Dr Holly Farmer


Dr Holly Farmer

Honorary Lecturer in MSc Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Biology

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

Wild Planet Trust, Research Manager

Lecturer on MSc Zoo Conservation Biology with the University of Plymouth

Coordinator of Wild Planet Trust animal welfare assessment programme

Studbook Coordinator for Macaca nigra EAZA Ex situ programme (EEP)

Sparsholt College and BIAZA, Course Assessor Diploma in the Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals; Industry Expert for Level 3 Zoo Apprenticeship.


2005-2011: PhD, University of Exeter 
2011: Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (LTHE) Certificate, Higher Education Academy
1999-2002: BSc Zoology, Aberystwyth University
2002-2003: MSc Animal Behaviour, University of Exeter

Professional membership

Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour

Primate Society of Great Britain

Animal Welfare Research Network

Roles on external bodies

Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research, Section Editor

EAZA Animal Welfare Working Group, Chair

EAZA Group on Zoo Animal Contraception, Member

BIAZA Animal Welfare Working Group, Member

BIAZA Animal Behaviour and Training Working Group, Enrichment Advisor

BIAZA Great Ape Welfare Group, Member

BIAZA Sound Focus Group, Member


Teaching interests

I teach on the Zoo Conservation Biology MSc, in particular the Zoo Animal Behaviour and Welfare Research (ANIM5010), Small Population Conservation (ANIM5007) and Contemporary Zoo Management (ANIM5006) modules. I also supervise MSc project students (BIOL505).


Research interests

Animal welfare.
Management methods for captive breeding programmes.



Binding, S., Farmer, H., Krusin, L., & Cronin, K. 2020. Status of animal welfare research in zoos and aquariums: Where are we, where to next?. Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research 8(3): 166-174.

Farmer, H.L., Murphy, G., & Newbolt, J. 2019. Change in stingray behaviour and social networks in response to the scheduling of husbandry events. Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research 7(4): 203-209.

Jones, H., McGregor, P.K., Farmer, H.L.A. and Baker, K.R. 2016. The influence of visitor interaction on the behavior of captive crowned lemurs (Eulemur coronatus) and implications for welfare. Zoo Biology 35: 222-227.

Farmer, H.L., Plowman, A. B. and Leaver, L. A. 2011. Role of vocalisations and social housing in breeding in captive howler monkeys (Alouatta caraya). Applied Animal Behaviour Science 134: 177-183.

Farmer, H. and Pullen, P. K. 2005. Preliminary investigations into howling vocalisations and associated behavioural patterns in captive black and gold howler monkeys (Alouatta caraya). Folia Primatologica 75 (supplement): 373.