Durrell Women: Lucy Groves - Project Officer for the White Stork Project
How long have you worked at Durrell and what does your job involve?
I have worked at Durrell since April 2019 and I am the Project Officer for the White Stork Project. My role includes being responsible for coordinating partner organisations and release sites, post-release monitoring of the storks including movement data from GPS tracking and collation of sighting reports, as well as delivering public engagement using the emblematic white stork to drive nature connection in local and wider communities.
What did you do before coming to work at Durrell?
Before working for Durrell, I was a freelance Conservation Biologist specialising in working with British small mammals, in particular harvest mice. I was working on a number of projects in Sussex, as well as being a safari guide at the Knepp Rewilding Project. Before that I was a zookeeper at a small collection, which specialised in British wildlife. Whilst there I was lucky enough to work with a range of mammal and bird species, and amongst others I hand reared a little owl, Tyrion, who now lives with me at home.
What were some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in your career so far, and how did you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges I have faced is dealing with burn out and realising that the role I was in wasn’t right for me. I couldn’t have overcome this challenge without the support of my family and friends, but I learnt a huge amount about what I am capable of and how it is never too late to change what you are doing. There is no single clear route into this line of work and every experience has developed and honed my skills.
What advice would you give to others thinking of pursuing a similar role?
When I left my role as a zookeeper, I had been doing lots of volunteering outside my role and getting my name out there as much as possible, which helped me as a freelancer as I had lots of contacts. I did a range of different things from ecological surveys, public engagement, forest schools, volunteering with local wildlife groups, and running local wildlife projects. This has all helped me in my role as project officer as it gave me a wide range of experience and skills, all of which I use today.
For more information about Lucy's work visit https://www.whitestorkproject.org/
Posted 9 March 2021