Our Team

Clara 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. This has given her a passion for the environment, specifically coastal and marine ecosystems. 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 Events Coordinator in addition to her role as a leader.

Name: Clara Gyhrs
Role: Expedition Co-Leader & Event Coordinator
Degree: Marine and Freshwater Biology
Year: 2

Name: Avery Holmes
Role: Co-leader & Treasurer
Degree: Zoology
Year: 2

Avery 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 moved to Glasgow to do his undergraduate in Zoology and pursue a career in conservation. Avery has been a committed member of the Zoological Society since coming to Glasgow, and this year he is on the committee as Secretary. 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.

Louise is a passionate zoology student from Edinburgh. She has previous field work experience from a trip to Iceland in 2017 and she is looking forward to returning to this amazing country. is excited to bring her previous academic and fundraising experience to the 2020 Iceland Expedition! Her favourite animal is the grey wolf and she is looking forward to eating Icelandic skyr. In her free time Louise enjoys felting and playing lacrosse.

Name: Louise McClung
Role: Researcher and Events Assistant
Degree: Zoology
Year: 3

Name: Emma Watson
Role: Researcher and Grant Writing
Degree: Environmental Science and Sustainability
Year: 3

Emma is a 3rd year Environmental Science and Sustainability student from Lesmahagow in South Lanarkshire. She is very excited to be travelling to Iceland to do her Honours project on the behaviour of her favourite animal, the Atlantic puffin! Emma is excited to go to Iceland and hopes that there will be some options for vegan food. She brings her work and academic experience to the team.


Lotta is from Finland and aspires to visit every Nordic country — Iceland is next on her list! She studies zoology and is excited to be taking on a project with Belle studying plastic pollution in Icelandic birds. 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 try Icelandic breads!

Name: Lotta Ruha
Role: Secretary and Events Assistant
Degree: Zoology
Year: 2

Name: Isabelle Valiulis
Role: Social Media and Outreach
Degree: Zoology
Year: 2

Belle is from Charleston, South Carolina. Before coming to Glasgow she volunteered with multiple bird rescue organisations. She is excited to be going to Iceland where she will be running a joint project with Lotta studying plastic pollution in Icelandic birds, where her previous experience will be a vital asset. In Glasgow Belle takes part in many societies, including the Zoological Society and Extinction Rebellion. Her favourite animal is the rock pigeon and she is excited to try the only traditional vegan Icelandic food — bread!


Follow this blog

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.

Email address