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Research spotlight: Second joint UCC Fota Research Conference

The School of BEES in UCC and Fota Wildlife Park have a longstanding tradition of research collaboration. On June 2nd, Fota hosted the first joint UCC Fota research conference. Fota staff and UCC researchers came together for the afternoon to share ideas and discuss current and future research.


** Dr Courtney Collins is the winner of the 2021 Cross Research Prize for the best postdoctoral research paper in the School of BEES**

** Dr Rebecca Newman and Mr Daniel Moloney of BEES receive Irish Research Council awards in collaboration with Fota Wildlife Park. Dr Rebecca Newman received an IRC postdoctoral award to study the effects and benefits of enrichment on different species in captivity in zoological institutions throughout Ireland. Daniel Moloney was awarded PhD funding to investigate animal behaviour, conservation and movement ecology at Fota Wildlife Park with a diverse range of species including the native natterjack toad.**

The BEES Zoo Research group engages in a diverse range of research. We have participated in and led worldwide collaborative research projects, conducted comparative research with wild conspecifics, engaged in research with other zoological institutions in Ireland and participated in local research at Fota Wildlife Park including native species research. 

Some of our current projects include:

  • A global investigation of the prevalence of negative visitor behaviour in the zoo setting
  • A comparative analysis of visitor experience with the 'ignored taxa' at several institutions in Ireland
  • An investigation of visitor willingness towards conservation action after three interactive felid experiences
  • On-going research with environmental enrichment for zoo-housed animals
  • A study of the relationship between education, zoo visitors and animal behaviour
  • The behaviour of lion-tailed macaques (Macaca silenus) in captivity
  • Felid behaviour in captivity, including some of the world's most iconic and endangered species like Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus), Asiatic lions (Panthera leo leo) and Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatraeLink to Asiatic lion territorial vocalisations at Fota Wildlife Park
  • Managed parks as a refuge for the threatened native red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris)


We have received funding for our research projects from the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering & Technology (IRCSET) and Irish Research Council (IRC) and The Irish Federation of Univeristy Teachers (IFUT) 

Zoo Research Group

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, T23N73K