Chagos Conservation Trust

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Who we are

We are a diverse group of scientists, conservationists and environmental campaigners with one thing in common: we work to protect the Chagos Archipelago.

  Our Trustees

Charles Sheppard, CCT Trustee

Professor Charles Sheppard, Chair 

Chair of CCT since early 2014, Charles was a professor at the School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick. He was also the Environmental Advisor to the British Indian Ocean Territory Administration at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office until 2013.

Charles conducted the first assessments of coral in the Chagos in 1975. Almost 40 years on, he continues to monitor coral cover, contributing to the longest running assessment of reef condition data in the Indian Ocean. Currently, his research is focused on the effects and reactions of natural and human stresses on ecosystems such as from pollution, mining and climate change.

Richard Martin, CCT Treasurer

Richard Martin, Treasurer

Richard is an experienced project manager who has planned and delivered a wide range of projects for businesses and organisations, including for the Environment Agency.

He was the Commissioner’s Representative in the British Indian Ocean Territory between 1988 and 1989 and a founder member of CCT.


Alistair Gammell, Secretary

Alistair formerly worked for RSPB as their International Director, and then for the Pew Charitable Trusts, working on the campaign to get the Chagos Marine Reserve declared, and more recently on the campaign to get a marine reserve declared in Pitcairn.  He has advocated for many years on the needs and opportunities for conservation in the UK Overseas Territories. Alistair received an OBE in 2006 for services to conservation.  He is now retired.



Simon Hughes, CCT Secretary

Simon Hughes, Membership Secretary

After serving 18 years in the Royal Navy, Simon worked as a Telecom Manager for BP and Schroders. From 1991 he worked as a consultant with KPMG before establishing his own business.  

Simon has been Secretary of the CCT since 1993. In 2012 he was appointed an MBE for services to environmental conservation.


Birgitta Bostrom, CCT Trustee

Birgitta Bostrom, Financial Advisor 

Birgitta is an investment specialist with almost 30 years of financial sector experience. She has worked for Schroders International, Wellington Management and the World Bank.

Birgitta joined CCT as a Trustee in 2011 and is a member of the charity’s Investment Committee. 

Peter Carr 

Pete Carr served as a Royal Marine Commando in the Chagos Islands. On retirement, he worked as the Environmental Director on Diego Garcia. A bird enthusiast, Pete was instrumental in establishing which islands in the Chagos received international recognition as Important Bird Areas

Pete is the author of Birds of the British Indian Ocean Territory


Dr. ColiClubbe: Head UK Overseas Territories and Conservation Training, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.



Chris Davies: Chief Executive, Tennis & Rackets Association

Chris served in the Royal Navy for over 24 years, significantly as British Representative/ Commander British Forces to the British Indian Ocean Territory between February 2004 and March 2006. After a three year NATO Appointment, Chris left the RN in December 2009 and has subsequently been Chief Executive of the Tennis & Rackets Association, the governing body of these two ancient sports in the UK.

Chris has been involved as a Trustee of the CCT since 2006 and retains a strong empathy for the environment.


Al Harris: Founder and Executive Director, Blue Ventures

Al has spent 14 years developing applied marine conservation initiatives in the Indian Ocean, and founded conservation organisation Blue Ventures in 2003.  Within Blue Ventures Al is responsible for coordinating conservation programmes, leading an interdisciplinary team of scientists and conservation practitioners. His work focuses on developing scalable solutions to marine environmental challenges, in particular pioneering market-based approaches that make marine conservation make economic sense to coastal communities.

Alongside his work with Blue Ventures Al is a visiting post-doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute, a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas, a member of the Marine Stewardship Council's Stakeholder Council, and a technical advisor to the United Nations Environment Programme's Convention on Migratory Species Secretariat. Al is a TED Fellow and an Ashoka Fellow and he has received the IUCN World Conservation Union's Young Conservationist Award and the Condé Nast Environment Award.

Rachel Jones: Team Leader, Aquarium, Zoological Society of London. 

Rachel has worked on wildlife conservation for almost 20 years.

Her work has included husbandry of invertebrates, breeding of species and conservation of corals and reefs. 

Heather Koldewey, CCT Trustee

Dr. Heather Koldewey: Head of Global Programmes, Zoological Society of London

With over 20 years’ experience in science and conservation, Heather is an expert in marine management. She was involved in the establishment of the Chagos marine reserve, compiling scientific evidence on the role that large MPAs play in protecting pelagic species. 

Heather heads up ZSL’s environmental training programme for Chagossian communities. 

Anne Sheppard: Research Associate, School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick.

Anne has been a scientist on many research expeditions to Chagos, the first in 1978.  Her main focus of research is coral reef ecology and monitoring reef health.  She has also taken many photographs of the archipelago, both land and underwater, and these are used to promote the conservation of Chagos and of coral reefs in general.  She is also editor of CCT’s journal Chagos News.

CCT Trustee, John TurnerJohn Turner: Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology, Bangor University.
John is a marine biologist with particular expertise in temperate and tropical marine environments.
With over 20 years of experience, he has worked in the Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf, Central America and Asia. John’s current research advances techniques for coral reef monitoring. He has filmed reef transects in Chagos on a number of expeditions to document changes in the coral cover.