Pan Animalia was set-up by a team of young professionals with a passion for wildlife conservation and animal welfare. The members of the team have actively worked all over the world, from the Galapagos to the Maldives, and in 2019 we decided to join together to form the foundation Pan Animalia. Pan Animalia, a latin phrase for ‘All Animals’, is where we can share both our passions and experiences and actively strive towards the common goals of conservation, animal health and welfare, and community empowerment.
The Conservation of the endemic wildlife by prevention of competition, predation, and infectious disease transmission through the management of the domesticated animals population, health and welfare.
Pan Animalia is a UK-registered Charitable Foundation in which Galapagos Animal Doctors (GAD) will be its first project. Pan Animalia will be working in partnership with the NovaGalapagos, a local foundation that is registered with the Ministry of Education in the Galapagos. This foundation will be developing the local educational outreach programme attached to the clinic.
Founder/Managing Director of Pan Animalia
Previous Veterinary Manager of Darwin Animal Doctors
MRCVS CertAVP (SAS)
Trustee of Pan Animalia
Social Media Strategist
Trustee of Pan Animalia
President of NovaGalapagos
Educated in Singapore before studying Veterinary Medicine at the University of Bristol, Ben has had both an interest in, and been actively involved in, forms of community work, travel, and wildlife conservation. After spending 3 years working in Guernsey as a veterinarian, Ben moved to the Galapagos to take on the position as Head Veterinarian of the organisation Darwin Animal Doctors. Throughout his time on the islands, Ben recognised the invaluable services the clinic had provided the island communities and their animals. He has since decided to return to the islands and re-develop the community veterinary project, wanting to focus on engaging the people and promoting animal health and welfare. The conflict slowly growing globally between domesticated animals and endemic wildlife is an important part of conservation and the solution revolves around the engagement and support of local communities.
Nazim is originally from Zambia where he grew up being around animals on his dad's farm in Lumbombo. After completing his veterinary training at University of Pretoria in South Africa he worked as a Locum in Zambia for a short while before coming over to the UK. He has completed a Certificate in Small Animal Medicine and Small Animal Surgery with the European School of Veterinary Postgraduates Studies (ESVPS), and is working towards a Designate Certificate in Small Animal Orthopaedics. Nonetheless, Nazim is genuinely a mixed practitioner having worked with wildlife, horses, cattle, sheep, dogs, cats, rabbits and other exotics. He has an enthusiasm for community work and a passion for supporting animal health and welfare.
Dr Claire Petros specialises in sea turtle medicine and mostly finds herself working in the Maldives for the Olive Ridley Project. Claire is currently conducting research towards her PhD in Sea Turtle Conservation in Partnership with OceanCare. She attended Bristol University with Dr Ben Howitt, where they graduated in the same year. Claire has 5 years of experience working in conservation and will be developing the social media platforms of our charity. With experience in volunteer programmes too, she will also be helping to initiate our veterinary volunteer programme out in Santa Cruz.
Being born and raised in South Africa, Henk has been in the UK for 4 years and currently works in Bristol as a Chartered Accountant. He met Dr Ben whilst working in Guernsey a few years ago and became interested in veterinary work, conservation, and the impact it can have within the local community. Henk will be overseeing the finances of the Galapagos Animal Doctors as a way to become more involved in this charitable venture.
Rene is our administrator and also the Vice President of the local foundation NovaGalapagos. Born and raised in Zurich and Geneva, Switzerland, Rene studied business administration and hospitality, travelling all over the world within the hospitality and cruise industry. Rene speaks fluent English, German, French and Spanish. Regularly visiting the Galápagos Islands, he has since settled there and recognises that the future protection of the Galapagos is in the hands of the next generation. He thus founded NovaGalapagos in 2006, registered with the Ministry of Education, and will be a lead figure in the development of the education programme attached to the Galapagos Animal Doctors clinic
Mayra Alvarez was born in Gauyaquil, Ecuador. She gained permanent residency for the Galapagos having spent many years living on the islands and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the local foundation NovaGalapagos as the President. She is an active member of the community and will be involved in the development of the educational programme alongside the clinic. With a love for animals herself, she currently has 6 rescued cats and 2 rescued dogs that she looks after.