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Dissertation/3rd year project help in a zoo?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Holly_13, 1 May 2014.

  1. Holly_13

    Holly_13 New Member

    1 May 2014
    I am currently undertaking my 2nd year of a Zoology degree. I am doing a months placement in a small zoo in the UK where I will be undertaking my research project/dissertation on an area/animal of my choice. I would ideally love to do my project on animal behaviour, e.g social group interactions or enrichement of toys and food etc. The kinds of animals at the zoo I am considering observing are meerkats, otters, red pandas, lemurs, lynx or ocelots. I've heard that a bigger more social group of animals will give me more enjoyable results for my dissertation.

    Any past experience of research projects on mammals in zoos would be great or just any advice at all.

    Thanks, Holly :)
  2. alethionaut

    alethionaut Member

    6 Jun 2012
    Northern Ireland
    A few years ago I did a MSc in Animal Behaviour, though my project was on communication I will say that you should look up papers of past studies that interest you, see why they are of interest to the scientific community and then have a look at the scope for further study. IE a study on enrichment of captive kept Chimpanzees, why would enrichment be important? Is the enrichment just for the chimps or for the public and keepers as well? What benefits are received? Then look at how you would change the enrichment - perhaps introduce a new type of food or a whole new enrichment all together.

    This is just an example though, but that is how I would go about it. Past studies - why they are important - what you would do and then see if your supervisor thinks it would pass through ethics/ the zoo you are working with can facilitate. Good luck!