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Conservation Research

Bristol Zoological Society’s Field Conservation & Science Department offers a range of opportunities to conduct research at Bristol Zoo Project, Bristol Zoo Gardens, or in one of our field-based projects, supervised by our staff.

These opportunities include:

  • Short-term research projects required as part of one of our FdSc, BSc, or MSc courses;

  • Sandwich year placements;

  • PhD projects;

  • Externally supervised students/researchers who wish to conduct research projects that are compatible with our specific research priorities and Research Policy;

  • Post-doctoral research associates and professional researchers that wish to undertake ex-situ or in-situ conservation-focussed research projects here at Bristol Zoological Society or abroad.

If you are interested in one of our research opportunities, complete a Research Proposal Form and email to [email protected].

Postgraduate students interested in undertaking an MRes degree at Bristol Zoo Gardens, Bristol Zoo Project, or in one of our field research or conservation programmes sites abroad should contact Bristol Zoological Society’s Field Conservation and Science Team ([email protected]) for more information on other potential research topics.

You must apply for the MRes through UWE Bristol by contacting Dr Joel Allainguillaume ([email protected]) and specifying your interest in carrying out your research project with us at Bristol Zoological Society.

Research themes

The Society's research projects are aligned with the objectives of our conservation and science, and conservation education, programmes, and seek to make a significant contribution to species and habitat conservation through providing a greater understanding of the ecology, health, welfare and optimal husbandry of the focal species. Priority themes are the following:

In-situ research - relating to our conservation programmes

  • Long-term population monitoring

  • Evaluating habitat restoration

  • Understanding and facilitating human-wildlife co-existence

  • Informing captive conditions

Ex-situ research - relating to our animals

  • Identifying output welfare indicators in non-mammalian animals

  • Improving husbandry, health and welfare

  • Evaluating enrichment; enabling natural behaviours using naturalistic materials

  • Informing field techniques and conservation medicine

Current MRes topics

Some current MRes topics available are (but not limited to):

  • Evaluating the abundance and distribution of amphibian species across the Sahamalaza peninsula in northwest Madagascar

  • Synopsis of crocodiles in Monte Alen National Park, Equatorial Guinea

  • Pangolin conservation in Monte Alen National Park, Equatorial Guinea

  • Elephant crop foraging behaviour around Monte Alen National Park, Equatorial Guinea

  • Distribution of goliath frogs in and around Monte Alen National Park, Equatorial Guinea

  • Monitoring bird and mammal diversity in North West Panay, Philippines

  • Behavioural monitoring of captive Negros Bleeding Heart Doves to support a reintroduction programme, Philippines

Postgraduate students

For postgraduate students interested in undertaking a PhD project at Bristol Zoo Project, Bristol Zoo Gardens, or in one of our field research or conservation programmes sites abroad.

These projects will be co-supervised by our Field Conservation and Science Department staff in association with a supervisor at your registered institution. Please email [email protected] for more information.

Please note: At this time, we cannot offer funding for postgraduate students; however, we are happy to provide advice on potential external funding opportunities.

We also welcome enquiries from postdocs and professional researchers interested in carrying out projects at Bristol Zoo Project, Bristol Zoo Gardens, or in one of our field research or conservation programmes sites abroad.

Research application requirements

Due to our large number of undergraduate and postgraduate students and limited staff resource, we prioritise internal research applications above external research applications. All research applications must directly relate to our research themes outlined above, or they will not be considered.

Please be advised that all projects carried out through the Society require approval by our internal review panel. In addition, we must be provided with copies of all ethical approval documents from your home institution. Thus, we recommend that you submit your documents well in advance of your anticipated start date as the approval process may take some time.

All research enquiries need to be accompanied with a completed BZS Research Proposal Form.

You can also view BIAZA's research guidelines.