The Animal Welfare Research Team: Virtually Busier than Ever

Although 2020 has been difficult for Brookfield Zoo’s residents, visitors, and employees, our Animal Welfare Research team has worked as hard as ever to enhance the daily lives of individual animals. Unlike our zookeepers, curators, and veterinary staff, our team has worked remotely on projects that benefit the zoo community (and beyond).

In the early days of the pandemic, most of us focused on publishing the results of completed studies, as well as papers that will drive advancements in our field. We submitted over 15 articles to peer-reviewed journals during this time, including manuscripts about environmental enrichment, behavioral diversity, cetacean welfare, and how to integrate new biomarkers (e.g. DHEA) into welfare assessments.

Some of our team members have had the opportunity to represent Brookfield Zoo virtually at national and international symposia. For the first time since WWII, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums did not hold an in-person annual conference and instead hosted online meetings. As the Chair of AZA’s Animal Welfare Committee, Dr. Lance Miller (our Vice President of Conservation Science and Animal Welfare Research) met with other leaders from the zoo and aquarium community to discuss novel tools, practices, and approaches for promoting good welfare.

Finally, despite all of the challenges this year, it is still important to celebrate and try to focus on the positive. Our very own Dr. Lisa Lauderdale was named one of Crain’s 2020 Notable Women in STEM for coordinating the largest international, multi-institutional cetacean welfare study.

Please stay tuned to see what else 2020 has in store for the Animal Welfare Research team!

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Posted: 9/30/2020 1:43:50 PM by Sean Keeley

CZS & Brookfield Zoo

Since the opening of Brookfield Zoo in 1934, the Chicago Zoological Society has had an international reputation for taking a cutting-edge role in animal care and conservation of the natural world. Learn more about the animals, people, and research that make up CZS here at our blog.


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