Zoo conservationists graduate

Published: 19 September 2013

Zoo conservationists graduate

The next generation of zoo conservationists has graduated thanks to two top Devon institutions.

The Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, based at Paignton Zoo, and Plymouth University jointly run a Masters in Zoo Conservation Biology.

WWCT’s Director of Conservation, Research and Advocacy Dr Amy Plowman said: “The course gives postgraduates a broad grounding in how zoos work with the aim of producing the curators and zoo directors of the future.”

WWCT is the charity that runs Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, Living Coasts, Torquay’s coastal zoo and aquarium and Newquay Zoo in Cornwall.

Amy: “This was the eighth year of the MSc, and the largest cohort ever with 23 students. The ninth year has just finished and the tenth year is about to start. It is a very successful course. Many of the students graduating are already in jobs or pursuing further education in their chosen fields.”

One former student is Education, Outreach & Training Manager for the World Land Trust, another is Education Officer at Blackpool Zoo, while a third is Director of an Indian NGO called Zoo & Wildlife Architecture, Research and Conservation.

At the same time, two former students on the Masters who are both now WWCT members of staff completed their PhDs. Newquay Zoo educator Dr Kathy Baker was in the first year’s cohort and WWCT secretary Dr Joanna Bishop was in the second. The Trust’s Field Conservation & Research Programmes Manager, Dr Andy Bowkett, completed his doctorate earlier in the year.

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