Dominic Whitmee

Dominic Whitmee

Chief Executive

Dominic joined OATA from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) where he was Senior International Biodiversity Policy Adviser. Dominic worked in the civil service for more than 20 years, latterly delivering CITES policy for the UK government. He therefore brings more than two decades of work at national, European and international levels in highly relevant areas such as biodiversity and wildlife trade. He also has good experience in the mechanisms of government and how to influence policy not just in the UK but also in Brussels and at global negotiations.

Since joining OATA he has become a Trustee of The Pet Charity (TPC) and he is also a consultant to the board of the European Pet Organisation (EPO). He is also an Advisor to Shoal, the freshwater fish conservation organisation.

In his capacity as CEO he is also a member of the UK Lobbying Register.

Dr Matthew Bond

Dr Matthew Bond

Scientific & Technical Adviser

Matt joined OATA in 2020 having previously worked as a lecturer in marine biology at the University of Essex. Prior to this he worked for several years in the ornamental aquatic trade, alongside his studies at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

He received his bachelor’s degree in Marine and Freshwater Biology from Essex University, where his research projects focused on dietary effects on reproductive productivity in zooplankton. He then stayed at Essex to complete his PhD in evolutionary ecology of fish populations.

His PhD research focused on the roles of fishing and competition In regulating evolution in life history and population dynamics in fish. He has since conducted research on the roles of CO2 induced acidification on fish growth and reproductive success, as well as investigating social cues for group forming in juvenile fishes.

In his spare time, he has been a keen aquarist, keeping a range of marine and freshwater species from cichlids to mandarinfish. He currently keeps and breeds dwarf cichlids.

Matthew Hill

Matthew Hill

Scientific Support Officer

Matt joined OATA in 2021 from the University of Portsmouth where he was a Research Associate working on trade data analysis.

Matthew gained a first class honours degree in marine biology at Portsmouth University before completing a Masters in Ecology and Conservation at Brighton University.

In his spare time Matthew is currently breeding clownfish.

Ray Valovec

Ray Valovec

Office Manager

Ray joined OATA in March 2000 as the Office Manager. He is responsible for the monthly and end-of-year Accounts; arranging the audit; maintaining the Membership Database – liaising with all members as required; maintenance of the office computer network both hardware and software and all the normal day to day associated work within an office.

As the job has evolved new areas have been taken on, which include assisting in the planning of the OATA conferences, and acting as a Director of the AQUA trade show for the first 10 years. Outside of working hours he coaches players at table tennis and is a qualified UKCC Class 2 coach, also playing competitive matches in two local leagues, and competitions around the country. Other interests include archery, walking, outdoor living, and trying to make drinkable wine and beer.

Pauline Davey

Pauline Davey

PR and Parliamentary Officer

Pauline joined OATA in 2013 to help us to improve the way we shout about the great work we do. Originally she trained as a journalist before making the move into PR where she’s worked for two decades.

She’s responsible for seeking out our stories and making sure the trade and our members know about what OATA is doing to keep the industry alive and products on shelves. She also writes our monthly newsletters to members, our Annual Report and manages our Facebook page, our Twitter account and our LinkedIn page.

She also supports Dominic in his public affairs work, researching and writing submissions to the UK Parliament and devolved administrations.