Lauren Valentine grew up in the UK with a love of all things wild, especially big cats. Her love of animals led her to completing a Diploma in Veterinary Nursing in 2012. Following this she completed her SQP qualification, a zoology course and became a clinical coach.
Lauren then spent 4 years working in a teaching university in London. During this time she decided to reconnect with her passion for wildlife, volunteering in South Africa and Malawi. In 2016 she relocated to the Lake District and moved into emergency and critical care nursing. Lauren left the UK again for Australia in 2017, where she worked in referral hospitals in the emergency department. In Australia she also managed to fit in some zoo work in the National Zoo and Aquarium.
On her arrival back in the UK Lauren enrolled at the University of South Wales to study a Bachelors degree in International Wildlife Biology. During this time she was a member and president of the student Earth Society. Lauren was lucky enough to return to South Africa in December 2018 to rehabilitate rhinos and pangolins.
Whilst studying for her degree she also completed her zoo animal nursing certificate and started working with the local wildlife charity providing training support for their rescue and rehabilitation staff. In addition, Lauren undertook locum work in a local exotic practice and also a UK zoo.
In June 2022 Lauren received a 1st Class Bachelors degree in International Wildlife Biology and now is currently studying for a UK wildlife nursing certificate.
Lauren is passionate about educating the next generation of veterinary professionals and so also provides training for university student zoological societies and can often be heard presenting at the British Veterinary Zoological Societies’ annual conference.
Lauren joined the Olive Ridley Project in June 2022 as the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre’s first veterinary nurse. Here, Lauren nursed the rescued turtles, assisted the vet with procedures, provided training for volunteers, and educated guests. She also monitored nesting turtles and undertook data collection for ORP’s nesting research. Lauren worked at the Rescue Centre for a year, before moving back to the UK.
In the UK, Lauren is working as a Zoo Veterinary Nurse at Marwell Zoo, UK whilst also assisting ORP with its education and outreach initiatives. She will help ORP organise and deliver public talks and presentations, in person and virtually, increasing the public’s awareness and understanding of sea turtle conservation issues.