School Seminar Series - Talk to the Animals: Investigating Behaviour and Cognition in the Zoo
Dr. Fay Clark, Bristol Zoo
2D3, Priory Road Complex, BS8 1TU
“If we could talk to the animals, just imagine it Chatting to a chimp in chimpanzee Imagine talking to a tiger, chatting to a cheetah What a neat achievement that would be”. - Dr Dolittle, 1967.
In my role as an animal behaviour and cognition scientist, I develop ways to ‘talk’ to animals, in an attempt to ask them what they want and how they feel. In this talk, I will begin by giving a historical background to how we, as a society, have drastically changed in the ways in which we view animals. From Victorian zoo menageries to the role of the modern zoo as a conservation, education and research charity, I will discuss how my work is framed by cultural shifts as well as scientific advances.
I will then discuss the links between animal behaviour, cognition, and welfare; explaining how we can use the former to infer the latter. Working in a zoo setting is challenging yet rewarding – there are so many exotic species to investigate. I will detail three of my current research projects, working on gorillas and lemurs at Bristol Zoo Gardens, and dolphins in the USA.
All are welcome to attend this event. Tea, coffee and cakes will be available after the seminar.