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Advancing Primate Conservation: Insights from the EAZA Annual Conference in Helsinki

Dr. Holly Farmer, our Trust’s Research Manager, recently attended the annual conference of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) in Helsinki, Finland.

Dr Holly Farmer presented the work of her University of Plymouth Zoo Conservation Biology MSc student Francesca Vuković, in the Afro-Eurasian Monkey TAG meeting

During the conference, Dr. Farmer had the privilege of presenting the remarkable work of Francesca Vuković, a dedicated student from the University of Plymouth’s Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Biology MSc program. Francesca’s study delved into the effectiveness of contraceptive methods, drawing upon data from two invaluable sources: the EAZA Reproductive Management Group and the AZA Reproductive Management Centre, based in St. Louis Zoo, USA. The insights gained from this research are poised to play a pivotal role in guiding the judicious use of contraception within the Afro-Eurasian monkey TAG (Taxon Advisory Group) and captive breeding programmes for approximately 20 primate species.

Notably, Dr. Farmer also serves as the Chair of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) Animal Welfare Working Group. During the conference, she co-chaired a joint-plenary session alongside Annette Pedersen, Chair of the EAZA Animal Training Working Group. The session featured enlightening talks by Helena Telkänranta and Barbara Heidenreich, and an engaging interactive session led by Vice Chairs Lisa Holmes and Jim Mackie. Collectively, these sessions provided valuable insights on how to understand, measure and transform the emotional welfare of animals through their behaviour.

If you missed this enlightening session, fear not! You can catch up by visiting the ‘EAZA – the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria’ Facebook page or simply clicking here.

From left to right: Katharina HerrmannLauren FlorissonDina Gebhardt, Frederic Houssaye, Tim ReimesEmile Prins, and Nicky Needham

Lastly, we were also proud to see so many past-students from our joint MSc course in Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Biology with the University of Plymouth at the EAZA Annual Conference. They all say that skills and knowledge gained during the course contributed to their careers in British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) institutions, and it is fantastic to hear about their successes. We look forward to seeing how their careers progress in the coming years.