Student and voluntary research placement 2024-2025
The Wild Planet Trust is a conservation charity that works internationally to achieve our mission of helping halt species decline. We believe that conservation is something that everyone can be involved with and that together we can all make a difference to live more sustainably with nature. For more information, please click here.
We align to our START programme for consistency of approach to our research.
Students have achieved awards, including best speaker at the Annual BIAZA Research Symposium.
Past projects include:
- Using a judgment bias test to assess ‘optimism’ in captivegiraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi).
- The application of the BIAZA Quality of Life Assessment as a management tool for objective decision making.
- The effect of artificial UVB on primate behaviour.
- Evaluation of social behaviour in captive Owston’s civet (Chrotogale owstoni).
Research topics may include investigating the efficacy of breeding management for primate species which are part of European captive breeding programmes and developing tools to measure the emotional welfare of our animals. We also conduct regular observations on the behaviour of our Hamadryas baboon troop, to help support management decisions and monitor breeding. A key area for development is monitoring the impact of our future zoo-site developments.
CONSERVATION EVIDENCE DEPARTMENT
The experience and expertise of the staff is extensive and diverse. Key staff involved in research are:
Dr Andrew Bowkett – Projects & Partnerships Manager
Megan Ross – Projects & Partnerships Officer
Dave Ellacott – Reserves Warden
Placements provide an exciting opportunity for you to learn more about your specialist subject and how it can be applied in a zoo setting. You will be trained in a variety of research techniques and other transferable skills such as conference speaking. You will agree an individual training plan and be provided with a full training record when you leave.
Whilst at the zoo you will be a member of the Trust’s Campaigns & Programmes department and will spend the majority of your time collecting, analysing and interpreting data, as part of high quality research projects. You will also be expected to actively contribute to the environmental enrichment, animal training and/or nutrition groups and take part in department and zoo life generally. This can involve giving talks to school groups, presenting at conferences and meetings, helping with on-going projects and general duties.
- Posts are offered on a voluntary basis.
- Posts are for 10-12 months starting in September. Some 6-month posts are available and may start at other times.
- The working week is 35hrs and times are flexible depending on the needs of particular projects. There are 20 days holiday p.a. pro rata.
- Free accommodation may be available for a small number of posts based at Paignton Zoo and is allocated at the discretion of the Wild Planet Trust. Other reasonably priced accommodation is available close to the zoos.