Dr Amy Plowman

Director of Conservation and Education

1986-89 BSc Biology, University of York
1989-92 PhD Ecological genetics of supernumerary chromosomes in plants, University of York

Based at Paignton Zoo

[email protected] 

Role and research interests

I am part of the Senior Management Team responsible for strategic development and operation of the whole organisation. In particular I have overall responsibility for all WWCT in situ conservation projects, zoo and reserve based research, education and engagement and advocacy programmes. I maintain a keen interest in all the active research themes within the Department and have supervised several PhD students studying a range of ecological and animal husbandry topics. My own research area is animal nutrition where I work with the husbandry departments to improve diets, food preparation and food presentation methods and evaluate the impact of these on animal health and behaviour.

Professional Activity

I teach on the Zoo Conservation Biology MSc at Plymouth University and Animal Behaviour MSc at the University of Exeter and am an Honorary Lecturer at both universities. I am Chair of the BIAZA Research Committee and a member of BIAZA Council, the EAZA Research Committee, the EAZA Nutrition Group and the AZA Nutrition Advisory Group. I am on the Editorial board of the Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research


Behaviour, nutrition and welfare of Ratites

Development of improved primate diets for health and welfare.

Pangolin and other insectivore feeding in captivity.

Duiker ecology, husbandry and conservation

Reproductive behaviour and population management of captive seabirds

Selected publications

1. Cabana, F. and Plowman, A.B. 2014. Pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus) natural diet replication in captivity. Endangered Species Research 23: 197-204

2. Plowman, A. 2013 Diet review and change for monkeys at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park. Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research 1: 73-77

3. Clauss, M., Lunt, N., Ortmann, S., Plowman, A., Codron, D. and Hummel, J. 2011. Fluid and particle passage in three duiker species. European Journal of Wildlife Research 57:143–148

4. de Vere, N., Jongejans, E., Plowman, A.B. and Williams, E. 2008. Population size and habitat quality affect genetic diversity and fitness of the clonal herb Cirsium dissectum. Oecologia 159: 59-68.

5. Fraser, O. and Plowman, A.B. 2007. Function of notification in Papio hamadryas? International Journal of Primatology 28: 1439-1448.

6. Plowman, A.B., Jordan, N.R., Anderson, N., Condon, E. and Fraser, O. 2005. Welfare implications
of captive primate population management: behavioural and psycho-social effects of female-based contraception, oestrous and male removal in hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas). Applied Animal Behaviour Science 90: 155-165.

7. Plowman, A.B. 2003. A note on a modification of the spread of participation index allowing for unequal zones. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 83: 331-336.

8. Plowman, A. B. 2002. Nutrient intake and apparent digestibility of diets consumed by captive duikers at the Dambari Field Station, Zimbabwe. Zoo Biology 21: 135-147

9. Baxter, E. and Plowman, A. B. 2001. The effect of increasing dietary fibre on feeding, rumination and oral stereotypies in captive giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis). Animal Welfare 10: 281-290