Tuesday, July 26, 2016

MRes Applied Science - Behavioural Management of Bull Elephants in European Zoos.

MRes Applied Science (Wildlife Behaviour and Conservation)

Behavioural Management of Bull Elephants in European Zoos.

Supervised by Dr Matt Hartley 

This study focuses on the influence of management and social grouping on the behavioural repertoire and social development of bull elephants. We shall investigate how social experience during youth and adolescence influences future reproductive success and social behaviours.  We shall establish which aspects of behaviour are learnt and how management in captivity can influence learning opportunities. Methods will include behavioural studies of elephants in European zoos and analysis of historical records. This project has been commissioned by the UK Elephant Welfare Groups Reproduction and Social Management Working Group. We are working closely with the BIAZA Elephant Focus Group and the EAZA Taxon Advisory Group to develop a project which will provide evidence to support best elephant management practices.

We are working with partners at University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University as part of on-going elephant behavioural research.

The project will be undertaken at the University of Chester as a Masters of Research In Wildlife Behaviour and Conservation.

Fees for this course are £4126 we are negotiating with funders for project specific costs.

Applicants should contact Programme Leader Dr Matt Hartley on m.hartley@chester.ac.uk for further information and application materials.

This project may be suitable for zoo staff to undertake on a part-time basis.

Programme Information:

During Semester 1 (September to December) two taught modules will be delivered by our academic staff in Chester. These modules are designed to equip you with the key skills required for Masters level research.  All MRes students will study a Wildlife Research Methods module, which provides an overview of field techniques, biodiversity data analysis, population models and research project management. Your second module will then focus on either Conservation Genetics or Behaviour and Welfare in Wildlife Conservation, depending on which is the most relevant area for your chosen research project.

Compulsory Module
BI1743 Wildlife Research Methods
BI7140 Dissertation Project 

Optional Modules
BI7130 Conservation Genetics
BI7132 Behaviour and Welfare in Wildlife Conservation

From January until the following September, you will focus entirely on your research project, working on an individual basis with close support from your academic supervisor.

Peter Dickinson
Independent International Zoo Consultant

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