Sarah Pellett

Sarah Pellet
VetMB CertAVP(ZooMed) BA BSc(Hons) DZooMed
RCVS Recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine

Sarah graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2006. She has worked in first opinion and referral exotics practices and has completed the RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (Zoological Medicine). In 2016 she gained the RCVS Diploma in Zoological Medicine and in 2017 became an RCVS Recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. Sarah is a vet advisor for the BIAZA Terrestrial Invertebrate Working Group. She works at Animates Veterinary Clinic Ltd, in Thurlby, Lincolnshire, seeing a wide range of first opinion and referral exotic animal cases.


Louise graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2011 with a combined degree in Veterinary Science and Veterinary Medicine. Louise has undertaken an externship at the John G Shedd aquarium and during her career, she has been the Vet for Tropiquaria Zoo as well as working with various bird of prey centres, small exotic mammal rescues and wildlife rehabilitation charities (Secret World Wildlife Rescue) and private exotic species in general practice. Louise is now clinical director of Quantock Veterinary Hospital in Somerset where she runs an exotic pet service. She is currently completing an advanced certificate in Zoological medicine. When not at work Louise looks after her own menagerie of reptiles, parrots, chinchillas and some token domesticated animals. The pride and joy of her collection is her Argentine Black and White Tegu ‘Mr. Sprinkles’.

Louise Ash
 Elisabetta Mancinelli

Elisabetta Mancinelli

DVM CertZooMed Dipl. ECZM (Small Mammal) MRCVS

European Veterinary Specialist in Zoological Medicine (Small Mammal)

RCVS Recognised Specialist in Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (Small Mammal)

Elisabetta graduated from the University of Naples “Federico II”, Italy, in 2002. Her interest in exotics became clear shortly after her graduation, anticipating a career mainly based on non-conventional animal medicine and surgery. After a small animal focused internship, she’s been working solely with exotics since 2003. She undertook an externship in France, mainly based on reptile medicine and then completed an externship program at the “Angell Animal Memorial Hospital” in Boston (USA), focusing on exotic animal medicine and surgery. In 2007, she moved to UK where she initially worked in private practice and wildlife charities. In 2009, Elisabetta started the first European College of Zoological Medicine (ECZM) Residency in Small Mammal Medicine, which she completed at The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh. From September 2010, she holds the RCVS Certificate in Zoological Medicine. In 2014, she obtained the ECZM Diploma, Specialty “Small Mammal Medicine and Surgery”. She currently works at Valley Exotics in Cardiff.

 Sonya Miles

Dr Sonya Miles BVSc CertAVP(ZM), CertAqV, MRCVS

RCVS Recognised Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine

WAVMA Certified Aquatic Species Veterinarian

Sonya qualified from Bristol University in 2013. In 2015 she started working for Highcroft Exotic Vets and now leads the busy first opinion and referral level department. Sonya became an RCVS Recognised Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine in 2018 and in 2020 she became a WAVMA certified aquatic species veterinary surgeon. In 2020 she created Just Exotics, an on demand webinar platform where her passion for teaching aims to support veterinary practitioners learn about exotic species and how to provide the best possible care for a variety of species. Sonya enjoys all aspects of working with exotic species, specifically reptiles, amphibians and fish. She particularly enjoys performing soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery, as well as teaching her interns and veterinary students seeing practice within the department.

 Claire Speight



Claire Speight qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2007 and completed her City and Guilds Nursing of Exotics species certificate in 2009. She is also an A1 Assessor and Clinical Coach.

Over the years Claire has worked at various veterinary practices, including locuming and in referral, and currently works as a Head Nurse in a first opinion practice with a high rabbit caseload.

Claire is well known on the lecturing field and lectures on rabbits for a variety of CPD providers and organisations, including the College of Animal Welfare, The Webinar Vet, Excel CPD, Evolve CPD and the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund. She has also spoken at both BVNA and BSAVA Congress. Claire is also a regular contributor to several veterinary and client publications, both in print and online, including VNJ, Pet Focus, Vetstreams LAPIS, Pets Radar and Rabbiting On, the RWAF’s quarterly magazine, of which she is also the current Editor. She is also a reviewer for the BVNA’s magazine, VNJ, reviewing their exotic features, undertakes work for Vetskill and has written a topic on rabbits and rodents of the Australian College of Veterinary Nursing.

Agata Witkowska, BVM, BVS, MRCV

Agata graduated from The University of Nottingham in 2015. With a keen interest in exotics, she spent her final year on rotating placements in various exotic practices around the UK.

Since graduating, Agata has worked in first and second opinion exotic practice whilst studying for the Certificate of Advanced Practitioner in Zoological Medicine. She frequently presents at exotic conferences, lectures on the subject and writes for many hobbyist publications such as The Guinea Pig Magazine, Practical Fish Keeping and The Cage and Aviary Birds Magazine. In 2020-21 she became a lecturer for UK VetMove, a company helping foreign veterinarians start their career in the UK and led the online distance-learning course for SpayAcademy Spain lecturing on the subject of neutering in dogs, cats, ferrets and rabbits. She is also a past speaker for the London Vet Show, BVZS and BSAVA.


Agata is currently based at a small animal emergency hospital in Leeds where she splits her time between soft tissue surgery, exotic animal medicine and leading the laparoscopy department.



Naomi Johns

Director at West of England Falconry


Naomi started working with birds of prey at age 15 and after three years working under an experienced raptor handler (and founder of West of England Falconry), finished school to work full time at the centre at the time it was established in Newton St Loe, Bath. West of England Falconry now holds a Zoo License alongside charitable status and has passed each DEFRA inspection with high commendations. Naomi is centre Director and works with a variety of birds of prey, including true hawks, buzzard species, falcons and owls, both in the husbandry and training of captive individuals and in wild raptor rehabilitation.

Alongside flying various species for public education, Naomi is also a practising falconer, hunting with a sparrowhawk and practices falconry for wild raptor rehabilitation.


Caoimhe Hodgins MVB MRCVS

Caoimhe graduated from University College Dublin in 2017. Since then, she has worked across the UK in small and exotic animal practices. Most recently, she has completed an internship with Highcroft Exotic Vets. She is also currently studying towards the certificate of advanced veterinary practice in zoological medicine.



Becky Mott BSc(Hons) BVetMed MRCVS

After undertaking a Zoology degree and deciding that a life in academia was not for her, Becky graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 2019. She spent the next two years working in small animal and exotics practice in Norwich, finding that she relished her growing exotics caseload as well as mentoring students and new graduates. Her student final year research project investigating the prevalence and risk factors for dental disease in UK bearded dragons was recently published, and she has spoken at UK conferences and student symposiums. She now works in Newmarket at a small animal, first opinion and referral exotics practice, and is undertaking her RCVS Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice in Zoological Medicine. 

Dr Nadene Stapleton BVSc, MRCVS, Cert AVP

(Zoological Medicine)

Dr Nadene Stapleton graduated from The University of Melbourne in 2000.  Since then she has worked in mixed and small animal practice as well as zoo and wildlife.  She is an RCVS Recognised advanced practitioner in zoological medicine.  She has worked at The Royal Veterinary College's Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital since 2009. Here she teaches undergraduate and postgraduate vets and nurses exotic animal medicine and surgery.   In 2021 she received the UK Rabbit Practitioner of The Year Award.

Helen Inzani MA VetMB MRCVS

Helen graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2018, with a combined degree in Veterinary Medicine and Zoology. She worked in Norfolk in an exotics and companion animal practice, before starting at Cambridge Veterinary Group in 2019. Here she continues to work with exotics in a first opinion and referral level exotics department, alongside zoo work. She is currently working towards her advanced certificate in exotic animal practice.
Helen has a love of all exotic/zoological species and is keen to work with other veterinary professionals to improve the quality of exotic animal practice.