide set of skills to the WMIL team and is looking to build on those skills, particularly in the area of seabird research. Patrick enjoys working with community conservation groups and is always keen on educating people about New Zealand’s unique biodiversity and the threats facing conservation in New Zealand today.

Dave Boyle


Dave has been interested in wildlife, especially birds, for as long as he can remember. Although he originally trained as a cabinet maker he has been working in conservation and bird research for over 25 years. A chance encounter with Brian Bell 20 years ago led to Dave working for WMIL on Ascension Island, and he has been working for us on and off ever since. His main interests are seabirds and feral cat control, and this has led to Dave working in a range of islands across the globe. As such his current role based in the Chatham Islands focusing of the conservation of the Chatham Island Taiko is his perfect job.

Dave Bell


Dave has had a lifelong interest in birds and has been a member of our team from early on. As well as a strong interest in bird banding, handling and conservation Dave has a keen interest and vast experience in pest control. Primarily based in the field, Dave has developed a wide array of practical skills, learnt through more than 20 years in conservation. Dave has been involved in and led many of our projects throughout the world and has extensive experience in avian conservation management and pest control. Dave has had long-term involvement in wildlife management issues on the Chatham Islands, and currently his focus with WMIL is on managing projects throughout all the islands in the Chatham Island group. In his off season from wildlife management work for WMIL Dave spends several months a year in Canada as a commercial helicopter pilot.

Hamish Chisolm


Hamish comes from a long and proud Chatham Island family that has immersed itself in conservation innovation since the 1980’s when his Grandfather gifted to the Crown the land which now makes up the Tuku Nature Reserve in order to save the critically endangered Chatham Island Taiko. Future generations built on this foundation further by Covenanting additional areas and overseeing the first two predator proof sanctuaries on Main Chatham. A keen believer in the restoration of natural ecosystems, Hamish has over ten year’s field experience in the control of invasive pests, both nationally and internationally. He has been involved in multiple translocation programs of endemic Chatham birds as well as re-habitation projects and bird monitoring.

Graduating from the University of Canterbury with a Double Degree in Law and Arts, his ultimate goal is to use both this knowledge and his position as a born-and-bred Chatham Islander to work with Local Government and Community Groups to help eradicate all invasive pests in order to restore the Island to the bird sanctuary that it once was and then use the island as a prototype to spring-board similar initiatives on both Mainland New Zealand and Internationally.