Benjamin Mee, Director of Dartmoor Zoo
Ben Mee received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Plymouth in 2013, and now conducts inspirational talks and is an ambassador for the charity
Brain Tumour Research, an area of expertise in which the University of Plymouth has a world-class reputation.
Adam Cook, the Dartmoor Institute of Animal Science
"An opportunity at Dartmoor Zoo came up teaching science communication and I was lucky enough to get that. In the four years since then, I became interested in scientific research and in-situ conservation so I slowly began coordinating research at the zoo."
Coral Jonas – MSc Zoo Conservation Biology graduate
"What made me apply for the course at Plymouth was the practical aspect of it. The modules were adaptable to my work situation and enhanced my understanding of the job that I was already doing."
After a talk that Adam Cook gave to the psychology students about placements at Dartmoor Zoo, I knew that I had to be one of their placement students because I was really interested in the freedom the zoo gave the students to research topics that we are interested in. My role was to conduct research with other students, one of our goals being to help contribute to the zoo's knowledge of the animals and help increase their welfare by learning about and understanding their behaviour. One of the projects that I worked on was investigating whether animals could possess a sense of humour.
I would say the most challenging aspect of my placement at Dartmoor Zoo was staying organised as there is a lot to do and you’re more in charge of yourself than you are used to. However my favourite memory was watching the meerkats play with their sand enrichment and coming out looking like they had rolled in fake tan.