MSc Applied Zoo Biology Course Tutor
BSc (hons) Applied Animal Behaviour Course tutor
Areas of Teaching Expertise
Behaviour, Nutrition, Zoo Education
I have been teaching here at University Centre Sparsholt now for over 6 years and have been lucky enough to teach across a range of courses including Animal Management, Zoo Biology, Equine Science, Veterinary Nursing and Applied Animal Behaviour.
Before starting at Sparsholt I have 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. Working with the rest of the group on developing the research for these species and suggesting potential future research projects. I have also set up a long running research project with ZSL London Zoo which initially focused on their aardvarks but has now been extended to review the diets and behaviour of multiple insectivorous mammal species in captivity.
As course tutor for the BSc (Hons) 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:
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 https://www.jzar.org/jzar/article/view/324
Hulbert A., Hunt K., Rose P., (2017) A multi- zoo investigation of nutrient provision for captive red-crested turacos. Published in Zoo Biology https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/zoo.21354
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.