Tracey joins OATA from the charity sector having previously worked in university administration at the University of Oxford, in local government and the BBC.
She received her bachelor’s degree in zoology from Cardiff University, where her research projects focused on time budgets and dietary conservatism in birds, before being awarded her PhD from Cardiff University, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, in fish parasitology.
She then went on to undertake a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Animal Behaviour at the University of Lincoln.
Her PhD research focused on the fish ectoparasite, Gyrodactylus spp., investigating host-parasite interactions among tropical freshwater ornamental fish and UK native fish species.
She is considered a founder member of Cardiff University’s CRIPES parasitology group (Cardiff Research into Infection and Parasites in Ecological Systems) and has looked after a large number of ornamental fish, particularly guppies, platies, mollies, swordtails and zebrafish.
She has had scientific papers published on fish-gyrodactylid infections and has co-authored a scientific paper on the response of fish to novel prey. At home, she has previously kept coldwater fish and an Oscar.
OATA chief executive Dominic Whitmee said: “I am delighted to welcome Tracey to the team. She brings an impressive background in the technical and scientific knowledge of fish and fishkeeping that we were looking for and which will be invaluable to us in addressing the wide range of issues facing the industry today.”
Tracey said: “I’m very pleased to be joining OATA. During my time as a student I was helped by OATA which provided information for some of my research so it’s great to finally get to work for the organisation. I’m really looking to getting my teeth into the projects that OATA is currently working on.”