Sophie Savage

Student blog

BIAZA Research Conference at ZSL

Sophie Savage

I’m Sophie Savage, I studied myLevel 3 National Extended Diploma in Animal Management, BSc (Hons) Human Animal Interaction with Psychology and now MSc Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare – all at Hartpury!

BIAZA Research Conference at ZSL

I’ve just returned from the BIAZA Research Conference, hosted at ZSL (London Zoo). It was fantastic to hear about all of the research that has been going on in the zoo world – including everything from techniques to identify tiny snails with paint, to training sea lions! It was incredible to network with a huge range of people, with a real mix of undergraduate, postgraduate, and PhD students, as well as keepers and established researchers.

Conference highlights

There were a couple of highlights for me. The first being a keeper talk on the new tortoise exhibit at ZSL which is outstanding and I believe will be changing public perception of the needs of perhaps less considered species. The other was a workshop on science communication – an area of real interest to me, and one I am considering pursuing in some capacity at some point in my career. 

a person holding a paper


Presenting my first poster

In addition, I presented my first poster there which was titled There’s an ‘I’ in tiger: individual differences in behaviour with tigers using an enclosure rotation system. This was my undergraduate dissertation project in collaboration with West Midlands Safari Park. It was a huge surprise to me, but I was awarded ‘best scientific poster’ out of around 40 submissions. I received a certificate and bagged myself a year’s ZSL fellowship with a subscription to The Zoologist publication and Wild About magazine.

Overall, a fantastic experience! I’m extremely grateful to Hartpury for funding this opportunity and would like to say a big thanks to the BIAZA research team and ZSL for hosting such an awesome event. 

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