Beckley Foundation Team


Hattie Wells

Operations Manager

Hattie Wells has a degree in anthropology from the London School of Economics and an MSc in ethnobotany from the University of Kent. She has worked for a number of NGOs, on human rights issues, conservation, sustainable livelihoods and drug policy reform, and has carried out long-term ethnobotanical research with the San bushmen in Namibia that she is in the process of publishing. She comes to the Beckley Foundation having spent many years researching both the ethnobotanical and therapeutic aspects of psychedelic drugs. She specialised in the administration of ibogaine as an addiction interrupter.


Vivian Kear

PA/Office Manager

An English graduate from the University of Playa Ancha in Valparaiso, Chile, Vivian is instrumental to the day-to-day running of the Foundation in areas such as recruitment, planning and office management. She works closely with Amanda Feilding in the organisation of the prestigious Beckley seminars and conferences. Vivian has been part of the Foundation since its beginnings in 1998.


Valerie Bonnelle

Scientific Assistant to the Director

Fascinated by the way the human brain works and how normal functions can be either impaired or enhanced, Valerie studied the neural underpinnings of cognitive changes observed following brain injury during her PhD at the Imperial College London. She then moved to the University of Oxford to investigate how differences in the structure and function of specific networks of brain regions may manifest as inter-individual personality traits, with a particular focus on motivation.

For the last decade, she has been following with the greatest interest the progresses and breakthroughs made towards restoring the use of psychedelics for therapeutic purpose and understanding their way of action. Convinced of the huge potential benefit psychedelics may have on our society, she joined the Beckley Foundation to contribute actively to this exciting field of research. She is now helping Amanda with the initiation and coordination of research programmes on psychedelics and other mind-altering substances.


Alex O'Bryan-Tear

Scientific Researcher and Assistant to the Director

Alex studied psychology and philosophy at the University of Oxford before completing a doctoral thesis, _Psychoticism and the Mutual Gaze Bias_, at the University of Cambridge. He is fascinated by perception and belief, and their tenuous relationship with reality. Both mental illness and psychedelics cause profound changes in the way we perceive the world; he intends to find out exactly how and why.  He maintains links with the Beckley Foundation’s many scientific collaborators, takes an overview of scientific developments in the field, and keeps everyone else up to date. Outside working hours, he performs with an improvised comedy company, Hivemind Productions.


Sasha Frost

Communications and Content Manager

Sasha studied English and Hispanic Literature at King’s College, London, where his interest in contemporary consciousness research took him from Don Quixote and Defoe to gaining an MSc in Psychology from the University of Essex. Sasha has previously worked in the press office of the Science Museum in Seville and as a non-fiction book reviewer. As Content Manager, he handles the Beckley Foundation Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, and is keen to promote evidence-based drug policies and the therapeutic uses of psychedelics.