Meet The Staff


Name: Will Thomas (AAL Selling animals as Pets Licence holder NVLIC/58478/11)

Position: Managing Director

Qualifications:

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.

Bio:

Will has worked in and around the reptile trade for over 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. As well as getting involved 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. In 2022 and also in 2023 he travelled to various different regions of Madagascar to collect field data for wild chameleons to help improve captive care practices and provide invaluable tweaks to help success rates with their largest singular breeding project for panther chameleons.

 


Name: Paul Wiley

Position: Retail Manager

Qualifications: NVQ Animal Care, National Diploma Animal Management

Bio:

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.

 

Name: Ben

Position: Lead Livestock Technician

Qualifications: Extended National Diploma Animal Management

Bio:

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 since 2021 he has taken a leading role in this department. Over the years he’s kept and bred various geckos, agamids, and dwarf monitors at home but his main personal passion is for Australian geckos of which he keeps and breeds various species outside of work. You will also often find Ben helping customers and serving behind the till.

  

 

Name: Ben

Position: Livestock Technician

Qualifications: National Diploma in Animal Care

Bio:

Ben 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 that most reptile keepers can only dream of, this includes such rarities as Naultinus and Boyds Forest Dragons. Ben has a passion for Abronia and unusual skinks for which he has had great success breeding outside of work. This is the quieter of the two Ben's who spends most of his time behind the scenes performing animal maintenance tasks and takes the lead in a number of key projects including our largest singular breeding project in the panther chameleon room.




Name: Jake

Position: Livestock Technician

Qualifications: National Diploma in Animal Care

Bio:

Jake joined us in 2022, initially part time but quickly went full time given his enthusiasm for the role. Jake is another former student from BCA where he received much of the same training and experience as Ben. Jake has kept reptiles and invertebrates for a number of years and has an ever growing collection at home. He keeps everything from frilled dragons and dwarf monitors through to Uromastyx and Shield tailed Agama's which he has also successfully bred. He has kept a wide variety of inverts and takes charge of maintaining all the inverts in store alongside the reptiles. He has a passion for animals but his natural desire to help and share this passion means he is progressively taking on more of a customer service role too.


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