Reproductive Biology Coordinator
After graduating with a BSc in Zoology from the University of Manchester, I joined Chester Zoo in 2015 as the EGZAC assistant. I worked with international partners to curate a large, international database aimed to centralise global experiences of contraceptive use in exotic animals. During this time, the zoo supported me with my PhD research where I investigated how the ex situ environment affects the social behaviour of primates and aimed to design a holistic toolkit to rapidly assess how animals respond to management changes.
In June 2018, I began my new position as the Reproductive Biology Coordinator where I look at practical ways to manage reproduction in zoos. This includes identifying why animals that should be breeding might not be breeding as well as researching methods used to manage population growth, such as contraception. I work closely with EAZA institutions and breeding programmes to identify gaps in current reproductive knowledge and to focus research into key areas of need.
Cowl, V.B., Walker, S.L., Shultz, S. 2018. Assessing the efficacy of deslorelin acetate implants (Suprelorin) in alternative placement sites. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 49(1), 1-8. doi:10.1638/2017-0153R.1.
Cowl, V.B. & Shultz, S. 2017. Large brains and groups associated with high rates of agonism in primates. Behavioral Ecology, 28(3), 803-810. doi:10.1093/beheco/arx041.
Walker, S., Forsyth, S., Feltrer, Y., Cowl, V., Schad, K. 2016. Managing the numbers. ZooQuaria, 94, 16-17.