Master module in zoo biology

INS_D1_Behavioral biology in zoos


The module consists of a seminar, an internship and excursion. Fundamental aspects and current issues of  Zoology are taught in the seminar at the beginning based on original work, which will be presented by the students and then discussed as a group. The excursion to various zoos and a research internship in the 'Opel Zoo' serve to solidify theoretical principles. The focus will be on ecological, physiological and ethological  research. Other topics include: historical development of zoos, zoos & conservation, population biology & breeding programs at the zoo, animal husbandry (nutrition, behaviour, enrichment, mixed species exhibits), veterinary fundamentals, organization and structural development, enclosure design and planning, education at the Zoo. The methodological approach to the practical components depends on the selected research focus, with classical to modern methods of behaviour research available. They may include laboratory activities (microscopic and physiological studies) and imaging techniques (such as thermographic measurements with infrared cameras or video analysis with high-speed cameras).
The students present their results at the end of the module in the form of an oral presentation. In a further lecture they learn to critically appraise original work at the 'Opel Zoo'. These presentations will be held in English and students are given detailed feedback in terms of content and structure. By drafting a protocol in the form of a paper they become acquainted with the writing of a scientific publication. Following a detailed briefing on the methodology, planning, implementation, logging and analysis of the original data will be completed by the students independently.


The students acquire basic principles in the field of  zoo biology (behaviour research in the zoo, enrichment, husbandry, conservation aspects), as well as the application of modern imaging techniques. You will learn methodology for the implementation of behavioural studies and how to address scientific problems while bearing in mind current concepts in the relevant literature.

Here are the module descriptions in german and english.

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Further informations:


Susan Hambrecht T +49 69 798-42170

Biologicum, Campus Riedberg
Gebäudeteil D, Raum -1.405
Max-von-Laue-Str. 13
60438 Frankfurt am Main

nach vorheriger Vereinbarung