Research Opportunities

Colchester Zoo is open to collaboration on research projects for academic, zoological, and professional research institutions and researchers.

Colchester Zoo is dedicated to encouraging, supporting and conducting research that improves captive animal management, benefits conservation programmes and contributes to the body of scientific knowledge about animals and their natural habitats. The World Zoo and Aquaria Conservation Strategy highlights research as a major role for modern zoos.

Click the below headings for information about how to be involved in research at Colchester Zoo:

Colchester Zoo’s research includes both animal-based studies and visitor studies. Animal-based studies can focus on behaviour, welfare, nutrition, husbandry, environmental enrichment, ecology, reproduction and conservation. All animal-based research undertaken in the Zoo is non-invasive and mostly conducted through observation of the animals in their captive environment.

Research studies assist Colchester Zoo in a number of ways:

  • Helping develop successful animal management practices, by assessing effects on the animals of factors, such as: enclosure design, diet and social grouping
  • Benefiting conservation of species and habitats, by improving the success of captive breeding programmes and in-situ programmes
  • Promoting conservation through education, by assessing visitor attitudes and perceptions

For further information about research at Colchester Zoo, please contact: for diploma and undergraduate research for postgraduate research and visitor studies

Application Process

The Research Coordinator works closely with animal management staff and the Education team to identify priority topics and Colchester Zoo encourages applications for research within these priority areas.

Applications focusing on priority topics are more likely to be approved. To receive a copy of this priority list, please email: for diploma and undergraduate research and for postgraduate research and visitor studies.

All applications received will be assessed by the Zoo Director and Zoo Curator. Animal Management staff will accept applications on the basis of the subject area, including the value to science, ethical considerations, and the logistics of the study, including staff time and resources.

Please see the BIAZA Research Resources (click to open in a new window) for more details about research in BIAZA institutes, as well as resources and other information to help you develop your research project.

All applications should be sent to the Research Coordinator a minimum of one month in advance of the perspective start date.

Application Form

All researchers wishing to conduct a project at, or in association with Colchester Zoo, must submit an application form.

All applications should be sent to the Research Coordinator a minimum of one month in advance of the perspective start date.

Research Handbook

Please read the research handbook. This document details the guidelines and processes all researchers must follow whilst conducting research at Colchester Zoo. Details of the research fee are also included in the handbook.

Click here to download the Colchester Zoo Research Handbook

Example Case Studies

Click on any image below to see examples of research conducted at Colchester Zoo.

Sea Lion Body Condition Scoring
Elephant Thermal Imaging
2 bush dogs in their enclosure.
Bush Dog Bioacoustic Investigation

Click here for the archive of past research projects conducted at Colchester Zoo.

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