Meet our Penmellyn Vets
View our full Vets list
- Ruth Varcoe BVetMed MRCVS
- Hannes Tanzer MagMedVet MRCVS
- Peter Murrish BVetMed GPCert(EqP) MRCVS
- Philip Harris BVSc MRCVS
- Colin Whiting BVSc CertSAS MRCVS
- James Christie MA VetMB MRCVS
- Rachel Bryant Savill MA BSc VetMB MRCVS
- Katie Lewis BVetMed MRCVS
- Gina Togneri BVSc MRCVS
- Jason Holt BVM&S BSc MRCVS
- Sarah Holmes BVM&S MRCVS
- Liz Clift BVSc MRCVS
- Matt Rendell BVSc MRCVS
- Anisha Austin BVSc MRCVS
- Lindsay Aldridge BVSc MRCVS
- Fiona Tomczynska BVSc MRCVS
- Garrett Macklin BVSc MRCVS
- Richard Sparrow BVSc MRCVS
- Julie Elkins BVSc MRCVS
Ruth Varcoe BVetMed MRCVS
Ruth was born in Worcester and rode her first pony Patrick whilst in nappies. She went to University in London, had a great time and took up sailing. She first worked in a mixed practice in Leamington Spa which was mainly cattle, cats and dogs. She came down to Cornwall in 1983 and became a partner in 1988.
She married Geoffrey in 1989 and had a girl, Tess in 1994, and a boy, Geoffrey, in 1996. Geoff does Cornish wrestling and rugby & is studying agricultural mechanics. Tess loves riding – show jumping, dressage, cross country & endurance riding .
In work she likes anything to do with horses, especially trying to unravel the multifaceted “not going well” cases, but enjoys stud work, medical cases and surgery as well. She says there are NEVER enough hours in the day!’
Hannes Tanzer MagMedVet MRCVS
Hannes’ areas of special interest include Equine Dentistry; Stud Medicine; Routine Soft and Orthopaedic Surgery; Upper Respiratory Tract and Thoracic Medicine; Dermatology.
Peter Murrish BVetMed MRCVS
Pete was born in Truro, Cornwall. He graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London in 2001.
Pete became a partner in Penmellyn Veterinary Group in April 2005.
He heads up our involvement within the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Practice Standards scheme.
Pete, his wife, two daughters and son share their home with quite a few animals. Currently they have cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, sheep, hamsters and some goldfish. They also have a horse and a two ponies.
Outside of work his interests include time with his family, walking, squash, skiing and gardening..
Philip Harris BVSc MRCVS
Phil comes from Devon and left to attend university in Liverpool from where he qualified as a veterinary surgeon in 1999.
At this point he moved to Cornwall and worked in two practices before coming to Penmellyn Veterinary Group in 2003. He became a partner in 2005 and he enjoys all aspects of veterinary life.
Phil is the current head of the small animal department for the whole of the Penmellyn Group of practices.
Colin Whiting BVSc CertSAS MRCVS
Colin qualified as a veterinary surgeon from the University of Liverpool in 1998 and gained a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons post graduate qualification – Certificate in Small Animal Surgery in 2003. He became an RCVS Recognised Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Surgery in March 2015, a new category established by the Royal College for vets who have demonstrated advanced expertise in a particular area.
He worked for 8 years in a small animal practice in Cheshire and a year as a small animal surgery resident at the University of Liverpool, before joining the team at Penmellyn as Small Animal Clinical Director in 2007. Colin became a partner at Penmellyn in 2010.
Colin is responsible for heading up our small animal department as well as running our small animal surgical referral service (A30 referrals) seeing soft tissue, orthopaedic and spinal surgical referrals from throughout Cornwall and West Devon.
His clinical interests are pain relief; surgical training; orthopaedic, spinal and soft tissue surgery; arthroscopy; fracture repair; disc surgery and ear, nose and throat surgery (phew!). Colin has a range of publications in these fields.
Outside of work Colin lives with his wife and two children in Wadebridge and enjoys taking them camping and trying to show them as much of Cornwall as possible.
The family have two pet guinea pigs. His future aims are to ensure that the practice continues to provide surgical, medical and diagnostic facilities and expertise at the forefront of current veterinary practice, whilst maintaining its strong reputation for patient care and service.
James Christie MA VetMB MRCVS
James is originally from Surrey and studied veterinary medicine at Cambridge University. He qualified in 2006.
He moved to Cornwall after qualifying and worked in mixed practice for two years before moving to Penmellyn to focus on small animal work. James became a director of Penmellyn Vets Ltd in November 2015.
He is interested in all aspects of small animal work, especially internal medicine and diagnostic imaging. Outside of work James is interested in photography, fencing (with swords- not post and rail!), surfing, walking and formula 1.
He has two cats called Bramble and Bracken. James’s ambitions for the future are to obtain his Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons certificate in small animal medicine.
Rachel Bryant Savill MA BSc VetMB MRCVS
Rachel qualified from Cambridge in 2003 and joined us at Penmellyn in the same year.
Rachel works at our Bodmin Surgery and at St Columb as a small animal vet.
Katie Lewis BVetMed MRCVS
Katie qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 2007 and has been at Penmellyn since December 2008.
She enjoys all aspects of general practice but especially small animal medicine. She has a particular interest in geriatric feline care. She also embraces the challenge of emergency and intensive care cases.
Katie is also a volunteer vet for the charity the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, providing veterinary treatment to sick and injured marine mammals in her spare time.
She loves the sea and enjoys coastal walks, surfing, scuba diving and exploring new beaches.
Gina Togneri BVSc MRCVS
Gina comes from Cornwall. She holds both a veterinary degree and a bachelor of science degree with honours in Bioveterinary Science.
Her interests within the practice are in small animal surgery, equine colic and orthopaedics.
Outside of work Gina is interested in horse riding, walking, swimming, family life and teaching herself to play the flute.
She has an elderly cat called Muffet and a 20+ year old horse called Sky, who she has had since he was a three year old. She still hacks her out in her spare time.
Jason Holt BVM&S BSc MRCVS
Jason joined the practice in July 2011. He is Cornish and originally comes from Illogan. He studied at Edinburgh and qualified in 2006. He runs our practice in Pool. He has special interests in surgery and dentistry.
Outside of work he enjoys football, cricket, walking, reading and pub quizzes. He has a German Shorthaired pointer called Dill, a British shorthair cat called Connie, and in 2016 a Labrador called Tui joined their family.
Jason assumed the position of small animal clinical director for our Pool surgery in March 2012.
Sarah Holmes BVSc MRCVS
Sarah graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2014 and then spent 18 months working at a mixed practice in Newcastle.
In 2016 Sarah moved to Cornwall and decided to concentrate solely on small animal work with a particular interest in internal medicine, cardiology and dermatology.
In her spare time she enjoys arts & craft, music, cycling, kayaking and has recently started surfing and learning to kitesurf.
Liz Clift BVSc MRCVS
Lizzie qualified from Bristol University in 2009 and has since worked both in New Zealand and in the UK at a number of different practices.
She started at Penmellyn in November 2014 and is enjoying the challenge of a busy, hospital practice. She is currently studying towards an advance qualification in veterinary practice and would like to eventually specialise in small animal surgery.
Outside of work Lizzie stays active and enjoys running, swimming, surfing and yoga.
Matt Rendell BVSc MRCVS
Matt qualified from the University of Liverpool and had seen practice with us at Penmellyn during his time at university.
He has worked as a vet in mid Cornwall prior to joining us at Penmellyn in May 2015.
Matt works at St Columb hospital where he operates and participates in our small animal out of hours emergency service.
In his free time, he enjoys surfing, mountain biking, walking, canoeing, sailing and rugby.
Anisha Austin BVSc MRCVS
Anisha graduated from Bristol University in 2015 and joined the practice shortly after. As well as a degree in Veterinary Sciences she also has a degree in Veterinary Pathogenesis.
She has a particular interest in soft tissue surgery and canine medicine but loves all aspects of small animal practice.
Anisha moved down to Launceston after finishing university to live with her partner, puppy, 2 cats and chickens.
In her spare time she is trying to train her very naughty boxer puppy Dexter, exploring the countryside and loves baking and cooking and testing out her efforts on friends and family.
Lindsay Aldridge BVSc MRCVS
Lindsay is one of our small animal vets and has worked in Cornwall since 2013. She moved here with her husband Alex, also a vet, two children, two dogs, three cats and a growing number of chickens.
Lindsay qualified from Liverpool University in 1998 and spent the next 6 years working in mixed veterinary practice , enjoying the variety of challenges that it involved
After spending six months travelling across Africa, she returned to veterinary practice, continuing her career as a small animal vet and starting a new one ….. a mum.
I work three days a week at the Newquay surgery, and also am responsible for the veterinary care of the animals at the RSPCA centre in Quoit, St Columb Major, and the residents at St Francis Home for Dogs.
I look forward to meeting you at Newquay.
Fiona Tomczynska BVSc MRCVS
Fiona decided she wanted to become a vet at the age of 5 and thanks to an incredibly supportive family and a lot of hard work is now working her dream job in Cornwall.
She volunteered every weekend at vet practices and animal sanctuaries whilst at school, and through university, has now worked in many different types of practice all over the country. She also helped set up and run a charity vet clinic for vulnerable people and their animals in Nottingham city centre.
Fiona saw practice as a student at Penmellyn Vets and after graduating from the University of Nottingham, now feels very privileged to be part of such a hard-working, motivated and caring team.
In her spare time Fiona enjoys coastal path running, snorkelling, kayaking, exploring Cornwall with friends and family and travelling.
Garrett Macklin BVSc MRCVS
Garrett was born in England, but has lived in several European countries.
He graduated from the University of Bristol.
He has 2 house rabbits at home, and lives with his partner who is also a vet.
Richard Sparrow BVSc MRCVS
Richard graduated from the University of Bristol in 2016 with an intercalated degree in Veterinary Science and Cellular and Molecular Medicine. He worked for a small animal charity near London for several months before joining Penmellyn in March 2017.
Richard is interested in small animal internal medicine but also enjoys small animal surgery and is glad to have the opportunity to explore both of these areas of interest whilst working at Penmellyn.
Richard is new to Cornwall, having recently moved to Hayle, where he lives with his partner (who is also a vet) and their aptly named springer spaniel called Smudge.
You might bump into them out exploring the Cornish countryside or beaches and they’d like to apologise in advance for Smudge covering you in muddy paw prints!
Outside of vetting Richard also enjoys cooking, mountain biking, skiing and plans on making the most of living by the sea by learning to surf.
Julie Elkins BVSc MRCVS
Originally hailing from Scotland, Julie gained her veterinary degree at Edinburgh University in 2005.
Shortly after, she undertook an internship at a large equine hospital in Hampshire. This left her with an enthusiasm for all things equine, in particular lameness and poor performance investigations.
Julie then went on to work for practices throughout England and New Zealand before moving back to the UK in 2009 to start a family. She has since worked for a couple of equine practices in Devon & Cornwall so knows the area well.
Julie currently works part time whilst juggling family life with her 2 young boys & husband Phil who is a farm animal vet. Her sanctuary is Frog, an ex racehorse. When not in the saddle herself Julie enjoys helping her sons develop their horsemanship skills.