About our authors
Paula Banza – Science Director and Field Centre co-director, A Rocha Portugal
Paula has been working with A Rocha Portugal for the last 14 years on environmental education and in the management of the A Rocha Field Study Centre – Cruzinha – in the Algarve. Biology and Geology Teacher with a Masters on Conservation Biology. She is married to Marcial Felgueiras and they have two children, Beatriz (19) and Zé (17).
Stanley Baya – Community Conservation Manager, A Rocha Kenya
Stanley Baya is the Community Conservation Manager with A Rocha Kenya, having worked for the organization since 2001, initially as Environmental Education Officer. He is married to Carol, who also works at Mwamba, as National Administrator. They have a son, Jordan, and another child will be born any day soon. They live nearby in Gede, where Stanley grew up, with Giriama as his mother tongue. Stanley loves to see people happy, and is very good at making them laugh!
Dave Bookless – Director of Theology, A Rocha International
Dave has worked with A Rocha since 1997, first as an International Trustee, then from 2001 with A Rocha UK as co-founder (with his wife Anne), National Director, and then Director for Theology, Churches & Sustainable Communities. He joined the A Rocha International team in September 2011. His role as Director of Theology includes providing advice and resources for ARI’s Trustees, Team and national A Rocha organizations, and coordinating liaison with international theological and mission networks and organizations. He is also studying for a part-time PhD at Cambridge University on biblical theology and biodiversity conservation.
Dave’s passion is communicating biblical teaching to today’s cultures, and he has spoken in many countries to conferences, colleges and churches. He has contributed to many books and has authored two: Planetwise – Dare to Care for God’s World (IVP, 2008) and God Doesn’t do Waste (IVP, 2010), selected by Third Way magazine as one of its books of the year for 2010.
Dave was born and grew up in India, and has a love for Indian food, Indian culture and Indian Christianity. He, his wife Anne, and their four daughters live in multi-cultural Southall, London, where Dave (an ordained Anglican minister) shares in the leadership of a multi-racial church and where as a family they try to live as sustainably as possible. Dave is also a qualified bird-ringer and loves birding, islands and mountains. More
Pip and Will Campbell-Clause
Pip and Will live in Bristol where Pip is undertaking her Theology PhD looking at Food Ethics and the Eucharist and Will is working with a small organic farm. Will grew up in Kenya on a wildlife conservancy and Pip spent her childhood in Kent singing songs about saving dolphins and rainforests. They met at Edinburgh University (2002–2006) where they studied Theology, focusing on Environmental Ethics. Pip then went onto King’s College to undertake her Geography MA exploring biblically informed agriculture, whilst Will lived in intentional community on a council estate in SE London where he pioneered an urban food growing project called the ‘Camberwell Farmers’ Garden’. Between 2009-2011 they both worked with A Rocha UK, encouraging young people to care for creation, leading workshops and putting on bike-powered environmental arts events.
In 2011, a year after getting hitched, Pip and Will set off on a slow travel ‘Food and Farming’ adventure from London to Vancouver by land and sea, sailing across the Atlantic as part of five crew on a small yacht and exploring the sustainable food movement across the US and Canada. They moved to Bristol in September 2011 where they plan to ‘root’ for the foreseeable future, seeking to care for creation in an urban context with a particular emphasis on sustainable food and farming.
Christie Goode – Vice President, Advancement, A Rocha Canada
Christie joined the A Rocha Canada team as Vice President, Advancement, in January 2016, but has been a friend of the organization since 2001 when she took a class at Regent College with Peter and Miranda Harris, founders of A Rocha. She has over ten years of experience in fundraising, mixed with a personal interest in food systems and a healthy dose of creation-care theology gained at Regent College. Christie lives in South Surrey with her filmmaker husband and their three little girls. Read more
Peter and Miranda Harris – Founders of A Rocha
Peter and Miranda moved to Portugal in 1983 to establish and run A Rocha’s first field study centre. Together with their four children they lived at the centre for twelve years until 1995 when the work was given over to national leadership. They then moved to establish A Rocha France’s first centre near Arles, and lived there until 2010, providing coordination and giving leadership to the rapidly growing global movement. They are now back in the UK from where they work to support the A Rocha family around the world while being closer to their own, and not least their grandchildren. Their story is told in Under the Bright Wings (1993) and Kingfisher’s Fire (2008). (More on Peter and Miranda)
Leah Kostamo – Earthkeeper and Storyteller, A Rocha Canada
Leah Kostamo is an earthkeeper and storyteller who is passionate about helping others live lightly on the earth from a place of joy and hope. For the past twelve years Leah and her husband Markku have spearheaded the work of A Rocha in Canada. She is the author of Planted: a Story of Creation, Calling and Community (see it on Amazon US and Amazon UK). You can follow her on her blog at leahkostamo.com.
Stan LeQuire – Director, Ecotourism Project, Eastern University, USA
Rev. Stan LeQuire is the director of the Ecotourism Project which is supported by the School of Leadership and Development at Eastern University, PA, USA. The project, launched in 2003, identifies and partners with faith-based ecotourism projects. In 2010, Stan was honored by an invitation to lecture on ecotourism to university students and government officials in the Sichuan Province of China. He teaches sustainable development and is the author of two books, The Best Preaching on Earth (1996) and Wild and Wonderful: Tourism, Faith and Communities (2014).
Formerly with A Rocha USA, Rev. Ben Lowe also served as the founding spokesperson and now senior advisor of Young Evangelicals for Climate Action. Ben is the author of Green Revolution, Doing Good Without Giving Up, and The Future of Our Faith (coauthored with Ron Sider). He is ordained in the Christian and Missionary Alliance and is currently pursuing graduate studies at the University of Florida. For more info: benlowe.net
Barbara Mearns – Editor, A Rocha International
Barbara Mearns is the Editor for A Rocha International. Her writing career began with a spate of books, co-written with her husband Richard, on the great pioneering naturalists: Biographies for Birdwatchers (1988), Audubon to Xantus (1992) and The Bird Collectors (1998) and has meandered through book reviews, scientific papers, magazine articles and short notes in wildlife journals. Her latest publication is Bairns and Beasts (2012), a joint collection of poetry with fellow Crichton Writer Leonie Ewing. Blogging is a new experience! Having been an A Rocha supporter since the earliest days in Portugal, in 1997 she began to work full-time for A Rocha from her home in SW Scotland, but at weekends, spends as much time as possible away from the computer, recording local birds, butterflies, dragonflies and moths. More
Chris Naylor – Executive Director, A Rocha International
Prior to joining A Rocha, Chris had wide experience of science teaching and schools’ management in the UK and the Middle East, attending Bible College and learning Arabic (in Jordan) along the way.
He joined A Rocha in 1997 working, until 2009, as Lebanon Director where he cofounded the work. He oversaw the habitat restoration programme at the Aammiq Wetland, the development of the environmental education project and the field research programme, identifying 11 new Important Bird Areas.
Since April 2010 he has been Executive Director of A Rocha International and is based in Oxfordshire. His book Postcards from the Middle East: How our family fell in love with the Arab world was published by Lion Hudson in March 2015. More
Aline Nussbaumer – Mediterranean marine project intern, A Rocha International
Aline is an early career marine ecologist. After graduating with a BSc in Ecology and Environment, she trained in coral reef ecological research in Madagascar. Her first A Rocha experience took her to Kenya, where she participated in marine biodiversity research in 2015. Now an intern for A Rocha International, she is based in France and helping to set up a marine project in the Mediterranean Sea. Follow her blog at asinglethreadline.wordpress.com.
Rev. Panu Pihkala, Chair of the A Rocha Finland board, is a researcher, lecturer and writer in eco-theology at the University of Helsinki. He is currently (August 2014) finishing the dissertation for his doctorate, on the influence of Joseph Sittler (1904–1987), a professor of Theology in Chicago, USA, who wrote on ecological themes long before they became so widely popular.
Thomas D. Rowley – Development Manager for the National Organizations
Tom Rowley helps to support the teams around the world and to enable new ones to get on board. Until recently he was also Director of A Rocha USA, having been active since 2000 in developing A Rocha in the United States and serving as Board Chair for many years.
Previously, Tom worked and consulted in a variety of research, policy and communications positions with the Rural Policy Research Institute, TVA Rural Studies Program at the University of Kentucky, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service and other governmental agencies and NGOs. He has an MSc in Community and Regional Planning and a BSc in Architectural Studies from the University of Texas. He also has the green building certification, LEED AP.
Tom lives with his family in Oregon, USA. More
Robert Sluka – Lead Scientist, Marine and Coastal Conservation Programme
Bob has been working in the field of marine conservation for twenty years. His focus has been on marine protected areas and the ecology of coral reef fish, as well as coral reef fisheries. After beginning with graduate work in Florida and the Caribbean, Bob spent ten years in South Asia, primarily India and the Maldive Islands. He was introduced to A Rocha on moving to the UK in 2006, and began volunteering with juniper restoration in the Chiltern Hills and marine research in Wales. In 2010 he helped to start marine conservation work at Mwamba, A Rocha Kenya’s Field Study Centre. He is based near Oxford, UK. More
Ruth Valerio – Churches and Theology Director, A Rocha UK
Ruth holds a PhD for research into simplicity and consumerism. She develops the theological thinking behind A Rocha UK’s work, and co-ordinates our small team of speakers. Ruth is married to Greg and they live in Chichester with their two daughters. You can follow Ruth’s blog at ruthvalerio.net.
Chris Walley – Mediterranean Science and Conservation Projects Coordinator
Based in southern France (midway between the two French A Rocha centres) Chris works part-time helping to coordinate our joint Science and Conservation projects in the Mediterranean region. These currently involve A Rocha France, A Rocha Lebanon and A Rocha Portugal, but other potential projects exist. He has a BSc and Ph.D. in geology and has worked as a consultant exploration geologist for oil companies and as a university and college lecturer. Chris has however always been very much involved in environmental issues. He spent a total of eight years in Lebanon (1980–84, 1994–96) and during the second period was in part responsible for founding A Rocha Lebanon. In such spare time as he has, he likes to write both fiction and popular theology and has written a number of books with J. John including The Life: a portrait of Jesus. More