Zoological Society of Auckland inc.
Board of Managers
Willow van As MSc; BA.BSc
I completed my BA.BSc (majoring in English and Biology) at The University of Auckland, and followed this by achieving an MSc (with distinction) in Behavioural Ecology gained at the Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK. After returning to NZ I joined the Zoological Society of Auckland in February 2009, and found attending the seminars an extremely fascinating insight into current research and events related to the broad field of zoology. I am passionate about all creatures, from the tiniest of insects to the largest of whales, and my brood at home consists of three little people, one large great dane, two feral chickens and a fish. After serving as Vice President of the Zoological Society of Auckland for two years, in April 2014 I was appointed President of the Society, and look forward to the challenges this role will bring and seeing the direction that the Society will takeover the coming years.
I was lucky enough to grow up in rural North East England, surrounded by rivers, forests and moors. As result of this, and a few too many David Attenborough documentaries, I studied Zoology at Edinburgh University and gained a BSc in Biological Sciences. To further my interests in evolutionary biology, I then completed a PhD examining the relationship between genetics and scent signalling in ring-tailed lemurs at the University of Cambridge, UK. I then moved into the conservation sector working for Fauna & Flora International, a long established NGO which has projects across the globe.
In 2008 I moved to Auckland and now work as a consultant to organisations including Fauna & Flora International, WWF-NZ and the Tindall Foundation. I joined the ZSA in 2010 and became a board member in 2012. I enjoy the opportunity to learn more about New Zealand’s unique biodiversity and the challenges presented in conserving both species and ecosystems for the future.
I'm from Sweden, and came to NZ in 2009 with my husband who had got a job here. We were going to stay a few years, but we are still here, enjoying kiwi lifestyle although we visit Sweden every year. I'm a consumer insight specialist and marketing researcher by profession, but since coming to NZ I'm instead enjoying volunteering and short temp opportunities in various areas and I'm President of the Swedish Association in Auckland. I have a great love of all animals and the great outdoors which is a big part of our lives. Since coming to NZ we have adopted Jackson, a mischievous rescue cat.