Meet our new Head of Community, Dr Fernando Mateos-González!

As we start a new year, we’re incredibly excited to officially welcome a new member to our team at Conservation Careers, Dr Fernando Mateos-González!

Fernando, or Nando as he’s often known, is our new Head of Community, who’ll be leading our growing online community of aspiring and professional conservationists.

Read on to get to know Nando and his conservation work, hear the story about how he joined Conservation Careers, and find out what he’ll be up to in the coming months!

Nando introducing our Conservation Career Kick-Starter course in Spanish.

Who’s this Nando, and what does he do?

If we had to introduce Nando’s superpowers in a single sentence, we’d call him the creative communicator, encouraging connector (and extreme adventurer), El Capitan.

If you don’t know Nando already, we can’t wait for you to meet him 🙂

Nando is a Spanish biologist with a PhD in Behavioural Ecology and an MSc in Animal Biodiversity.

His research on animal behaviour and conservation has led him to work in Europe, Africa, Australia, and the Americas, in amazing places such as the rainforests of Trinidad & Tobago, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia or Lake Tanganyika in Zambia.

He currently works as a conservation biologist in the Czech Republic, and supports expeditions as a mercenary biologist. In 2018, he joined the BBC in the Peruvian Amazon to shoot scenes for the new Attenborough series “Seven Worlds, One Planet”.

Nando working in the field in the Czech Republic.

In his free time, he runs, where he helps students and early career professionals to find their dream environmental job.

Nando is one of those inspiring conservationists who weaves between many talents – equal parts Field Biologist, Scientist, Expedition Leader, Natural History Researcher, Writer and Career Mentor.

He’s worked with Conservation Careers since 2019 as a Course Leader of our Conservation Career Kick-Starter course in English and Spanish, helping students find their dream careers.

How did we meet?

We’re glad you asked!

It all started at an impromptu dance in a small town in Manu Biosphere Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon, about 1 to 1.5 days’ travel from the closest city.

Nando had just emerged into civilisation after two weeks spent deep in the jungle while leading a group of young explorers on a British Exploring Society expedition.


Nando leading a group of students in the remote Peruvian Amazon. Credit: Alex Mallison.

Kristi Foster (CC’s Head of Engagement), who happened to be working on the outskirts of that very same jungle, was part of a small team who greeted the explorers (including a dance celebration to welcome them back to civilisation!)

The story paused there for a while, until, some years later, Kristi congratulated Nando on his great LinkedIn profile, and they bonded over a shared love of creative writing and science communications.

(By the way, we’ll be running a webinar LinkedIn for Conservationists soon!)

After Kristi joined Conservation Careers in 2019, it became clear that Nando was doing very similar work supporting Spanish students and early career professionals to find their dream environmental job. It was a great match for him to become a course leader and career coach with Conservation Careers!

After discovering they were doing similar work to support conservationists, Nick and Nando joined forces. Here they’re filming together at the Zoological Society of London.

What’s next?

Nando is Conservation Careers’ Head of Community, a new role that will support our growing online community of aspiring and professional conservationists from around the world. Here are just a few of the community activities we’ll be doing:

  • Live events (webinars, like our upcoming webinar LinkedIn for Conservationists, office hours, job application hot-seat coaching and more).
  • Growth challenges for professional growth.
  • Feedback on career planning, job applications and more.
  • Building self-supporting community mastermind groups.
  • Helping members set up projects to benefit their careers.
  • Online or live meet-ups (Covid-permitting)!

We’re thrilled to have Nando as part of our core team, and can’t wait for you to meet him and benefit from his skills as a career strategist! Bienvenido, Nando!

If you’d like to learn more about the community we’re building, check out what’s inside our Conservation Careers courses.

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