Our Team

Clara is a 3rd year Genetics student who, in addition to her role as co-leader of the expedition, will be starting an exciting new baseline study on Arctic fox genetic data collection. She grew up in Denmark, but throughout her childhood and teenage years lived in many countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, and was fortunate enough to experience the diversity of environments and people in those places. Through co-founding a non-profit organization in Denmark, she gained experience in working with a variety of individuals, making sure there is good communication in a team, as well as handling unforeseen challenges. She applied as leader for the Iceland Expedition to improve her research and fieldwork skills in the ambition of working in conservation after finishing her degree at the University of Glasgow. Clara is excited to take on the role of Grants Manager in addition to her role as a leader and researcher.

Name: Clara Gyhrs
Role: Expedition Co-Leader, Researcher, Co-Grants Manager
Degree: Genetics
Year: 3

Name: Avery Holmes
Role: Co-leader, Researcher, Treasurer
Degree: Zoology
Year: 3

Our co-leader Avery is a 3rd year Zoology student, and will be conducting exciting new research on Arctic fox diet and parasite load on the 2021 expedition. He grew up in California and spent most of his childhood and late teens training horses, working with a variety of skilled professionals in the US and Germany. Avery has been a committed member of the Zoological Society since coming to Glasgow, and this year he is on the committee as Treasurer. He applied to lead the Iceland Expedition with the goal of fully supporting other students with their projects, using the wealth of invaluable organisation and leadership skills he learned while working with professionals in the horse industry. Avery is excited to develop his technical research skills and make connections with other people passionate about conservation, both within the University and abroad. Avery is taking on the role of Treasurer in addition to his role as a leader and researcher.

Lotta is from Finland and aspires to visit every Nordic country — Iceland is next on her list! She is in her 3rd year of zoology study and is excited to be taking on a project studying drinking behaviour and plastic digestion in the eider duck. She will also be seeking out and managing the team’s grant applications with Clara. Field work experience in Finland and a history of activism in her school make Lotta a strong member of this year’s team. Lotta’s favourite animal is the seal and she is excited to see the amazing nature and wildlife of Iceland.

Name: Lotta Ruha
Role: Researcher, Co-Grants Manager
Degree: Zoology
Year: 3

Name: Abigail McLelland
Role: Social Media, Researcher
Degree: Zoology
Year: 1

Abi is a first year Zoology student who is very excited to learn important skills and research techniques on the expedition that will be vital for her future career as a conservationist. She will be managing the group project – the monitoring of bird species at Skálanes – and will be assisting on the other research projects to gain a wealth of experience, along with helping to manage the social media accounts for the expedition. Abi is an animal enthusiast, and although she could never just pick one, says the Orca whale is one of her favourite animals; she shares its amazing ability to withstand extremely cold conditions!

Bethan is a fourth year Physics student who will be managing the record keeping and data storage of the expedition, along with taking on the role of Secretary. She brings valuable experience to the team in organisation, leadership and teamwork from her roles in a number of university clubs and societies: she has held positions in the Glasgow University Student’s Representative Council as the School of Physics and Astronomy Rep (2017/18) and the SRC College of Science and Engineering Convenor (2018/19), and is currently the Physical Sciences Convenor for the Women in STEM society. Bethan can’t wait to see Icelands beautiful landscape and wildlife and to learn some new things outside of her academic degree!



Name: Bethan Hall-Jones
Role: Secretary, Record Keeping, Data Storage
Degree: Physics
Year: 4

Name: Emma Watson
Role: Researcher, Social Media
Degree: Environmental Science and Sustainability
Year: 4

Emma is in her final year of study in Environmental Science and Sustainability. She has a variety of field work experience from her course and is very excited to channel this into a personal project researching the behaviour of her favourite animal, the Atlantic puffin. She will be keeping the team’s social media accounts up to date with our progress before and during the expedition along with Abigail. Emma is very excited to visit Iceland for the first time, and hopes there will be some good options for vegan food!



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