MSc Applied Zoo Biology Course Tutor

BSc (hons) Applied Animal Behaviour Course tutor


Areas of Teaching Expertise
Behaviour, Nutrition, Zoo Education

Twitter: @KerryHuntZoo

About Me

I have been teaching here at University Centre Sparsholt now since 2011 and have been lucky enough to teach across a range of courses including Applied Animal Science, Zoo Biology, Equine Science, Veterinary Nursing and Applied Animal Behaviour.

Before starting at Sparsholt I worked in industry, starting off as an Animal Keeper in a BIAZA collection before moving into a Zoo Education role at Colchester Zoo, this required regular visitor and school group presentations as well as helping design signage for a range of exhibits. I have a MSc in Animal Behaviour from Exeter University where my thesis focused on the Impact of Environmental Enrichment on a herd of Rothschild Giraffes. Prior to this I completed my BSc (Hons) degree in Zoology at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. My thesis project here focused on the Pre-roosting Aggregation Behaviour of the European Starling.

Like my colleagues I work hard to maintain my links with industry to continue to develop my own knowledge and to maintain contacts. I am currently Research Advisor for the European Association of Zoo’s and Aquaria (EAZA) Taxon Advisory Group for Canid and Hyaenids as well as a member of the EAZA Nutrition group. For more domesticated species I am part of the Finance committee for the Fellowship of Animal Behaviour Clinicians and part of the Feline Working Group for the ABTC. I have also recently written a chapter on carnivore behaviour in a textbook on the Behavioural Biology of Zoo Animals.

As course tutor for the MSc Applied Zoo Biology & BSc (Hons) Applied Animal Behaviour course I have been involved in supervision of multiple studies each year. Primarily I supervise the projects that have a nutrition or a behavioural focus. University Centre Sparsholt is focused on developing projects that have industry application and so wherever possible we seek to present student projects at conferences to ensure this research is beneficial to industry as well as developing further graduate skills in our students.

Recent student projects that have been published or taken to conferences include:

Katrina Williams, Marianne Freeman, Kerry Hunt (2022) Say it or see it: The effect of either verbal or gestural signalling on visual orientation of the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) towards its handler. Highly commended in BSAS thesis of the year competition Say It or See It: The effect of either verbal or gestural signalling on visual orientation of the domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) towards its handler | BSAS

Charlotte James, Andrew Nicholls., Marianne Freeman, Kerry Hunt, & James Brereton, . (2021). Should zoo foods be chopped: macaws for consideration. Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research, 9(4), 200–207.

Clodagh Walsh, Marianne Freeman, Kerry Hunt (2021) Multi-Zoo study of dietary contents and  nutrition in sloths. Presented at BIAZA Research Conference

Zoe Phillips, Marianne Freeman, Kerry Hunt (2021) Research trends and influences: A GAP analysis of canid and hyena research. Presented at BIAZA Research Conference and EAZA Annual Conference

Elliot Cornish, Abigail Newman, Kerry Hunt (2021) Maternal factors and litter size:
An investigation into the variables affecting juvenile survivorship in captive spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta). Presented at EAZA Annual Conference 

Hammerton R., Hunt K., Riley L. (2019) Food for thought: Keeper opinions on welfare and nutritional perspectives of fruit- free feeding in primates. An Investigation into keeper opinions of great ape diets and abnormal behaviour | Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research (

Wiltshire S., Norris-Hill M., Hunt K., (2018) Factors Influencing the Survivorship of Bat-eared Foxes in European Zoo’s- Presented as a Poster as the 20th Anniversary BIAZA Research Conference

Hooper E., Newman A., Hunt K (2018) Enriching the lives of wolves- Presented as a Poster as the 20th Anniversary BIAZA Research Conference

Hammerton B., Hunt K., Riley R., (2018) Keeper opinions on captive great ape diets: nutritional and welfare perspectives- Presented as a Poster as the 20th Anniversary BIAZA Research Conference

McIlroy E., Rose P., Hunt K., (2018) A study of the current diets and behaviour of captive blue and gold macaws in UK Zoological Collections- Presented as a poster at the Marwell Nutrition conference

Rose P., Hunt K., Riley L., (2018) Animal in an online world: an evaluation of how zoological collections use social media. Published in Journal of Zoo and Aquarium research

Hulbert A., Hunt K., Rose P., (2017) A multi- zoo investigation of nutrient provision for captive red-crested turacos. Published in Zoo Biology

Smyth V., Riley L., Hunt K., (2016) Captive and wild Dietary Comparisons in black and white ruffed lemurs. Presented as a poster at the Marwell Nutrition Seminar.