Bernard Mercer, Chairman
Bernard founded NHBS in 1985, in the back bedroom of his London flat, producing the first mailorder paper catalogue on an electronic typewriter in the spring of that year. After moving NHBS to Devon in May 1987, Bernard led the business until 2001, when he stepped back from day to day involvement in order to help found New Philanthropy Capital (NPC), a London-based charity that provides research-based advice to private donors, charitable trusts and others on how they can direct their giving effectively.
In late 2004 Bernard returned to run NHBS for 15 months, before handing over the reins to Nigel Massen, now NHBS Managing Director. From 2006 to 2007, Bernard researched and authored the first ever report on environment charities, Green Philanthropy: funding charity solutions to environment problems. Bernard is also working on a number of other environment philanthropy projects: he is Chairman of the BBC Wildlife Fund and a senior adviser to the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy. In 2008, Bernard will be concentrating on combating deforestation, through Forests Philanthropy Action Network, (FPAN) a new funder-led group that he has co-founded with Nick Josefowitz.
Bernard says: `The combination of bookselling and philanthropy looks at first sight to be very strange. But from my point of view, they are connected. Both are rooted in a love of wildlife and a desire to protect the environment. I am proud that NHBS has survived for nearly a quarter of a century and will continue to guide the business as its Chairman.
Dr Nigel Massen, Managing Director
Nigel started his career in natural history with a degree in Zoology & Ecology from Bangor University in 1999. Taught on a campus sandwiched between the sea and Snowdonia's beautiful mountains, the course had a strong fieldwork element focusing on anything that lives on the side of a hill or in the inter-tidal zone.
This led to a Masters at Imperial College, London and The Natural History Museum in 2000 in Taxonomy & Biodiversity, a course which highlighted the key challenge of identifying and understanding the world's biodiversity through traditional and molecular methods.
Nigel continued on from this to Southampton University and a PhD in Molecular Ecology of Salmon Populations. Using microsatellite DNA markers, radio tracking and catch data, the project identified a complex structure of population diversity between and within the smallest populations.
Joining NHBS in 2004, Nigel started as Catalogue and Promotions Editor before becoming General Manager and then Managing Director. Nigel is frequently found on the NHBS stand at academic conferences across Europe. He is passionate about the role that business can play in promoting science and conservation.
Anneli Meeder, Operations Manager
With NHBS since 2005, Anneli has a degree in library sciences and has managed special libraries in Potsdam, Germany and on the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada. In 2009, Anneli moved from cataloguing to operations, where she is exercising her organisational skills to the full.
Passioniate about books and travelling, Anneli visits libraries, and represents NHBS at international academic conferences.
Anneli represents NHBS in the European Botanical and Horticultural Libraries Group (EBHL), the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries (CBHL) and the International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers (IAMSLIC).
Jhal Baker, Purchasing Manager
Jhal has been with NHBS since 1998. He manages our Purchasing Department and is a key point of contact for over 4,000 publishers we work with from around the world. He is also the main point of contact for our Distribution+ service.
Prior to managing the Purchasing Department, Jhal also managed the Customer Service Department and, in his early years at NHBS, worked in the Cataloguing Department.
Dr Steaphan Hazell, Wildlife Equipment Manager
Steve has a life-long interest in natural history that initially took the form of membership of the Young Ornithologists club and a general love of the outdoors but later led to university. Beginning with a first degree from the University of Leeds in Biology awarded in 1999, and then a Masters degree at Imperial College, London and The Natural History Museum in 2000 in Taxonomy & Biodiversity in 2001.
Steve then went on to do a PhD at the University of Reading on the Evolutionary Ecology of aphid - natural enemy interactions. Following his PhD, Steve worked briefly in the Seychelles studying the invasion of the islands by the Spiralling Whitefly during 2005 before taking up a Post Doctoral Research post at the University of Birmingham in 2006. Here Steve studied the ecology and thermal physiology of aphids from the tropics, temperate zone and arctic. Since finishing at Birmingham Steve has retrained as an applied ecologist working for a time on the Sharpham Estate, Totnes before joining NHBS in July 2011.
Dr Luanne Wilkes, Wildlife Equipment Specialist
Luanne initially studied Marine Biology at the University of Liverpool. During this undergraduate course she spent a year at the Port Erin Marine Laboratory on the Isle of Man conducting research into the impact of predation on the Manx scallop fisheries.
After a year of travelling and time spent working at Leigh Marine Laboratory in New Zealand as a diving specialist, she completed a Masters in Ecology at the University of Wales, Bangor. In the spectacular scenery of North Wales her passion for wildlife and the natural environment were reaffirmed and Snowdonia remains one of her favourite places to walk and visit.
More recently Luanne completed a PhD at the University of Exeter, looking at the potential for environmental enrichment to improve the welfare of fish. It was during this time that she fell in love with Dartmoor where she now lives. She joined NHBS as Wildlife Equipment Specialist in 2012.
Dr Simone Webber, Wildlife Equipment Specialist
Simone started working at NHBS as a Wildlife Equipment Specialist in 2012 shortly after completing her PhD at the University of Birmingham, researching the effects of supplementary feeding on the life histories and energetics of Blue and Great Tits. She also studied for an MSc in Conservation and Biodiversity at the University of Exeter Cornwall Campus where her dissertation focused on the effects of coastal habitat recreation schemes on avian and benthic invertebrate diversity. Simone is a keen bird ringer and fieldworker, whether this be catching migratory birds in Ukrainian steppe, digging for ragworms in estuary mudflats, or checking nest boxes in bluebell woods.
Dr Leon Vlieger, Catalogue Editor
Leon has been with the NHBS since 2011. He studied at Leiden University, the Netherlands, from 1999 to 2004 where he worked in turn on the influence of butterfly wing patterns on lizard predation, the molecular mechanisms of programmed cell death in rice cells, and factors affecting lion distribution, for which he spent six months in Waza National Park, northern Cameroon.
After obtaining his Masters degree he moved to Finland, where he did a PhD at the University of Helsinki. Here he studied the effects of eutrophication on the mating tactics of threespine sticklebacks. For this he spent three summers at Tvärminne Zoological Station at the southern coast of Finland for fieldwork, and countless hours in the laboratory back in Helsinki determining paternity of offspring. During the last few years he became increasingly interested in the communication of scientific knowledge, and after completing this project in 2010 Leon decided to shift his career and joined the NHBS.
In his current position as catalogue editor he keeps abreast of developments in natural history publishing and is constantly on the lookout for new and interesting titles to add to the range of the NHBS. He is the key contact point for authors and publishers wishing to have their publications listed on the NHBS website.