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Do you want to pursue a Zoo Career?

The zoo industry is full of exciting careers to pursue, such as animal and veterinary care, education, conservation,  and research. If you are unsure what path is the right for you, have a look at the BIAZA Careers Guide and at AZA's list of types of zoo jobs

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Photo: Dallas Zoo

What to study?

Depending on the country, there are different education paths you can pursue if you are interested in working in a zoo. Biology, Zoology, Veterinary Science, Animal Behaviour & Welfare are all relevant subjects for a zoo job.

However, some countries offer very specific courses on the subject. You might be interested in studying one of these if you want to have a zoo specific education.

Aspiring zoo scientist?
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5 Tips to Help You Getting Into a Zoo Science Career

Job Vacancies

Zoo Research & Conservation

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Conservation Technician I and II

Phoenix Zoo (United States)

Conservation Technician I:

This position is based at the Phoenix Zoo's Johnson Conservation Center and works with ten native species from a broad range of taxa, including black-footed ferrets, narrow-headed gartersnakes, pygmy-owls, desert fish, springsnails, and more. The Conservation Technician I is responsible for maintaining the safety, health and well-being of all assigned conservation specimens through the performance of documented husbandry practices, especially husbandry of animals reared specifically for release to the wild. This position assists in training volunteers and interns, participates in field conservation and research activities, provides support for conservation partnerships as assigned, and participates in guest interaction in support of the ACNC’s mission and goals. 

Applicants must upload a resume/CV in addition to a cover letter explaining interest in the position and any prior experience with animal husbandry, field work, and/or laboratory research.

 

Conservation Technician II:

This position is based at the Phoenix Zoo's Johnson Conservation Center and works with ten native species from a broad range of taxa, including black-footed ferrets, narrow-headed gartersnakes, pygmy-owls, desert fish, springsnails, and more. The Conservation Technician II is responsible for maintaining the safety, health and well-being of all assigned conservation specimens through the performance of documented husbandry practices, especially husbandry of animals reared specifically for release to the wild. This position assists in training of new staff and volunteers, participates in field conservation activities, provides support of conservation partnerships as assigned and participates in guest interaction in support of ACNC’s conservation mission and institutional goals. 

Applicants must upload a resume/CV in addition to a cover letter explaining interest in the position and any prior experience with animal husbandry, field work, and/or laboratory research.

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Post Doctoral Research Assistant

Zoological Society of London - ZSL (United Kingdom)

Melbourne Zoo has an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic, ambitious and highly motivated leader to drive the strategic direction and operations of the Herpatology and Native Mammals Precinct. Reporting to the Senior Manager Animal Care and Conservation, the Life Sciences Manager is responsible for the leadership of keeping staff within the precinct, particularly shaping the culture, staff management and skill/career development, animal management and planning, maintaining relevant assets, and ensuring a high standard of health and welfare of animals in the precinct and maintaining excellent presentation of exhibits. Work with researchers, conservation and community groups to deliver on projects.

Candidates must have a genuine interest in conservation and ecology, possess prior leadership experience working with Amphibians, Reptiles and Mammals in a zoo environment, along with knowledge of Zoo Victoria's philosophy and vision and utilize evidence-based husbandry techniques to ensure the positive welfare state of animals. The candidate will be experienced in management of a fast-paced team and have the capacity to continually progress the Precincts conservation, operational and cultural outcomes.

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Deadline: June 9

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Conservation & Research Manager

Longleat (United Kingdom)

Reporting to the Head of Animal Operations, and with plans to grow your team, the Conservation and Research Manager will be primarily providing the direction, supervision, development and auditing of conservation and research projects within Longleat animal departments or their representatives.

All research and conservation work will be validated and meet legal requirements of a modern zoological collection with additional heritage and native species included. Overseeing all aspects of current and newly identified projects, including planning, monitoring, collating data, evidencing, and preparing material for publication whilst evolving and exceeding the company values and requirements for conservation & research.

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Deadline: June 23

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Associate Population Biologist

European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (the Netherlands)

The position of Associate Population Biologist is initially for a fixed one-year contract period with the option to extend. The successful candidate will work for the Conservation and Population Management department and reports to the Lead Population Biologist. The Associate Population Biologist’s main role is to support the Population Management Centre team with preparing data and workshop materials to support the facilitation of Regional Collection Planning workshops. In general, you are contributing to the extraction and management of data for analysis and administration and develop data related processes where needed. As part of the overall aim of the PMC to develop and publish Long Term Management Plans (LTMP) you will support the Population Biologists with the development and publication of complex long-term management plans and will coordinate some of the more straightforward plans. In addition, you will provide EEP coordinators withtechnical population management advice, as such contributing to achieving the roles and goals of those programmes.

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Deadline: June 9

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Research Coordinator

Lincoln Park Zoo (United States)

The Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes is located within the Regenstein Center for African Apes, a world-class facility that features dynamic habitats for chimpanzees and gorillas. The center’s mission is to conduct multidisciplinary research that advances the knowledge of ape behavior and biology, improve the care and management of apes in human care, and conserve and protect wild chimpanzee and gorilla populations. The successful appointee will perform a variety of administrative and scientific tasks to provide support to the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes at Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago.

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Manager, Center for Species Survival: Freshwater

Shedd Aquarium (United States)

Working closely with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC), its Freshwater Conservation Committee (FCC), relevant government and NGO stakeholders, and the wider conservation community, the Manager plays a key role in implementing the IUCN Assess-Plan-Act model to assess extinction risk, identify conservation needs, help plan effective and coordinated measures, and mobilize action. This Chicago-based position will support assessments to help inform species conservation prioritization for freshwater systems and taxa (e.g., IUCN Red List Assessments, Key Biodiversity Area identification, National Assessments). The Manager will help expand the understanding of conservation needs of freshwater systems globally, with an initial (3-year) primary emphasis on Central America. In this region, the Manager will also focus on convening and facilitating prioritized conservation planning and mobilizing the implementation of key actions and policy across local and regional scales.

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CZAAWE Research Assistant

Detroit Zoo (United States)

The Center for Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare and Ethics (CZAAWE) Research Assistant supports the Director of Animal Welfare in achieving research goals, making widely available current and past literature on animal welfare, and assisting with outreach and educational activities.   

The CZAAWE Research Assistant will support, both publicly and privately, the principles and mission of the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS). They will support, adhere to and enforce DZS policies and standards, and will always demonstrate a high level of integrity and professionalism.

This job description is by no means all-inclusive and may be subject to change during a performance period. It will be reviewed and modified as needed to ensure effective operations and successful execution of DZS mission.

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Senior Microbiologist

Monterey Bay Aquarium (United States)

Under limited supervision, oversee and develop the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s marine and aquatic applied microbiology and molecular biology programs. Design, schedule, perform, and communicate up-to-date regulatory-required bacterial testing for systems housing sea otters, turtles, birds, and for both internal and public dive programs. Monitor changes in USDA, AZA, FWS, and health regulations and develops new techniques and protocols accordingly. Design, execute, and publish relevant marine and fresh water microbiology and molecular biology research projects, including those related to marine microbiomes and animal health. Coordinate design and publication of relevant research projects in adjacent fields with other aquarium staff, such as animal care, education, and veterinary staff. Assist with daily laboratory tasks as needed, to include chemistry testing and instrument maintenance. Perform other duties as required.

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Head of Education and Research

Dartmoor Zoo (United Kingdom)

You will oversee two very critical areas for the Charity (Dartmoor Zoological Society): the Education Team who educate and enthuse our visitors and students; and our researchers within The Dartmoor Institute of Animal Science. As part of our senior leadership team, you will play a vital role in managing all aspects of these areas, ranging from daily operational aspects, including teaching, through to strategic development.

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Deadline: May 28

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Conservation Assistant

Roger Williams Park Zoo (United States)

RWPZ is currently recruiting a full-time, year-round, non-exempt Conservation Assistant to support the Director of Conservation in all aspects of creation, implementation, facilitation, assessment and assist with associated husbandry of RWPZ conservation programs and initiatives. This position also supports outreach and publication of RWPZ conservation programs and initiatives and collaborates closely with the Director of Conservation, the Director of Animal Programs, the Animal Care Manager, and the Veterinary Team. 

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Unit Head Conservation Research Development

Al Ain Zoo (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

This position offers an excellent opportunity to work with over 4000 specimens of animals including carnivores, primates, ungulates, birds, and reptiles that are maintained in extensive habitat displays in the largest Zoo in the Middle East. Al Ain Zoo is a 1000 hectare wildlife experience with a focus on arid land wildlife conservation, education, animal management, veterinary care and visitor experience. The Role: This position is required to assist in the implementation of nature conservation research for ZAPIA to support its mission of actively contributing to the conservation of wildlife through research and development of knowledge, nurturing species, and promoting awareness and positive behavior toward biodiversity, as well as overall coverage of all ZAPA’s conservation-related projects and activities

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Director of Conservation

Utah's Hogle Zoo (United States)

It is an exciting time to join our team and be a part of Utah’s Hogle Zoo’s future as we endeavor to “create champions for wildlife” by focusing on five strategic priorities: Be the conservation leader in Utah, Be a provider of excellent animal care and well-being, Be a zoo for all, Be financially sustainable for long-term growth, and Be a destination with purpose. 

 

The Zoo seeks candidates to fill the Director of Conservation role as part of the leadership team to develop the framework and launch the wildlife champions program, grow conservation efforts in alignment with the master plan, and be an influential leader for wildlife conservation in Utah.  Additionally, the Director will lead efforts to support local efforts to improve air quality and watershed supply through sustainable business practices.  

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Director, Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes

Lincoln Park Zoo (United States)

The Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes is located within the Regenstein Center for African Apes, a world-class facility that features dynamic habitats for chimpanzees and gorillas. The center’s mission is to conduct multidisciplinary research that advances the knowledge of ape behavior and biology, improve the care and management of apes in human care, and conserve and protect wild chimpanzee and gorilla populations. The successful appointee will report directly to the Vice President of Conservation and Science. They will administer and coordinate the center’s research projects and programs by planning, developing, and organizing independent research with non-human primates, with a specific focus on apes. Additionally, they will work directly with our zoo scientist who co-directs the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project located in the Republic of Congo, collaborate with other primate researchers, seek opportunities for both internal and external collaborations, and maintain current relationships with conservation partners and donors.

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Post-Doctoral Researcher

Cincinnati Zoo  - CREW (United States)

The successful candidate will conduct basic and applied research in support of CREW’s Rhino Signature Conservation Project and AIRS. CREW’s research emphasis has historically been on reproductive physiology, genome resource banking and assisted reproduction technologies (ART), but CREW’s scientific work often expands into other disciplines such as genetics, immunology, behavior, disease, nutrition, etc., depending on the greatest challenges facing the species.  
 
In recent years substantial research has been conducted on iron overload disorder, a health concern in black rhinos, Sumatran rhinos and many other wildlife species maintained in zoos.  There has also been a focus on measuring biomarkers of health and reproduction in a variety of biological samples (feces, serum, saliva, urine, horn). 
 
This position would be based at CREW, a state-of-the-art research facility located on the grounds of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, but candidates should be willing and able to travel and conduct some of their work at other Zoos across the globe and/or at international field sites if necessary. The chosen applicant will work closely with the CREW Director in developing research projects and conducting studies that address the iron overload pillar of AIRS and possibly one or more of the other three AIRS pillars: reproduction, physical fitness, and wellbeing.  

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Deadline: May 15

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Natural Science Research Curator/ Shark Research Scientist

North Carolina Aquarium (United States)

The research scientist will support the North Carolina Aquariums’ sand tiger shark research projects. Primary responsibilities will include: 1) serving in a leadership role in Aquarium’s sand tiger shark research program, 2) managing all logistics for telemetry project such as organizing boat trips for tagging, receiver deployment and maintenance, gear and equipment management, and data management, 3) providing support for the Spot A Shark USA citizen science project including spot mapping, data/file management, video analysis and diver engagement, 4) contributing to institutional education, outreach, and social media products, 5) writing peer-reviewed journal articles and 6) participating on the NC Aquariums Conservation Action Committee to support shark conservation.

The researcher must exhibit a strong background in marine science with specialized knowledge of highly migratory shark species, conservation management and marine spatial ecology. Ideal candidates will be knowledgeable about all aspects of shark biology. Applicants must be able to demonstrate a background in field work related to elasmobranch research. This should include significant experience handling and tagging large elasmobranchs, comprehensive knowledge of telemetry research methods, scientific instrumentation deployment and maintenance in the marine environment, and data management and analysis. Applicants are expected to have substantial experience with telemetry data management, file organization, statistical analysis, data visualization and interpretation.

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