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.
Hannah 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.
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.
Agnes 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 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.
Robert Miller Video Producer
Robert joined UAR in the summer of 2023. His background originates in science, studying Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh. It was during this undergraduate that he was first exposed to film production, acting as the media representative for sports committees. After graduating, he committed his time to developing his media skillset further, completing a postgraduate course in Science Media Production at Imperial College London and combining his two passions. As the video producer, Robert creates a range of media content from monthly news videos to documentary-style science-focused case studies.
Hansika Ramchandani Communications Officer
Hansika joined UAR in 2023 after obtaining an MLitt in Media & Communication. In her role, she creates content for UAR's social media channels, monitoring each platform and its performance. She also helps with communication needs for the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research, along with supporting general member engagement.
Bella 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.
Chris Petkov (Chair of UAR Council)
Miles Maxwell (Honorary Treasurer)
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.