Dean Turner- Director
Blackpool Reptiles & Aquatics has given Dean the chance to work in a field that he has always wanted to be involved with. Every day is challenging but exciting and is always something he enjoys.
The reptile industry was not Dean’s first passion as he was predominantly involved with aquatics, however this has since been superseded by the world of reptiles and the vast diversity of animals that he now gets to work with.
Dean has been lucky enough to work with a great crew and this has helped him make the most of the opportunities that have arisen, enabling him to now deal with the world’s leading herpetologists and breeders.
Dean has had a steep learning curve, having to learn genetics from scratch over the past 6 years. Luckily, through working with Jay Brewer at Prehistoric Pets in America, Dean has had access to some of the best knowledge, most exciting genetics available in this hobby and first class support.
He continues to explore exciting new morphs as well as understanding the progression of colour phases and gene compatibility. With new genes at play heading in to 2016 and creation and availability of EU and Worlds-first morphs, Dean could not be more excited to push himself, the team and the store towards new and exciting ventures in the years to come.
Dean is excited about the future for Blackpool Reptiles & Aquatics, the store is constantly evolving with new ideas and fresh enthusiasm pushing the boundaries of where the store can go. After spending a large amount of time working on the new website along with the Team, Dean now plans to expand the size of the store to enable the team to house their ever growing collection of livestock and welcome some new species.
The start of the new year has welcomed many, many breeding’s and eggs in the incubator which the team are patiently awaiting… successes have been shared alongside clients as they have welcomed their own eggs this season, thanks to Deans support and advice!… Meanwhile, Dean is leading the team full steam ahead for another successful business year.
Heather Hodsdon – PA and Online Sales Manager
Heather has been with the team for almost 3 years and is the Web & Social Media Marketer, online sales manager and Deans Personal Assistant. She has recently been working with Dean to complete the website and over the last year the pair have increased the awareness of Blackpool Reptiles & Aquatics online in the UK and internationally on a large scale. They are very proud of the work they have done so far and continue to push forwards in the new year.
Having not had any previous experience with reptiles, Heather has learned a vast amount since starting in April 2015. She is now in charge of Hognose and Corn breeding for the store, and has found a keen interest in Genetics, particularly those of Reticulated Pythons. She now owns several snakes and even a couple of spiders!
Heather enjoys everything geeky- particularly computing, but also has a big heart and feels at one when caring for the animals. She is also enthusiastic about customer care and is the first port of call for customers on the Website and Facebook Page.
Shop Floor Staff
Ben Garcia-Vico – Store Manager
Ben has been an animal lover from a young age and naturally developed an interest in reptiles. He started volunteering at Blackpool Reptiles & Aquatics in 2006 and soon after was offered a full time placement. Ben has spent 10 years with the company since then and is now the leading animal care expert for the store.He also works closely with colleges and schools to arrange work placements with youngsters who wish to get a real experience of working with Reptiles.
Ben has a vast knowledge of most reptiles and has aided himself further by studying herpetology and taking various courses including venomous handling. Ben has kept various reptiles for 12 years, both snakes and lizards and also loves mammals- particularly his dog.
Ben is caring and creative person and is not only an artist in his spare time, something he has had a passion for his whole life, but also volunteers for various charities at home and abroad.
Bens level of customer care is second to none, he is always here to answer questions and to help guide customers when purchasing and caring for pets.
Dane Belk Gregory- Sales assistant/ Aquatics Specialist
Dane has been with the reptile room for 2 and a half years and is the lead aquatics salesman for the store. He works with cold water, tropical and marine fish and equipment, which is where is passion lies.
Dane owns a selection of reptiles including snakes and lizards which he cares for with his young daughter – who is also finding a passion in the hobby! Dane’s family are very important to him and he also has a bit of a knack for art and design.
Dane started as a volunteer back in 2011, quickly becoming a part time member of staff, and in the last 12 months has become a full time member of the team. He has used his previous knowledge in aquatics to aid us in getting our fish section of the store back up to quality and in future- capacity. He has been a welcome addition and continues to improve his knowledge and skills in aquatics along with reptiles throughout his time here.
Gavin Wearing- Sales assistant/ Animal Maintenance
Gavin is the newest member of staff to join our small but powerful team. Gavin was asked to work full- time with us after completing his work experience with us some time ago. He has always worked hard, even at a young age and was a welcome addition to the staff.
Gavin is a hard worker whos passion is with lizards but he also likes snakes and has recently been asked to get more involved with the reticulated pythons and more…
Gavin also works on the shop floor, caring for and selling animals as his wealth of knowledge grows.. he has been tempted into taking a few things home and has really thrown himself into his passion for reptiles since starting at the shop many years ago.
Gaz Doran- Maintenance
Gaz has been with the company for 10 years and is in charge of animal maintenance at the store which involves feeding, cleaning and caring for animals- particularly snakes, as well as working closely with Dean in the breeding of Reticulated Pythons.
Gaz began keeping snakes from a young age, and with his family and friends support and encouragement, has continued in keeping them as pets and dedicated his career to the hobby.
Gaz has a large personal collection of various kinds of snakes, lizards and monitors, and has spent the last year investing his time in his own breeding projects.
He hopes to continue to develop his independent business this year and is very excited about the prospects. Gaz enjoys working with animals so much, that he goes home and does all the work again on an evening in his own unit, with the help of his 2 sidekicks- His 2 young daughters.
Gaz has a wealth of knowledge in animal care and specific products used in reptile husbandry. He is passionate and enthusiastic about animals and always offers a wealth of knowledge and advice to those in need.