Meet the Oak Tree Team

Our Vets

  • Alistair  | Edinburgh VetsAlistair Marks
    B.V.M.&S. Cert.V.R. Cert.S.A.O. M.R.C.V.S. 
    RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Small Animal Orthopaedics

    Alistair founded the practice in 1996. He is a 1983 graduate from the Dick Vet here in Edinburgh. After qualifying, he was the house surgeon at the Dick Vet (being a house surgeon is a little like a house wine – cheap, cheerful and always available). At the end of this year, he gained the RCVS postgraduate Certificate in Veterinary Radiology.

    After stints working in practice in Dunfermline and Hull, he took over a small animal practice in Leamington Spa. Whilst there he gained the RCVS postgraduate Certificate in Small Animal Orthopaedics in 1994.

    However, the desire to return North led to the sale of that practice in 1995 and his family’s return to Scotland. Alistair is married to Penelope, a PhD in genetics and a teacher and has three children Phoebe, Angus and Malcolm.

    In the picture are our two ancient Labradors, Blot and Button who preceded the children and who were a lot less trouble! Unfortunately they are now no longer with us but their image remains in appreciation of the many happy years of companionship and pleasure they afforded us.

    We now enjoy the very lively company of Peta, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and Biba, a Hungarian Vizsla who can be seen on the dog trike page.

  • malcolm-and-puppy  | Edinburgh VetsMalcolm Leitch
    M.R.C.V.S. B.V.M.&S. 

    Malcolm qualified here in Edinburgh at the Dick Vet in 1996 and since then has worked in a predominantly small animal practice in Dingwall, where he gained a broad range of experience.

    He particularly enjoys the challenge of skin problems but also the variety that general practice provides.

    In his spare time he enjoys walking, cooking and avoiding doing the dishes afterwards! 


  • Andrew-Soutar  | Edinburgh Vets

    Andrew Soutar M.R.C.V.S. B.V.M.&S.

    Andrew graduated from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies here in his home city of Edinburgh in 2013.

    After graduation he traveled south to work in a small animal clinic in Suffolk for nearly 3 years, gaining valuable experience in general practice.

    On his return to Scotland he spent a brief period working as a locum vet before joining the Oak Tree team in January 2017.

    He has a particular interest in eye conditions and the long term management of chronic illnesses, alongside the day to day challenges that appear in general practice.

    Pictured are his two dogs – Mindy the lurcher who was adopted from the Dogs Trust while in England, who spends most of her time trying to eat anything in her reach (usually something toxic like chocolate!) and Kipper the springer spaniel who will hopefully become an agility champion in the hands of his partner Bethany.

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Our Vet Nurses

  • gemma  | Edinburgh VetsGemma Stewart R.V.N.
    Head Nurse

    Gemma joined us in 2001 as a student vet nurse. She completed her training at Oak Tree and Telford college and gained her qualification in 2003. In 2010, Gemma left us briefly for 18 months to work in a referral hospital in Newcastle, furthering her knowledge in a wide variety of surgeries and rejoined Oak Tree in 2011 to become our head nurse.

    Gemma enjoys all aspects of her job but particularly enjoys radiography and hydrotherapy.

    She is also qualified as a Clinical Coach, which enables her to provide the in-house training for our student veterinary nurses.

    In her spare time Gemma enjoys socialising with friends, going out for dinner (Gemma loves all food!) and attending concerts. 

  • Julie  | Edinburgh VetsJulie Craig R.V.N.

    Julie joined Oak Tree in April 2001 having qualified from Edinburgh’s Telford College and having worked in practices in Kirkcaldy and Edinburgh.

    Experienced in all areas of veterinary nursing, Julie finds patient care and anaesthesia particularly fulfilling.

    Married in 2006, Julie has little spare time now she shares her home with Russell, her husband and two gorgeous and lively girls. On the off chance of some spare time, she enjoys fitness, going out with friends and occasionally relaxing.

    She is pictured here with Danny, her lively Border Collie. 


  • michelle  | Edinburgh VetsMichelle Black R.V.N.

    Michelle Joined Oak Tree in Jan 2008. She trained through practice, with Barony College and The College of Animal Welfare and qualified in September 2006.

    She is also qualified as a Clinical Coach, which enables her to provide the in-house training for our student veterinary nurses.

    She has two cats, Jessica and Marley.

    In her spare time she enjoys going to the cinema, gym and loves all aspects of rugby, especially supporting her national team!

  • Gillian-Brown  | Edinburgh VetsGillian Robson R.V.N.

    Gillian gained her qualification in Veterinary Nursing in 1996 and has worked in practices in Fife before joining us in 2010.

    She has a keen interest in nursing clinics and hydrotherapy.

    Gillian lives with her husband Scot and their Border Terrier, Tweed. In her spare time she enjoys going to the cinema, live music and supporting the national rugby team at Murrayfield.

    Gillian is joined in her picture by Tweed.

  • Robyn-and-Harvey-cropped-1024x1024  | Edinburgh VetsRobyn Atkin S.V.N

    Robyn first came to Oak Tree for work experience in 2010. Having enjoyed her experience, returned in 2011 as a student veterinary nurse studying at Edinburgh College. She passed her exams and qualified in February 2015 and joined the team as a member of full time staff.

    She has a guinea pig called Baby and a Westie/cocker spaniel cross called Harvey, pictured.

    In her spare time she enjoys meeting up and socialising with friends and long walks with Harvey.

  • gillian  | Edinburgh VetsGillian Smith S.V.N

    Second year student at Edinburgh College.

    After 10 years working in the civil service I decided to follow my dream and train to be a vet nurse. I’ve really enjoyed my first year at college, Glasgow Vet School and at Oak Tree. I’ve especially enjoyed seeing orthopaedic operations and cruciate surgery as having had two cruciate repairs myself it’s fascinating to see how the animals cope with these injuries. 

    In my spare time I enjoy playing softball, going to the cinema, spending time with friends and family and going on dog walks with my two surrogate dogs Polly (my flatmate’s elderly cross breed) and Skye (my friend’s excitable Springer Spaniel).

    Stop Press

    As of April 2016, Gill has joined the staff full time and we are delighted to announce she was successful, first time in all her Veterinary Nursing examinations. We’re just waiting for the certificate from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, to present Gill with her well derserved dark greens and a new picture and text will appear here shortly.

Our Welcoming Receptionists

  • Elspeth-and-Ginger-Cat  | Edinburgh Vets
    Elspeth Whyte
    Senior Receptionist

    Elspeth joined us in 2004 as our receptionist, having worked previously as a veterinary receptionist for seven years. Elspeth has completed her veterinary terminology course with Edinburgh’s Telford College and several other veterinary product courses increasing her veterinary knowledge. Elspeth deals with all our clients’ accounts and insurance claims and is always happy to assist in any query you may have relating to these.

    When not at work or play she enjoys nothing better than relaxing with her six beautiful cats and is also a volunteer keeper at the Five Sisters Zoo in West Lothian.

  • Katherine-and-Rebus_web-240x300  | Edinburgh VetsKatherine Forsyth

    Katherine joined Oak Tree team as receptionist in 2015. She joins us from a completely different background, having worked for the last 12 years as a professional florist. Katherine knew most of the team already, as she has been a client at Oak Tree for more than ten years.

    She lives with her husband Nick and their cat Rebus. She has a keen interest in sewing and embroidery and helped to create the Great Tapestry of Scotland. She also enjoys baking and socialising with friends.