Director of Conservation and Science - Bristol Zoo Gardens

Posted: 5 March 2020   |   Full-Time   |   Bristol, United Kingdom 
Hours: 37.5 per week |  Salary £75,000 per annum

Job Details

The opportunity

Bristol Zoo Gardens is the fifth oldest zoo in the world and in 2013 we opened Wild Place Project, our second zoo, located on a rural site in South Gloucestershire. Whilst we are well-known for our zoos we are also a leading zoo in conservation and scientific research. A new Strategy for the Society was developed in 2019 and Saving Wildlife is one of the five central objectives for the Society. This will be achieved through an increase in the proportion of species in our collection with targeted conservation action (such as breeding programmes, scientific research and links to field projects) to 50% or more by 2025. As importantly, another objective is Joining the Conversation and we intend that we will lead on at least five big local, national or international conservation issues, so more people know who we are and what we stand for. The Director of Conservation & Science will be central to achieving these objectives. In order to realise this ambition, we are seeking a well-rounded individual; someone with wisdom and leadership; someone who inherently understands the importance of our conservation activities and how to realise their potential in the context of a charity operating two zoos. We hope that you will bring a blend of skills, experiences and character traits that will allow you to thrive and flourish in our organisation. Your character is as important as your professional skills. Significant relevant conservation, science and/or collection management experience is essential, however wider management experience is also important, as you will be leading a team in several professional areas. You will be comfortable and conversant in all aspects of conservation policy, funding, research and fieldwork, able to advocate for the Society on an international stage. You will be able to demonstrate previous success in zoological, conservation, and scientific higher education matters, nationally and internationally, and experience of animal collection or population management is desirable. We want staff to be inspired and encouraged as they work with you, and for you to be proud of what can be accomplished by your team. This is a busy and varied role, with multiple projects and initiatives underway and more to come! You will need to be an excellent multi-tasker, with a real commitment to building and supporting your team. The ability to get things done through others is also a must, so that your time can be focused on the strategic priorities for the Society. Importantly, this is also a role where you will need to be prepared to spend considerable time advocating for the Society’s conservation and science activities and objectives to local, national and international organisations.

How to apply

To register your interest and request a candidate pack please contact Bristol Zoo Garden’s HR team on +44117 428 5308 or email 

For more information, please visit the Bristol Zoo website:

All applications must be received by noon on Monday 20th April 2020.

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world.