Adam Bland

Conservation Scholar and Lead Keeper

  • Qualifications Msc
  • Focus area
  • Location
    At the Zoo
  • Additional Information Current Programme: PhD, Manchester Metropolitan University


Adam is currently working as a Lead Keeper of Lower Vertebrates and Invertebrates at Chester Zoo, predominantly specialising in amphibians, he is also studying part time towards a PhD in collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University, supervised by Prof. Richard Preziosi. Adam’s project aims to investigate factors that influence reproductive success in Salamanders, so that this may influence conservation programs. His PhD is funded by Chester Zoo and Manchester Metropolitan University.

“In my role as a lead keeper of lower vertebrates and invertebrates at Chester Zoo I am very fortunate in that I have had the opportunities to contribute directly to amphibian conservation programs, both at the zoo and in the field.  For my MSc research project I evaluated marking techniques for the Critically Endangered Lake Pátzcuaro Salamander (Ambystoma dumerilii) in order to manage populations used for captive breeding, and also to facilitate a study on the wild population.

My interests include the biology, ecology and conservation of amphibians and reptiles, with an emphasis on amphibians. I have published various articles regarding the captive breeding and reproductive biology of amphibians and hope to pursue this research interest through this project.

Amphibians are among the most threatened groups of vertebrates on the planet, and zoos may play a crucial role in the direct conservation efforts of these species via captive breeding programs and zoo based conservation research. Although in order for these programs to be optimised, factors that influence the reproductive success and viability of captive born individuals of these species need to be understood. For many species of salamander this remains relatively unknown. Many species are in direct need of conservation attention, therefore it is this that my project aims to gain a broader understanding of, and will utilise specimens maintained in zoos to answer fundamental questions aimed at increasing the understanding of reproductive success of Salamanders and how this information may enhance conservation breeding programs. Information gained through captive observation regarding a species natural history and reproductive biology may also aid in informing in-situ species conservation planning.”

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