UCR - University Centre Reaseheath
University Centre Reaseheath

UCR students present findings at national zoo industry research conference

Three Animal Science undergraduates from University Centre Reaseheath have shared their research at the BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquaria) Research Conference. 

The conference was held at the Zoological Society of London Zoo and was a great opportunity for our students to share interesting research from their dissertation projects. The students were accompanied by UCR Lecturer Daniel Wright and were all supported by the Higher Education Scholarly Activity Fund.

Read below to find out more about our students’ innovative research and their experience of presenting their findings at the conference.

Speed presentation (6 minute talk): An investigation into the concept of flow in cotton-top tamarins using cognitive enrichment.

Katie said: “The conference was a great experience and gave me the chance to learn about an array of subjects, including some you maybe wouldn’t at first expect to find interesting! It is a great place to go and push yourself – the opportunities that can develop from it are well worth it.”

Katie Sparks
Katie Sparks (left)

Poster presentation: How keeper presence impacts captive Californian sea lion behaviour

Tom said: “I really enjoyed the conference as it gave me the chance to hear what projects were being undertaken by research teams at different zoos. I also got to network with people in the industry and get tips on how to get into the industry myself, and continue researching sea lion behaviour.” 

Tom Briggs
Tom Briggs

Poster presentation: Calm and Carry on: Evaluating the effects of Salvia rosmarinus (rosemary), Melissa officinalis (lemon balm), and Thymus vulgaris (thyme) environmental enrichment on the behaviour of captive Leptailurus serval (serval), Nyctereutes procyonoides (raccoon dogs), and Civettictis civetta (African civets)

Megan said: “The conference was a great opportunity to mingle and network. If you attend the conference, be prepared to be pushed out of your comfort zone and get out there and speak to everyone. Take business cards, talk about your passion and interests, and get your name out there!” 

Megan Brindley
Megan Brindley

UCR Lecturer and Dissertation Module Leader Dr Clare Ellis said: “The BIAZA Research Conference is great for students to attend to share and discuss their research with other students, academic staff, and industry professionals.

“It is a really varied conference on a range of zoo research topics, along with being a very friendly atmosphere for undergraduate students presenting their work. I’m really pleased that the Scholarly Activity Fund was able to support these students to attend and that they had such positive experiences. Hopefully it has inspired them to consider furthering their research in industry or postgraduate education and I’m sure it will inspire other students to attend in the future.”

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