Dr Amy Plowman

Dr Amy Plowman

Visiting Specialist

School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



I am currently the Director of Conservation, Research and Advocacy at the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust (Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, Newquay Zoo and Living Coasts). The Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust works closely with the University in many ways most importantly through the joint delivery of the MSc Zoo Conservation Biology.

I am part of the Senior Management Team at the Trust, responsible for strategic development and operation of  the whole organisation. In particular I have overall responsibility for all WWCT in situ conservation projects, zoo and reserve based research and advocacy programmes.


BSc Biology, University of York (1989)

DPhil Ecological genetics of supernumerary chromosomesin plants, University of York (1992)

Professional membership

British Ecological Society

Genetics Society

Roles on external bodies

Chair, BIAZA Research Committee 

Member, BIAZA Council, EAZA Research Committee, EAZA Nutrition Group, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group. 

Editorial board of the Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research



Teaching interests

I teach on the MSc Zoo Conservation Biology, in particular leading modules ANIM513 Introduction to Zoo Organisation and ANIM514 SME Management. I also contribute to other modules including teaching on applied zoo nutrition, conservation breeding management and zoo research skills.



Research interests

I maintain a keen interestin all the active research themes within the Field Conservation and Research Department at the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust and have supervisedseveral PhD students studying a range of ecological and animal husbandrytopics. My own research area is animal nutrition where I work with thehusbandry departments to improve diets, food preparation and food presentation methods and evaluate the impact of these on animal health and behaviour.  

Current and recent projects include:

Husbandry and nutrition ofDarwin’s rhea particularly with respect to chick rearing

Development of improvedprimate diets for health and welfare

Pangolin and otherinsectivore feeding in captivity

Behaviour and welfare ofratites in mixed species enclosures

Duiker ecology, husbandry and conservation



1.      Cabana, F. and Plowman, A.B. 2014. Pygmy slowloris (Nycticebus pygmaeus) naturaldiet replication in captivity. EndangeredSpecies Research 23: 197-204

2.      Plowman, A. 2013 Diet review and change formonkeys at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park. Journal of Zoo and AquariumResearch 1: 73-77

3.       Clauss,M., Lunt, N., Ortmann, S., Plowman, A., Codron, D. and Hummel, J. 2011. Fluidand particle passage in three duiker species. European Journal of WildlifeResearch 57:143–148

4.       de Vere, N., Jongejans, E., Plowman, A.B. and Williams,E. 2008. Population size and habitat quality affect genetic diversity andfitness of the clonal herb Cirsiumdissectum. Oecologia 159: 59-68.

5.       Fraser, O.and Plowman, A.B. 2007. Function of notification in Papio hamadryas? International Journal of Primatology 28: 1439-1448.

6.      Plowman, A.B., Jordan, N.R., Anderson, N.,Condon, E. and Fraser, O. 2005. Welfare implications

of  captive primatepopulation management: behavioural and psycho-social effects of female-basedcontraception, oestrous and male removal in hamadryas baboons (Papiohamadryas). Applied Animal BehaviourScience 90: 155-165.

7.      Plowman, A.B. 2003. A note on a modificationof the spread of participation index allowing for unequal zones. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 83: 331-336.

8.      Plowman, A. B. 2002 Nutrient intake and apparent digestibility of diets consumed by captiveduikers at the Dambari Field Station, Zimbabwe. Zoo Biology 21: 135-147

9.      Baxter, E. and Plowman, A. B. 2001. The effectof increasing dietary fibre on feeding, rumination and oral stereotypies incaptive giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis).Animal Welfare 10: 281-290