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Our Science & Research Team

A breadth of experience

Our team has a huge breadth of experience, spanning many projects, species and areas of research.

Learn more about our science and research team below:

Holly started a career in captive animal behaviour in 2002, leading her to begin working at Paignton Zoo in 2005 while completing a PhD on primate vocalisations. Since then, her research has focused on captive animal welfare, in particular the impact of behavioural management practices and the effect of reproductive management techniques. This work complements her role as EAZA Ex-situ Programme coordinator for the Sulawesi macaque (Macaca nigra), which involves managing the European studbook and providing breeding and reproductive management recommendations for the species. As Research Manager, Holly is the lead zoo staff member on the jointly run MSc in Zoo Conservation Biology with the University of Plymouth, and facilitates all student applications to conduct research at our two zoo sites.

Holly is Chair of the EAZA Animal Welfare Working Group and member of the EAZA Reproductive Management Group. She is a member of the BIAZA Animal Welfare Working Group and Sound subgroup, BIAZA Animal Behaviour and Training Working Group, BIAZA Great Ape Welfare group and committee member of the UK and Ireland Regional Environmental Enrichment Conference.

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Andy has worked at Wild Planet Trust since 2007, initially supporting overseas conservation projects while undertaking a PhD at the University of Exeter. His role now involves managing conservation projects and partnerships in Africa and locally in the South West. Andy and his team work closely with different partners to prioritise conservation actions, source and manage funds, and undertake research and surveys.

He has a wide range of research interests including the natural history of African forest mammals, ecological survey methods, the role of zoos in conservation translocation, and human dimensions of conservation success. Andy is currently chair of the BIAZA Field Conservation Committee and a member of the IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group.

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Kathy has worked in zoo research since 2005 and her research experience covers a diverse range of topics, from multi-zoo studies of animal behaviour and personality to visitor-based research.

Recent priority research areas include coordinating research on the breeding behaviour of the endangered Owston’s civets with the aim of contributing valuable information to their European Endangered Species Breeding Programme, and community-based social science projects through her work as the project lead for the Sustainable Palm Oil Communities project in Newquay.

Kathy is a committee member for the BIAZA research committee and the UK and Ireland Regional Environmental Enrichment Conference.

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During her studies at Plymouth University in Marine Biology, Megan started working as an animal keeper, which really opened her eyes to the world of zoological collections. This led to studying an MSc in Zoo Conservation Biology alongside Paignton Zoo, where she spent many hours watching the giant tortoises eating grass for her dissertation project. After graduating, Megan moved to Hertfordshire to work with a wider range of animals and put knowledge gained from this degree into practice.

Having realised how much she missed the sea, it didn’t take long to move back to the South West. Megan now works in the Projects and Partnerships team at Wild Planet Trust, working on the UK conservation projects. Her favourite part of the job is carrying out butterfly transects on our nature reserves.

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