Staff at UAR

Understanding Animal Research has a London office with a small meeting room and desk space for visitors. The staff are:


Wendy Jarrett Chief Executive

Wendy has focused on science and health communication for most of the past 34 years.  Her work has included awareness programmes on the risk factors for heart disease and male cancers and a campaign to persuade the UK food industry to reduce the amount of salt added to products. She is a trustee of the Blood Pressure Research Trust, a Vice President of the IAT and a member of the Home Office Animals in Science Committee.

In 2004 Wendy joined the Coalition for Medical Progress (CMP), launching the People’s Petition in support of animal research, creating an image and video library of research animals and encouraging institutions to allow access to news cameras. She led on the merger of CMP with the Research Defence Society to create Understanding Animal Research.

Since returning to UAR in 2012, Wendy has led the development of the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research, as well as setting up the European Animal Research Association.   


hannah.jpgHannah Hobson Head of Communications and Engagement

Hannah joined UAR in August 2015 having spent the previous five years working as a regulatory toxicologist in a global agrochemical company. Hannah leads the digital communications team, where she develops and disseminates strategies across UAR's digital platforms. She leads the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research, a commitment for UK bioscience organisations to enhance their animal research communications with the public. She also provides specialist support for UAR members and other stakeholder organisations.


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Mary Harvie Digital Communications Manager

Mary joined UAR in 2016 after studying Animal Behaviour & Welfare BSc and working in various animal care and welfare roles. Mary has had a few roles with us during her time, originally working with our members in animal technology to develop their social media and websites, foster openness, and promote CPD training on laboratory animal care and welfare. Later, Mary moved onto managing UAR's social media channels, focusing on creating engaging content for the general public. Mary now oversees UAR's social media activities and websites, creates educational content for use online, and provides training to UAR members on communicating animal research via social media.

Julie Hoeflinger UAR Staff

Julie Hoeflinger Communications Officer

Julie joined UAR at the beginning of 2024 as our Communications Officer. Prior to moving to London, Julie completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio State University, earning a BSc in Neuroscience and a minor in creative writing. Having been heavily involved in science education organisations during her time at Ohio State, she decided to earn a Master's in Science Communication at Imperial College London, where she was able to combine her passion for science with her love of writing and other forms of communication. During her degree at Imperial, Julie had internships with both the university’s communication division as well as with New Scientist. At Imperial, she wrote monthly science news stories covering research occurring at the university, and at New Scientist, she made short social videos explaining new research to a lay public. During these experiences, as well as during her undergraduate degree, Julie had extensive practice with explaining animal research in a simple yet concise way. Julie first saw the intricacies of animal research directly when she started working in a mouse research laboratory during her fourth year of university. But it was only in the past year that she started to see the dissonance between the public’s understanding of animal research and the reality of it – and that a portion of the public doesn’t recognise just how indispensable animal research currently is in our world. Now at UAR, Julie makes content for all our social media channels that explains what our organisation does and why it matters in a digestible way. She's implementing a new social media strategy with a focus on key messaging and brand recognition, as well as working on stakeholder engagement through communications with members and Concordat signatories.

Agnescropped.jpgAgnes Jawara Office Manager

Agnes has been with UAR since 2011 and as Office Manager she helps coordinate UAR publications including the Quarterly Update, monthly newsletters, and is involved in the planning and organisation of UAR events.




Chris Magee Head of Policy and Media

Chris started his career in the NLGN thinktank before moving to Parliament as a senior researcher and then to the private and charity sectors as a policy and communications consultant. He has consequently worked, prior to joining UAR, on a very wide range of projects including building affordable housing and wind farms, improving mental health services, handling crisis communications during the 2011 riots, helping deliver the 2012 Olympics and decommissioning nuclear submarines. As Head of Policy and Media, Chris is the point of contact for all media whether national, local, international or online, proactive or reactive. He also works with stakeholders including MPs and Civil Servants in Whitehall and Westminster to create a supportive regulatory environment.


John_cropped.jpgJohn Meredith Head of Education and Outreach

John joined Understanding Animal Research as Head of Education and Outreach after establishing a nationwide schools programme on animal research for the Coalition of Medical Progress. He had previously developed education and outreach programmes for CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, and private sector clients such as BT and Marks and Spencer having begun his career in educational publishing with the Oxford University Press. The outreach programme at UAR involves hundreds of volunteers speaking out all over the UK in schools and elsewhere as well as the dozens of talks, workshops, summer schools and training programmes delivered by John and his team each year.


DSC4866BW.jpgBella Lear Chief Executive, Understanding Animal Research Oceania

A former pharmacologist, Bella’s interest in the social impact of science led to a career as a writer, consultant and evaluator, supporting and delivering positive social change around scientific issues. As Head of Engagement at Understanding Animal Research, Bella was responsible for creating member and public engagement initiatives to change the way that people think about animals used in research. Her work with the UK public to understand perceptions around animal research and how it was communicated underpinned development of the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research in the UK; an initiative which she led for many years, supporting open and constructive communication between the research community, policy makers and the public.

Now leading Understanding Animal Research Oceania, Bella provides communications support to build better understanding and representation of animal-based research in Australia, New Zealand and the wider Oceania region.



The Council of Understanding Animal Research is equivalent to the Board of Directors. Members of Council sit as individuals and bring knowledge of the different sectors that the organisation represents. Council members are voted in at AGMs. They are selected for the skills they bring, as well as having an interest in the aims of the organisation.

Council members:

Chris Petkov (Chair of UAR Council)
Miles Maxwell (Honorary Treasurer)
Simon Clark
Nienke Fishwick
Mary McElroy
Sabrina Lau
Elaine Emmerson
Ross Millard
Tim Sampson
Clive Page

History and Structure

Understanding Animal Research was founded at the end of 2008 by bringing together two UK organisations, the Research Defence Society and Coalition for Medical Progress. It is a membership organisation with over 140 member organisations and many more individual supporters. Organisational members are drawn from various sectors including academic, pharmaceutical, charities, research funders, and professional and learned societies.

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