Dr Mark Pilgrim
BSc (Hons) PhD
Chief Executive Officer
With a passion for animals from childhood, I graduated with a degree in Science from the North East London Polytechnic. I joined NEZS, Chester Zoo as a bird keeper in 1988 and later became the Deputy Curator of Birds, followed by the Chief Curator.
In 2007 I became Director of Conservation & Education and in 2010 was appointed Director General of the Society, only the fourth in its history. I am a council member of both the British & Irish and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (BIAZA/EAZA).
Since working as a bird keeper I have had a special interest in the Ecuador Amazon parrot. I completed my PhD in 2010, the results of which provided evidence for Birdlife International to assign full species status to this parrot. This has important implications for its conservation and led to Chester Zoo's field support.
An investigation into the taxonomic status of Amazona autumnalis lilacina using a multidisciplinary approach. PhD Thesis, Liverpool John Moores University, 2010.