“Every single individual impacts the planet in some way, big or small everyday. Every individual has a role to play”. - Jane Goodall
Let us welcome Dr Jane Goodall DBE, who has worked for nearly 60 years protecting chimpanzees. Her work has led to conservation incorporating the needs of the local people as well as the environment.
In this episode, Jane shares with us the importance of interconnection through finding common ground to improve the effectiveness of conservation strategies.
“If we find the right organisations to collaborate with… and to share values about the sanctity of life, whether it's animal-human, human-animal, we’re all one! And yet, we’re different, so we are responsible for the harm we are causing around the globe”.
Jane explains the role of the Jane Goodall Institute and its sanctuaries in helping both the chimps, the environment, and the locals and how it can be used to promote ecotourism.
Jane then explains the...
In this episode, we connect with Irma Verhoeven who is a professional educator and a program and partnership development manager with Earth Charter International. Irma will share her insights and experiences on why education plays such an important role in human behaviour changes and empowerment.
Irma shares her experiences of working with Indigenous Peoples, and how this has influenced her work as an educator, including learning from, through and with others.
As a Programme & Partnership Development Manager with Earth Charter International, Irma shares how the Earth Charter can be useful for educational organisations as well as zoos and aquariums.
In concluding the podcast Irma shares her work with World of Walas, as cofounder and education advisor, specifically focussing on educational efforts in relation to more participative and sustainable cities, and how education supports a more just, sustainable, peaceful, and ethical society.
“Changes in how we react with animals… it’s not all about food. The animals are going to get their food anyway, there is so much more to the relationship” - Sabrina 2022
“It’s important that we’re doing research to help animals that are in the wild. I believe a big reason that we have these animals is not for money or entertainment, but it's for education, conservation and research…” - William Winhall
Today we welcome William (Bill) Winhall, the Manager/Principal Consultant at Marine Mammal Care Consulting LLC and who has a very long career in marine mammal care and welfare.
Bill tells us that although he has always had an interest in nature, his first ambitions lay with becoming a professional baseball player. However, due to injuries, he decided to study for a degree in Biological Sciences (Marine). Bill then told us of his career ladder, starting as a Tour Boat Operator at Marine World/Africa USA.
Bill then shares with...
“In this endless discussion [about animal experimentation] we completely forget that animals are used now and they need our attention now.” - Augusto Vitale & Sabrina Brando
Dr Augusto Vitale joins us to share his experience in the study of non-human primate behaviour and welfare. Since 1991 Augusto has worked as a researcher at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Rome (Italy) dedicating his scientific activity to investigate behaviour, cognition and welfare of non-human primates, with a focus on common marmosets used in neuroscience and biomedical research.
He guides us in discovering the work of ethologists and evolutionary biologists who contributed to unveiling key aspects of animal behaviour and cognitive skills. He passionately illustrates his research on cooperation and describes how studying common marmosets’ behaviour can shed light on the evolution of altruism in humans.
Augusto also shares with us his work in the EU Expert Working Group...
“It’s really important to understand what our zoo visitors are seeing, feeling and understanding, because we want them to be a full partner in how we manage and take care of animals” – Jill Mellen
"Our interpretations of what we may think of our own animals at home versus wild animals in our care... We have lots of similar problems... We could bring visitors along in learning to assess the wellbeing of animals and how this can be used with their own animals" - Sabrina Brando
Jill Mellen joins us once again to discuss with Sabrina Brando how the public perceives the welfare of animals housed in a zoo. They explain how understanding this perception is important in the planning of management strategies.
Jill shares with us how zookeepers are the critical mediator in making a positive experience, by taking the time to interact with visitors to divulge knowledge. They remind us how some domestic species share behaviours with many species in the zoo and reminding...
“Not everybody is convinced that a zoo can offer these conditions ... in most zoos, there is a great awareness that this is one of their biggest challenges - to give animals a natural environment in which to develop their natural behaviours" - Jan van Hooff
Jan van Hooff joins us once again to share more stories about the chimpanzees, led by Mama, living at the Royal Burgers Zoo. He shares with us more tales of coalition behaviour in primates from his time with Mama and the Arnhem chimps, during a time when there was a great interest regarding the functions of aggression in the life of social animals.
Jan explores the topic of how social groups are formed and maintained, and the importance of giving and taking in forming a community that benefits all members involved. He discusses how coalitions form, supported by the work of his PhD student Frans de Waal. Jan goes on to retell the development of relationships between the Arnhem Zoo chimpanzees, as observed by Frans, and how...
“My focus was to study the social aspect of companion animals and how they change our social relationships with people.” – Lynette Hart
Today we will hear Dr Lynette Hart as she delves into the world of Human-animal interactions, grief counselling and animal behaviour research, which she was happy to be a part of at a time when women with PhDs did not find suitors!
As she tells how Leo Bustad pioneered in talking about the human-animal bond and vulnerable people, she asserts that ‘interaction’ best describes the positive and negative aspects.
She shares her part alongside others in popularising grief counselling for the loss of animals as a valid aspect of the human-animal bond. She tells how addressing grief is important for pet parents, veterinarians, animal laboratory workers and zookeepers.
Listen as Lynette talks about a unique volunteer-based animal behaviour research on flehmen behaviour in ungulates, her work on elephant infrasound...
“If [animals that had been treated poorly] were treated well, they can recover to a mood level just as well as animals that had been treated well all their lives” - Alan McElligott
We welcome Dr Alan McElligott, Associate Professor in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at the City University of Hong Kong, to share the story of his career’s journey - ranging from his childhood on his family’s dairy farm to studying communication in kangaroos.
Dr Alan shares with us his rationale for studying zoology at University College Cork – a fascination with all animals, large and small. He had hoped to pursue a career in marine biology but found himself once again captivated by the ungulates he grew up with, eventually studying the behaviour of goats. Alan also shares his work on “Unsolvable Problem” with kangaroos, based on work with dogs. This study challenged the idea that “looking back” behaviour was rooted in domestication,...
"Curiosity is key. Ask questions and break them down into smaller components and apply it to a study to create a fundamental understanding... it helps us progress from what we know to more knowledge" - Samantha Ward
Let’s welcome Dr Samantha Ward, a senior lecturer in animal science at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) who also manages the undergraduate bachelor’s degree in zoo animal biology. Furthermore, Sam works within the EAZA Records Working Group, a research advisor for Wild Welfare and is a welfare expert on the Zoo’s Executive Committee as part of Defra.
Sam shares with us how her love of animals came from her childhood through caring for her pets. She specifically reminisces of a goat named ‘Fudge’ which she entered a local race, which got mentioned in the local paper. Through work experience, Sam discovered the veterinary career was not for her. This led her to complete a BSc in Applied Zoology, an MSc in Animal Behaviour and a PhD in...
"The toughest part of animal training is that you find your own way, and not following rules. Because, following rules means there is no forward development" - Sven Wieskotten
Let’s welcome Sven Wieskotten for today’s podcast. He is the founding director of Animal and Training.
Sven first reminisces about his childhood bird and how far we have come in terms of animal husbandry. Then his first animal bond during his PhD with a Harbour seal named Henry. Sven noted his first career choice was being a pilot, however, due to unforeseen circumstances, he could not do this. So, he studied his second choice; biology, in 1997 at the Ruhr "University Bochum". During this, he met the founding director of the ‘Marine Science Center’ in Rostock, who introduced the research his team do on Harbour seals to his class. This started his passion, Sven enquired whether he could join their team. After seven weeks of enquiry, the centre got new seals and invited Sven to join.