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

Senior Ecologist - 027 2583 101

Patrick 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, especially in the forest and shore bird monitoring and seabird research; including leading several key GPS tracking projects looking at sea movements of shearwaters and petrels. 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.

Kailash Willis

Senior Ecologist

Originally from Australia, Kailash joined the WMIL team in 2017 after a number of years working for the Department of Conservation on the west coast of South Island. After completing a BSc in Conservation Ecology and an Honours degree in 2008 he worked as an environmental consultant in south-east Australia for six years before moving to New Zealand. He brings a broad range of experience to the WMIL team having worked with a diverse range of wildlife including everything from birds and mammals to amphibians and reptiles. Since making the move to New Zealand Kailash has been involved in all sorts of projects including broad scale biodiversity monitoring, establishing predator control networks, endangered species research and revegetation projects.

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

Ecologist – 022 525 9442

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.

Samantha Ray

Ecologist – 027 415 9161

Samantha has always had an interest in wildlife and graduated with a BSc in Zoology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Wildlife Management in 2012. She completed research on Southern New Zealand dotterel during her diploma and since then spent four years monitoring South Island robins. During this work Samantha has developed skills in pest monitoring and bird monitoring and research. She is keen to expand her skills in these and other areas of avian conservation and research, especially with shorebirds and seabirds which she has been involved with since starting at WMIL.

Danielle Butler


Danielle, originally from Australia, graduated from Deakin University in 2007 with a B.Env.Sc. (Environmental Management). She has been interested in the natural environment since a young age and has been involved in a wide variety of wildlife conservation and habitat restoration projects throughout Australia as well as overseas. Danielle also has over six years of experience in local government statutory planning, processing as well as determining planning permit applications for use and development of private/public land. She relocated to New Zealand in 2015 and was employed at the Department of Conservation making recommendations on permission applications for commercial use of public conservation land.

Danielle commenced working for WMIL in 2017 and really enjoys working on a variety projects which to date has included pest management (predator and weed control), revegetation, indigenous plant nursery work, braided river bird monitoring and seabird research.

Paula Harborne

Ecologist – 027 843 6337

Paula is the newest addition to the WMIL team and has recently graduated from Lincoln University with a Bachelor of Environmental Management and Planning. With a passion for the environment, Paula has previously been involved with volunteer work for the Department on Conservation and community conservation groups on Blumine Island and Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary. Over the past three summers, she has worked for us monitoring endangered bird species on braided rivers, building up a skill set in predator control and conservation practices. Paula enjoys working with people and in a role where she can further her knowledge to help preserve and manage New Zealand’s environment and wildlife.