Meet The Staff
Name: Will Thomas (AAL Selling animals as
Pets Licence holder NVLIC/58478/11)
Position: Managing Director
Master of Research (MRes) Natural Sciences - UWB 2009. (Research submission - Molecular Phylogeographic Origin Testing in the Tenerife gecko Tarentola delalandii)., Distinction Attained, Winner of the Chuck Hollingworth award for best written thesis.
Bachelor of Science (Bsc, Hons) Zoology with Marine Zoology - UWB 2008. (Research submission – Investigating the effect of incubation temperature on hatchling fitness and morphology in the Mourning Gecko Lepidodactylus lugubris). Research project part funded by the British Herpetological Society.
Will has worked in and around the reptile trade for 20 years, previously having worked in a couple of specialist stores in his teens and while at university. He has completed work placements at Zoos, supplied animals for film and TV work and acted as a consultant to the BBC NHU. He Co-Founded the now highly esteemed Bangor University Herpetological Society and has given many educational talks and seminars at schools, universities and charitable groups. Will was a guest speaker at the British Herpetological Symposium at Drayton Manor Zoo in 2017 discussing the commercial captive breeding of reptiles in an ethical manner.
Aside from looking after and breeding reptiles in captivity Will has a keen interest in seeing them in the wild. Along with numerous UK reptile and amphibian monitoring projects in 2009 Will took part in tracking the spread of invasive Anole species in the Caribbean. In 2014 he fulfilled a childhood dream of travelling to Indonesia to visit Komodo National Park where he was able to get up close and personal with Komodo dragons in their natural habitat. In 2019 he travelled to the cloud forests of Ecuador in a search for Pinnochio anoles, and then on to the Galapagos to seek out the marine iguanas and wild giant tortoises.
Name: Paul Wiley
Position: Retail Manager
Qualifications: NVQ Animal Care, National Diploma Animal Management
Paul has been keeping reptiles and amphibians for over 30 years having started age 10 with some Sudan Plated Lizards. Over the years Paul has kept and bred countless different species including everything from Iguanas back in the early 90’s through to the first UK breeding of Toad Headed Agamas in 2015. Paul has also been directly involved in the pet trade industry for over 20 years, prior to joining the team here at Global Geckos, he had been the Livestock Manager for the UK’s longest running reptile wholesaler for over a decade. What Paul doesn’t know about keeping reptiles and amphibians alongside the advancements within the industry probably isn’t worth knowing.
Having been a part of the reptile keeping industry for most of his life he has always been a strong advocate of naturalistic rather than the artificial and minimalistic enclosures favoured by some. Making the transition from wholesale back to retail was prompted in part by having found a store which maintains the high moral and ethical standards that he too believes in. Paul's specific interests are diverse but he has an exceptional knowledge of vivarium plants along with an extensive knowledge of popular pet invertebrates, he aims to be able to pass on the wealth of knowledge direct to hobbyists from within the retail environment.
Position: Lead Livestock Technician
Qualifications: Extended National Diploma Animal Management
Ben has over 10 years experience in keeping and breeding reptiles. Quite some years ago he came to Global Geckos on a school work experience placement, and then again on numerous work placements while he completed his extended diploma at Merrist Wood College, where he was taught in part by another former staff member, Ed.
Ben started off working weekends, switching to fulltime back in late 2018 and has gradually become a more and more integral part of the team as his experience and confidence grew. He got to grips with the breeding facility during the 2019-2020 season and this year marks the start of him taking the reins in this department. Over the years he’s kept and bred various geckos, agamids, and dwarf monitors. Next on his shopping list for his personal collection will be some Knob tailed geckos, which he has done sterling work with in store over the last breeding season.
Position: IT and Web support
Qualifications: National Diploma L3 Equine Management
Brooke joined the team during 2020 to help with expanding the online webstore having previously run the online store for an independent sporting goods company. Since taking over the website maintenance and advertising she has revolutionised the shopping experience for our customers and much of the new social media videos, advertising and livestock photos are her handywork. She has plenty of ideas on how to make shopping with us online a more streamlined experience and will be uploading more of our care guides and information leaflets in due course. Although not a lifelong reptile enthusiast like most of the staff she still has the same passion for animals and wildlife as the rest of the team and when not at work she spends much of her time with her horses.
Position: Livestock Technician
Qualifications: Currently studying for his Extended National Diploma Animal Management
Finn is the youngest member of the team and is actively still studying at Merrist Wood Animal College. At the end of this year he will be carrying on his studies through Kingston University where he has received a place on the foundation degree in zoo management. Finn started off on work experience as part of his course but with his evident passion and aptitude he has stayed on working part time alongside his studies. Finn has been keeping reptiles for 5 years but already has quite a diverse collection at home with everything from dart frogs to monitor lizards and cat eyed snakes.
Position: Livestock Technician
Qualifications: National Diploma in Animal Care
Ben is our newest member of the team and joined us at the end of 2021 having previously been a team leader at Pets at Home. he qualified in 2018 from BCA with an ND in animal management. He has kept reptiles for a number of years and has had a diverse range at home including Naultinus and Boyds Forest Dragons, and currently specialises in Abronia.
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