BIAZA Research Committee
The BIAZA Research Committee plays an increasingly important role in zoo and aquarium conservation, research and education by supporting and stimulating research activities in our member collections. The main aims of the committee are to communicate the importance and benefits of zoo and aquarium related research, to act as a stimulus and technical assistant for Taxon Working Groups (TWG) and educators on research issues and to raise the quality and profile of zoo-related research within and outside the zoo community.
The BIAZA Research Committee is comprised of those working in zoo and conservation related research. The committee organizes the Annual Zoo Research Symposium, which attracts an increasing number of academic and zoo professionals as well as students. Themed sessions and workshops are aimed at increasing the understanding of the influences on zoo animal welfare, and topics have included measuring stress, improving diet and nutrition and studying visitor effects. The proceedings of the symposium are published (ISSN 1479-7100).
The Research Committee has produced a series of Zoo Research Guidelines for researchers in zoos and aquariums (ISSN 1479-5647) which has now been compiled into a Handbook of Zoo Research, which covers setting up projects in zoos and aquariums. It also puts together a regular Research Newsletter which you can sign up to. The newsletter is a tool for communication regarding the type of research studies being carried out in zoos. There is also a BIAZA Research Facebook page which is a useful forum for any queries and for keeping on top of zoo research developments. You can find the group here.
The Research Committee encourages high quality research in a wide range of topics including animal welfare, animal behaviour, conservation biology, genetics, veterinary health, visitor studies and education techniques, promoting evidence-based zoo and aquarium management through focused applied research.
The BIAZA Research Committee has been instrumental in the development of the Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research, which provides a forum for rapid publication of novel, peer-reviewed research papers, reviews, technical reports and evidence-based case studies.
If you are interested in carrying out research in BIAZA zoos and aquariums, please see Chapter 1 of the Handbook of Zoo Research. Useful information on research policy and legal requirements for ex-situ research i zoos can be found in the the following document: Making Research Happen: A Guide for British and Irish Zoos and Aquariums.