Job details

Conservation Scientist: Behaviour & Welfare

Job reference: 000329

Location: Chester

Closing date: 20/05/2022

Salary: 16427.10

Employment type: Temporary - Part Time

Department: Science

Hours per week: 24

Conservation Scientist: Behaviour & Welfare

A work setting like no other - patrolling among rare giraffes and tigers, and within stunning gardens across a 128-acre estate!

The Role – Conservation Scientist: Behaviour & Welfare

This is a key role working as part of our professional team of scientists working across a wide range of projects and species to inform evidence-based management decisions and contribute to scientific knowledge.   

As a Conservation Scientist: Behaviour & Welfare you will:

  • Contribute to an effective and efficient applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare service and research programme, working with internal and external staff and clients to ensure timely advice based on collation and analysis of scientific data, contributing towards optimising welfare of animal collections and populations.
  • In consultation with the Lead Conservation Scientist, advise on behaviour and welfare management of the entire animal collection, and other in situ and ex situ managed populations and make effective recommendations and appropriate mitigations about prioritised cases of concern. 
  • Ensure the Behaviour and Welfare programme is cost-effective.
  • In consultation with the Lead Conservation Scientist, provide professional support through training and consultancy to the society’s Science Directorate, Conservation Education & Engagement Department and Animal Teams both within and outside the zoo, and promote best practice in animal behaviour and welfare.
  • Provide effective supervision of students within Chester Zoo’s Conservation Scholars
  • Participate in scientific conferences and professional associations, and producing publications to establish Chester Zoo as a centre of excellence for welfare and conservation breeding.
  • In consultation with the Lead Conservation Scientist, progress our understanding of captive animal behaviour and welfare, through targeted, collaborative research and problem-solving in line with the society’s values and needs. Effectively utilising expertise in behaviour and welfare to support other scientific disciplines within the organisation to enable a holistic approach to a variety of conservation projects.

What makes Chester Zoo a great place to work?
As the UK’s biggest and best zoo, we have ambitious goals, exciting plans, and there’s always lots going on here. We’re an inclusive and diverse organisation, made up of nearly 500 permanent and 500 seasonal team members, and we know how important it is to invest in our colleagues to help boost their career development.

The Package

  • Temporary – Part Time (14 months)
  •  24 hours per week worked over 5 days. Core hours between 08:30 – 17:00, Monday-Friday
  • 33 days annual leave pro-rota (based on 40 hours)
  • Salary of £16,427.10 (this includes our 2022 pay award which is effective from 1 January 2022)
  • Staff pass so you can visit the zoo during your time off plus a number of complimentary tickets for your family and friends
  • Access to healthcare plan
  • Employer contributory pension scheme

Our Requirements – Conservation Scientist: Behaviour & Welfare

  • A Masters in an applied behaviour and/or welfare (or equivalent experience)
  • A strong commitment to animal health and wellbeing and conservation
  • Evidence of effective academic student supervision
  • Demonstrated ability to innovate, lead, resource and deliver projects on time and to a high standard
  • Ability to establish credibility, command respect and influence at a variety of levels
  • Ability to present information clearly and concisely in verbal presentations and written communications, including scientific writing and media communications to stakeholders at all levels
  • Proven ability to work in and contribute to a team environment
  • Experience with data analysis relevant to the field

Although not essential, the following would be desirable

  • Evidence of peer-reviewed publications
  • Knowledge and experience of zoo-based research, zoo operations

More About Us


We’re not just an amazing, award-winning visitor attraction that’s home to 20,000 incredible animals. We’re not just the UK’s most popular zoo. We’re a major wildlife charity that’s committed to the recovery of endangered species, globally. And, as the world faces an extinction crisis, we’re making a hugely significant contribution to conservation at a time when it’s needed most. We are Chester Zoo and we prevent extinction.


The closing date for this job has now passed.