About Us

‘The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for.’ —Ernest Hemingway


We are a group of postgraduate university students with a passion for the environment and wildlife conservation! We strongly believe that the communication gap between scientists, policymakers and the general public is a large reason we fail to protect the environment. We launched this newspaper to highlight the multifaceted issues behind conservation and hope for our readers to understand the importance of our global ecosystem.


Our team can currently communicate in English, Spanish, Portuguese and German.



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Julia Riopelle

Co-Editor In Chief

Having grown up in Switzerland to German-American parents, I have been fortunate to live so close to iconic natural landscapes. The steady return of wolves to Switzerland after being hunted to extinction, is what sparked my interest in wildlife conservation from a very young age. Ever since I’ve wanted to ‘give back’ to the environment, in order to try to repair the damage humans have done. I have completed a BSc Biology at the University of Bristol, where I also worked as the Head Science and Technology Editor at the student newspaper Epigram. This definitely grew my interest in science communication! Alongside The Kingfisher, I am undertaking an MSc in Environment, Politics and Society at UCL.

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Hannah Haas

Software Developer

I have always been in love with the outdoors, and in the past several years I have been more active in learning about and taking action in conservation and sustainability. I want to be able to have a positive impact on others and create a space for them to also be able to learn and take action. With an interest in creating change, building new things, and a love for science and technology, I decided to study Computer Science. I graduated in 2021 with a BS in Computer Science from Brown University with a focus on systems, security, design, and machine learning. With these skills, I aim to build The Kingfisher into a place where individuals from all around the world can come for information on the environment and human health.

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Isabel Rowbotham

Co-Editor In Chief

I am a science writer covering topics on human health affected by climate change and pollution. I moved to the UK from Venezuela in 2013, and I have a background in Cellular and Molecular Medicine (BSc) and Cardiovascular Medicine (MSc). I have previous experience writing for the University of Bristol newspaper, Epigram on SciTech topics including COVID-19, research involving Big Data and data sharing, and the NHS.

‘I want to focus on issues on climate change and pollution-related illnesses affecting women, children and communities around the world.’

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Dominic Gayle

Editor and Proofreader

The ability to be able to communicate with people from all over the world has always been of importance to me. This led me to gain fluency in Spanish and Portuguese by completing a BA Modern Languages at the University of Bristol. I chose to enhance my language skills by currently undertaking my Masters in Translation and Professional Language Skills (TPLS) at the University of Bath. Along with picking up French and German, I have gained skills in editing and revision, proofreading and précis writing. With these qualifications, I aim to help publish high quality articles on environmental conservation. In tandem with The Kingfisher, I aim to offer my translation and editing services with a focus in the environmental sector.

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George Blake

Kingfisher Writer

Ensuring people have access to high quality, in-depth, and non-partisan environmental journalism has long been a passion of mine. I hope to use The Kingfisher as a platform to explain important environmental stories and to improve my own scientific communication skills. My background is in environmental research, having completed a BSc in Environmental Geography (Cardiff) and a MSc in Climate Change (UCL). I have previously written for student publications Gair Rhydd, Pi Media, and Kinesis Magazine on topics around climate change, conservation, and environmental politics.

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Laura Butula

Kingfisher Writer

Since the days of collecting tadpoles as a child, developing terrariums as a teenager and earning a BSc degree in Biological Sciences as a young adult, my interest in the natural world has continued to flourish. My combined admiration of science and passion for writing has allowed me to share modern and captivating topics with many people. During my time at the University of Exeter, I wrote for the Exeposé newspaper, covering subjects such as human health, climate change and biotechnology. As I now begin my final year at the University of Amsterdam (MSc Biological Sciences with a Major in Science in Society), I aim to introduce those around me to relevant subjects connected to the scientific world, which I believe everyone should be a part of.

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Ellie Jarvis

Kingfisher Editor

I grew up in the Kent countryside bingeing David Attenborough documentaries, so I have had a passion for the natural world from as early as I can remember! During my MSci in Zoology at the University of Bristol, I loved researching the impact of climate change on bumblebees and being part of the departmental media team. One of my core motivations for now studying a PhD at the University of Bath is to increase accessibility to science through improved communication. My research uniquely combines the behavioural, nutritional, and immunological effects of the insect microbiome with public engagement and outreach. The pandemic has highlighted how easily pseudoscience and misinformation spreads, and the disconnect between primary research and the public has never seemed wider. I hope to combat this issue and further develop my skills as an editor at The Kingfisher, whilst spreading awareness of current issues.

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Kate Ashling

Kingfisher Editor

The natural world has always fascinated me. Immersing myself in it—watching a pair of foraging jays, searching for weird and wonderful fungi, or feeling the whip of sea salt air against my skin—has always grounded me and filled me with wonder. My drive to understand the Earth’s natural systems, combined with my desire to do something positive for people and the planet, led me to study Environmental Science (BSc) at the University of the West of England. My degree highlighted the complex relationships between environmental and human factors. Our species cannot thrive unless nature does. The urgent environmental and societal issues we currently face make it more important than ever for non-scientists to engage with scientific research. I hope to facilitate this at The Kingfisher and work towards a sustainable future for all life on Earth.

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Diego Velasquez

Kingfisher Editor

I grew up in the Appalachian Mountains with a love of natural places and the people that call them home. While completing my undergraduate degree in coastal Maine, I had the opportunity to apply my passions for the environment through multimedia storytelling. Now a resident of the American West, I spend my time exploring this beautiful and fragile landscape by climbing, ski touring, mountain biking and mountain running. In the non-profit realm I conduct research for Project 1100, protecting native bee species on the Colorado Plateau. As an environmental journalist and photographer, I write, take photos and create podcast series for Science Moab, KZMU and Green America. With The Kingfisher, I aim to promote effective communication of science within the environmental realm and am excited to work with this team addressing the root causes of the climate crisis.

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