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Research for PhD involving Zoo Felids & Taurine, or Welfare of Snakes

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Nikola Chavkosk, 19 Aug 2016.

  1. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    In an attempt to get scholarship for doctoral studies, generally I (we) have two options: participation in structured doctoral studies or proposal of individual PhD thesis wich allows greater flexibility and requiring greater individual initiation. I will apply for both types, and would like to ask zoochatters what are the possibilities that zoos (eg. in Germany or in Netherlands, or other country) would share their info and matherials (samples of diets, samples of tissues of died zoo animals, space for observation, etc.) and to ask (experienced) zoochatters for their opinion about shaping/eligibility of theses titles involving next goals (two different theses):

    1. ''Taurine levels and bioavailability from diets of captive small felids in zoos and their relationship with success of breeding of small cats in captivity''

    2. ''Trying different procedures for behavioral enrichment of zoo snakes, and outcome of such procedures measured by observation, analysing data (eg. breeding success, longevity, reaction to different stimuli, health records, etc.) and laboratory work (eg. measuring stress hormones in snakes?)''

    Thank you,

    Mistakes in writing corrected.
     
    Last edited: 19 Aug 2016
  2. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    Both titles sport several significant mistakes in writing.

    Just ask yourself: are these really publications that can allow for a further career in this field? Or are they just means to get your DVM / Dr. med. vet.? The 1st one might(!) help you to get into animal nutrition, while I doubt you'll get much if any support and funding for the 2nd topic.
     
  3. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    I think that each require the support of a decent zoo. You may have to shop your ideas around to see whether you can find a supportive institution or else the question is moot
     
  4. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Thank you both,

    Both Batto. I would definitively be very satisfied if these publications allows me a further career in the field of zoo nutrition or zoos (research, medicine, husbandry) in general.
    So you think that first thesis have a better ground to be accepted?

    I think I can do this first asking EAZA research department, that I will.
     
  5. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    The Feline Conservation Federation is a USA non profit support group for wild cat breeders and educators. They are very supportive of working with anyone (you do not have to be a big organization or well known). I suggest you visit their website and contact them and I am sure they have members who will help you out.
    Feline Conservation Federation
     
  6. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    What might be a large challenge as Macedonia is not a EU country is to get a work permit / possibility to apply for PhD / funds in most parts of Europe. So it is worth checking this for every country and relevant universities and research institutes.

    In general I do not think that there is many doctoral research done in zoos, so funding might be a big problem and you will have to focus on something which is in public demand or fancy at the moment. And though both topics can be made very interesting, I doubt whether there is any interest in such research atm....
     
  7. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Arizona Docent, I will consider this in the next period;


    Actually the calls are for all international students (in Germany, I guess this country have special broad strategy for future). I can get a full scholarship for up to to 5 years. I will need to get a special visa from German embassy; yet I can stay 3 months without visa in any EU country (except UK and Ireland) and Switzerland and Norway (Schengen area) in 6-month period, because R. Macedonia is EU-candidate country, and all non-EU Western Balkans have visa-free access in the Schengen area (for up to 3 months/half year).
    The proposed theses are however difficult to be accepted, but will try. There are structured doctoral sTudies as you mentioned already for issues having public demand.
     
    Last edited: 19 Aug 2016
  8. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately for you @Nikola, I strongly agree with lintworm’s last passage.
    I’m not sure whether you understand how the research community works. In very simple terms: if you can generate the necessary steady financial funding, you will be welcomed pretty much everywhere with any topic you choose. If you don’t have the money (which is most often the case), you will have to take what you can get. For zoo/wildlife veterinary research in Germany, the IZW in Berlin and the Institut für Terrestrische und Aquatische Wildtierforschung of the Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover should be among your first contacts to approach. But please, as a benevolent word of advice: keep it civil, disciplined and organized. The local stakeholders there are not terribly impressed by astrology or bubbly overzeal...;)
     
  9. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    I will bear in mind that, thanks Batto.
    IZW - Institute for zoo and wild animals - I have read this institute was mentioned as collaboration institution for doctoral studies.
     
  10. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    Nope-it’s the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
    Welcome - IZW Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in the Forschungsverbund Berlin e. V.
    Addressing the institute in question correctly is quite an important aspect when dealing with German researchers. Better keep that in mind.
    The IZW actually also offers doctoral thesis projects now and then; you should take a look at their website.
     
  11. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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  12. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    What about this topic, how it sounds:

    ''Effects of (novel) large enclosure on activity of captive snakes, measured via observation of behavior/locomotion and via meassuring of the stress hormones concentrations in feces and blood.''

    - Can be accepted as research thesis, particularly I am asking PhD zoochatters :)
     
  13. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    I somehow doubt that, given the activity of certain snake species (and factors such as temperature, light regime, feeding regime etc. influencing your measurements).

    If it has to be snakes, why not do some research on adequate analgesia for various commonly kept snake species? That's an important and still rather undeveloped field of research.
     
  14. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    That's also interesting for me.

    There is very little possibility that I will be accepted with research proposal, involving captive wild (zoo) animals. I can't decide what proposal do develop first - whether welfare of snakes in respect to enough space for locomotion, taurine and small felids, some rare ways of spreading of infectious agents between zoo animals/enclosures and visitors and staff (like Legionella or other germs via small droplets in let say proximity of pools in enclosures (like from expired air from hippo) :) ) or something about survey of sera, blood samples, feces, from non-human primates searching for particular antibodies or antigens, or even strange incorporated genes.
     
  15. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    "(...)some rare ways of spreading of infectious agents between zoo animals/enclosures and visitors and staff (like Legionella or other germs via small droplets in let say proximity of pools in enclosures (like from expired air from hippo)" I can almost guarantee you that you will have a hard time finding zoos willing to cooperate when it comes to the potential detection of zoonotic diseases between animals and visitors on zoo grounds. The reason for that: reputation; no zoo wants to be the guilty one...