Our Team


Lucas Ruzo

Lucas Ruzo is Citizen Zoo’s executive Director and founder. Lucas got involved with captive breeding for reintroduction after he became interested in some of the limiting factors which zoos face in their attempts to carry out ex-situ conservation. Having studied Zoology during his undergraduate degree, and later Conservation Science at Imperial College London, Lucas previously co-founded the Association for Coastal Ecosystem Services (ACES), a charity which develops nature based solutions to mitigating climate change.

Lucas is now enrolled at the Centre for Social Innovation at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, where he is supported with training in business planning and strategic management, to ensure that Citizen Zoo realises its long term mission. He also sits on the steering committee of the Conservation Optimism Summit, which is to be held in April later this year.

Pamela Abbott

Pamela is a non-executive director, chairs the Citizen Zoo board of directors and advises on the strategic direction of the organisation.

Pamela is currently Director of Programmes at the UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Prior to this she undertook a variety of roles within Defra and Natural England, most recently as Area Manager for Norfolk and Suffolk. There she managed a team delivering marine and terrestrial biodiversity conservation advice and had responsibility for the management of 15 National Nature Reserves, as well as the implementation of the England Coast Path.

Pamela has extensive experience in leading practical conservation projects and is a trained and experienced facilitator who uses a range of creative techniques to bring together diverse stakeholders. From 2009 to 2013, she was the Chair of Cambridge Conservation Forum and in 2013 founded the CCF Women in Leadership Network. Whilst Head Gardener at New Hall (Murray Edwards College) in the late 1980s, Pamela introduced gardening for wildlife and taught ecology and gardening for wildlife courses in the University of Cambridge Botanic Garden.

Elliot Newton

Elliot is also one of Citizen Zoo’s non-executive Directors and is responsible for stakeholder support and community engagement. Having studied Conservation Science at Imperial College London, Elliot started his applied conservation career after he founded the Kingston Biodiversity Network (KBN) in his home borough of Kingston in London.

Since its establishment KBN has successfully worked towards unifying and furthering Kingston Borough’s conservation activities, while communicating and engaging with local government, businesses and the general public. KBN has written effective Biodiversity Action Plans, and has set up ‘Friends Groups’, which care for local green spaces.

The ongoing successes of KBN led to Elliot becoming a director within the Kingston Environment Centre and the Nature Conservation Officer for the Environment Trust. In these roles he continues to engage with the public, schools and universities to raise the awareness of the natural world while also leading a conservation work programme throughout South West London.

Elliot has a great interest in ecology and surveying, assisting with ecological surveys and encouraging citizen science programmes where possible. This has helped to inform the current ecological health of different areas, and allowed KBN to measure its success during its conservation intervention.

Elliot is one of the founders of the organisation People for Pangolins, which aims to support and encourage projects and people across the globe to conserve Pangolins, the world’s most heavily trafficked wild mammal. This has led to Elliot taking up position of vice chair for youth engagement within the IUCN Pangolin Specialist Group. He also has a great passion for rewilding and hopes to contribute to the mass restoration of Britain’s ecosystems.

Emily Elvin

Emily Elvin is Citizen Zoo’s brand and content designer. After studying graphic design and winning a coveted prize for best project design before finishing university, Emily has since worked for different companies in the private sector.

She spent time working for STV in Glasgow, where she developed different media both for TV and online campaigns.

With a keen interest in colour, typography, simplicity and structure of graphic design, Emily then moved to New Zealand to further her career working for a local studio in Wellington.

There she developed digital branding and printed material for a wide-range of organisations, info-graphic illustrations, wedding invitations, restaurant menus, greeting cards and logo design.

Since then, she has decided to take the plunge and work as an independent freelancer, and recently set up her own company where she creates wildlife sticker mural’s which parents can buy for their children’s rooms. Along with this, Emily works extensively to maintain Citizen Zoos brand conformity, creating marketing materials for different campaigns, services and products, manages the website, and has led in developing Citizen Zoo’s museum engagement packs.