College: College of Life and Environmental Sciences
Department: College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Research Centre/Unit: Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour
I am a zoo biologist with a particular interest in ungulates and non-passerine birds. My background is predominantly in behaviour and welfare of captive animals, and how the zoo environment can affect the types of behaviour displayed by those animals that are kept in captivity. My focus on zoo research came about during my undergraduate degree at Imperial College London (BSc Animal Science) where I researched the effect of dietary change on the performance of normal and abnormal behaviours in captive giraffe. I continued to investigate the links between management, provision and health / welfare during my MSc at the Royal Veterinary College (MSc Wild Animal Biology) where I conducted a national study of giraffe dietary husbandry and cause of death. Aside of my teaching at Exeter, I am currently an Associate Lecturer for the University of Portsmouth and since 2007 I have conducted a longitudinal study at Marwell Wildlife, in Hampshire, investigating the social structure of the giraffe herd at this zoo and the importance of social bonds to the individual animals.
This research has lead into my PhD project here at CRAB where I am examining the broader topic of the relevance and importance of social networks in captive species, and any associated implications for zoo animal husbandry and welfare. Currently, in conjunction with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) at Slimbridge I am researching the social organisation of captive flamingos, as well as the roles that invididuals birds play within a flock. I am also interested in communication and vocalisation in flamingos, and I plan to investigate the importance of contact calls and group vocalisation to performance of reproductive displays.
I am also researching enclosure usage and breeding behaviour of captive flamingos to help further evidence base the husbandry techniques used for this most popular of zoo-housed birds. Several collections across the UK and Europe are helping me with data collection.
I also intend to analyse the movements of captive giraffe required by breeding decisions made by the studbook to see if reproductive success is influenced by movement and social upheavel during an individual's lifetime.
I am a member of the IUCN Giraffe & Okapi Working Group, the IUCN/SSC Flamingo Specialised Group, the BIAZA Research Committee and I am the Research Liaison Officer for the BIAZA Bird Working Group. I also sit on the Formal Learning Advisory Group for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, and I am a member of the International Association of Giraffe Care Professionals. I am a professional member of the Association of British and Irish Wild Animal Keepers. I hope that my research will ultimately be useful to those managing captive populations with regard to i) exhibit design and enclosure layout, ii) decisions made on group changes and iii) planning and implementation of captive breeding initiatives.
I would be interested to hear from anyone working in the zoo industries who is working with giraffe and flamingos, as well as from those researchers who are also investigating similar species / areas of zoo animal behaviour and husbandry. Please do drop me a line if you're interested in helping with my data collection.
To find about more about my project please follow: www.justgiving.com/paul-rose4 or http://www.wwt.org.uk/visit/slimbridge/diaries/flamingo-diary/