Our Team

Elizabeth (Biz) Bell

Managing Director - 021 201 0541

Biz has always been interested in islands and their ecosystems, particularly birds, frogs, and reptiles. With an MSc in conservation ecology and over twenty-five years’ field experience in invasive species management, ornithological and herpetological projects on islands across the globe, Biz has an impressive array of skills which can assist your project, including concept development, 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 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.

Patrick Crowe

Operations Manager - 027 258 3101

Patrick graduated from Otago University in 2011 with a BSc in Zoology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Wildlife Management. He worked for the Department of Conservation in a variety of roles including kea research, island weed control, predator control and biodiversity monitoring before joining the WMIL team in 2016. 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, petrels and shags. He is one of the coordinators of the New Zealand Bird Atlas scheme and spends a lot of his spare time out Atlasing! 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.

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 developed skills in pest monitoring and bird monitoring and research. She has continued to expand her skills in pest control and monitoring and other areas of avian conservation and research, especially with shorebirds and seabirds which she has been involved with since starting at WMIL. Samantha leads a number of WMIL key predator control and seabird research projects.

Dan Burgin

Ecologist - 022 4067 028,

Dan has over six years’ experience monitoring biodiversity and in environmental research. After graduating from Loughborough University, in the UK, with a Bachelor of Science in Geography, and an MSc in Environmental Monitoring for Management, Dan began to develop his skills working in various countries. This has allowed him to undertake work in Costa Rica, the UK, New Zealand and Canada, monitoring a myriad of wildlife, including mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians. Dan first worked for WMIL in 2016 assisting with the Taiko Trust’s Chatham Albatross Translocation, before working on other forest, shore and seabird projects across the country with WMIL. Dan is keen to use his privileged position as an Ecologist to further species and habitat protection both in New Zealand and beyond, especially through advocacy, education and teaching. Dan is driven to bridge the gaps between scientific literature, legislative policy and common knowledge, even more so in light of global climate breakdown and biodiversity loss, using his photography and videography skills to reach a broader audience.

Baylee Connor-McClean

Ecologist - 027 3261 685

Baylee graduated from Lincoln University with a BSc in Ecology and Conservation, focusing her studies on avian conservation and predator control. During Baylee’s final year of university, she carried out an individual research project focusing on the efficacy of a range of different bait types in attracting mammalian predators in the Lewis Pass. Baylee monitored the critically endangered shore plover, collecting data on behaviour and identifying reasons for breeding failure and chick mortality. She has also been involved tracking takahe using telemetry, assisting in black-billed gull banding, endangered forest birds monitoring, and implementing conservation initiatives on Blumine Island in the Marlborough Sounds. Since joining WMIL, Baylee has been developing her pest control and bird skills working on a range of predator and avian research projects, including monitoring black-fronted tern populations on a number of Marlborough braided rivers, field work on the takoketai/black petrel project on Aotea/Great Barrier Island and assisting with the field components of Predator Free Wellington project.

Hinewai Bell

Ecologist - 022 0731 920

Hinewai is the newest addition to the WMIL team. She has had a keen interest in birds from childhood and has been involved in a range of conservation projects since she was very small. Through school, she was involved in conservation initiatives and volunteer opportunities on projects in the Marlborough region, including native frog research, seabird translocation projects, braided river work and passerine banding. Since joining WMIL, Hinewai has been quickly gaining additional skills in predator control, seabird research, data collection and analysis, and reporting. She enjoys working with communities and sharing her enthusiasm for birds and conservation.

Dave Boyle

Taiko Conservation Ecologist

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 over 20 years ago led to Dave working for WMIL on Ascension Island as part of the feral cat eradication team, and he has been working for us on and off ever since. His main interests are seabirds, feral cat control and island restoration, 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 on the conservation of the Chatham Island taiko/magenta petrel 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. In addition to his love of birds and vast experience in banding, handling and avian conservation management, 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. He has been involved in and led many of our projects throughout the world. 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 Islands group. In his off season from WMIL, Dave spends several months of the year in Canada as a commercial helicopter pilot.

Toni Bell

Officer Manager - 021 0531 170

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

Paul Garner-Richards

Finance Manager - 021 1633 790

A Master Mariner, Paul has always been interested in conservation and ornithology, and this expanded to island restoration when he met Biz when she was directing a rat eradication project on Lundy Island in the UK. Paul is responsible for the day to day financial requirements of WMIL, drawing on his experience as Treasurer for two New Zealand charities. In his spare time, Paul assists with field work on a range of WMIL seabird and island restoration projects across New Zealand and worldwide.