Job details

Conservation Fellow

Job reference: 000389

Location: Chester

Closing date: 12/08/2022

Salary: £34,458.07

Employment type: Temporary - Full Time

Department: Science

Hours per week: 40

We currently have an exciting vacancy for a Conservation Fellow to join our team on a 23 month basis working with our Field Programme and Science Team working on a substantial, prioritised body of research commissioned by Chester Zoo to support the Conservation Masterplan and wider NEZS strategies and mission.

The Role – Conservation Fellow 

Human elephant conflict (HEC) is one of the most serious, and increasingly urgent threats to the survival of Asian elephants across the species’ range. 
This project asks: how and where will Asian elephants be able to survive and coexist across their entire range? Will coexistence be possible at all in the long run? If so, where, and what will it take? A key element to this is mapping the current, emerging, and future locations and patterns of HEC as it unfolds. Human-elephant conflict have been mapped and spatially analysed extensively at local scales offering important trials of, and insights into, methods for scaling up the mapping HEC across larger areas. Spatially modelling and mapping HEC for the entire species range has not done before, and is the central aim of this project.

The objectives of the study are:

  • To measure and map the current spatial state of HEC across all Asian range states in the current situation, including hotspots of HEC, the highest and lowest risk areas, and patterns 
  • To identify the various spatial, socio-economic, political, and other factors and patterns that will influence the future unfolding of across the species range HEC, and develop a model from these to develop predictions 
  • To model the future outlook for Asian elephants in the context of HEC pressures for the next 10 years under various scenarios

This post-doctoral fellowship is funded by Chester Zoo and part of the Chester Zoo Scholars and Fellows programme , in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University ( with a lead supervisory team comprising members of the Science Department and Field Programmes Department at Chester Zoo: Dr Mayukh Chatterjee (Regional Programmes Manager, Asia) and Dr Sue Walker (Head of Science), and the Principal Investigator (PI) at Oxford University, Dr Alexandra Zimmermann (Senior Research Fellow)   

The Package

  • 23 month fixed term contract
  • 40 hours per week, worked mainly between Monday and Friday
  • Salary of £34,458.07 per annum

Our Requirements – Conservation Fellow

  • A PhD in a related field
  • Knowledge of zoos and their conservation function
  • 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 all 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 
  • Evidence of peer-reviewed publications
  • Proven ability to work in and contribute to a team environment
  • High proficiency with advanced data analysis relevant to the field
  • Extensive experience with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and spatial modelling 
  • A multidisciplinary understanding of the dynamics of human-wildlife conflict is desirable

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. 

Closing date for applications is 12 August 2022

All applicants must include a statement as part of their covering letter that shows why you are interested in this project and what skills and experience you can bring. You do not need to include a research proposal.