International Day of Women and Girls in Science – Anne Carter, Northern England Regional Officer

11th February 2024

Anne Carter is Freshwater Habitats Trust’s Northern England Regional Officer. She first joined the team in 2015 as Project Officer to coordinate the People Ponds and Water project in Northern England, supporting volunteers to monitor, manage and protect freshwater wildlife.

As part of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science Anne tells us more about her career and what inspirers her.

How did your journey into a career in the science/environmental sector start?  

I originally trained and worked as a commercial interior designer before embarking on a career change. After working for a year as a Voluntary Officer with The Conservation Volunteers I completed a degree in Countryside Management.

After graduation I embarked on a traineeship with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and then worked at a Project Officer with The Conservation Volunteers before joining the Freshwater Habitats Trust team.

Anne Carter, staff at pond.

What inspired you to pursue your career?

My longstanding love of nature and desire to help protect the natural world inspired me to pursue a career in the environmental sector.

What do you enjoy most about your role?  

Working with other likeminded and dedicated colleagues to help enhance and protect our freshwater habitats is the best thing about the job. I also enjoy engaging with volunteers and the wider public to share my passion for freshwater and the creatures that live in these habitats.

Visiting ponds around the country as part of our survey work for Great Crested Newts is a highlight of my year. We have a great team at Freshwater Habitats Trust and all support each other in whatever we do.

Are there any female scientists (or women working in any science-related roles) who inspire you?  

All my female colleagues at Freshwater Habitats Trust inspire me! I also really admire Dr Erica McAlister of the Natural History Museum for the informative, engaging and humorous way she promotes the little things that rule the world – insects and more specifically flies!

Lucy Cooke is a zoologist, broadcaster and author who is an inspiration to me because of her work as a promotor of the female sex in the animal kingdom – and of women in science.


Flying insect flying towards plant with spiky white and yellow flowers.

- Dark-edge Bee-fly (Bombylius major) Credit: Dr Tony Gillie

What does your role at Freshwater Habitats Trust now involve? 

I continue to work with volunteers on citizen science projects across the North of England and beyond, carrying out training in clean water testing and eDNA surveys, as well as helping to coordinate the long-term monitoring of Great Crested Newts. I also work on rare species conservation and have a particular interest in often overlooks species such as the aquatic fern, Pillwort, Slender Pond (Mud) Snail and the fascinating and much misunderstood Medicinal Leech, through our Medicinal Leech Recovery project.

In my spare time I am an active member of Yorkshire Amphibian & Reptile Group, Yorkshire Dragonfly Group and Yorkshire Mammal Group.

Medicinal Leech.

- Medicinal Leech. Copyright Neil Phillips