Dr Paul Rose

Department: Faculty of Health & Life Sciences
Discipline: Psychology
Research Centre/Unit: Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour

Project Summary

My research predominantly focuses on zoo animal behaviour and welfare. I have used observational data collection methods to understand the responses of animals, across a range of species, to the human-controlled environment of the zoo. I am especially interested in understanding where evidence comes from for captive care. How useful (and relevant) is natural history information (e.g. wild behavioural ecology data) to how we provide for species-appropriate care in the zoo.

I have worked extensively with captive flamingos and have published numerous papers on their responses to the captive environment, including how they cope with zoo visitors, what they do overnight and how they form social networks. 

I have been involved in collaborations with other researchers and research groups around the UK and abroad to further understand the evidence basis for animal management decisions in the zoo.

I also work with wild animals, usually birds at WWT nature reserves and have a long-running project that investigates the social dynamices of migratory waterbirds. These birds are observed unobtrusively via a webcam, an example of which can be seen here. 

I run the Animal Welfare and Ethics Committee (AWEC) for WWT and I am the point of contact for research for WWT. Please drop me an email if you wish to discuss any research collaborations involving WWT animals (paul.rose@wwt.org.uk). 

An example of the collaborative and impactful work that I have completed that has involved zoo animal research can be found in this article, published in 2019 in Palgrave Communications. "What’s new from the zoo? An analysis of ten years of zoo-themed research output."

Wider Research Interests

Overall, my wider research interests encompass the field of evidence-based zoo animal management. Investigating how changes to provision (husbandry, management protocols) can affect the behaviour and "value" (from a conservation and education perspective) of those species that are kept, as well as using the evidence that research brings to better understand how to provide for captive wild animals within our care.