Dr Andy Moss

Lead Conservation Scientist - Social Science

  • Qualifications BSc MSc PhD
  • Focus area
    People Policy
  • Location
    At the Zoo

My academic background started within the biological sciences, but my work at Chester Zoo has led me to embrace research within the social sciences. The reason for this is simple – our current biodiversity crisis has been caused by the actions of people and societies the world over. It is my firm conviction, therefore, that only by understanding people better can we then help save species and habitats.

Zoos sit right at the crossroads between people and animals, and with more than 700 million visits made to zoos around the world each year, they are perfectly placed to help empower people to live more sustainably. But how do we best do this? Well, this is where the science comes in. Can zoos be educational? Can they connect people with nature? Or even help people adopt new behaviours that are beneficial to natural world, rather than the opposite? The Global Biodiversity Framework places great emphasis on exactly these people-focussed interventions, and much of my current and future research will be looking at exploring the role zoos can play in helping achieve this global strategy. I won’t be able to do this alone of course, and my collaborations with Chester Zoo staff, zoo accreditation and membership organisations, university academics and conservation NGO’s will be essential.

Key publications

Consorte-McCrea, A., Fernandez, A., Bainbridge, A., Moss, A., Prévot, A.-C., Clayton, S., Glikman, J. A., Johansson, M., López-Bao, J. V., Bath, A., Frank, B., & Marchini, S. (2019). Large carnivores and zoos as catalysts for engaging the public in the protection of biodiversity. Nature Conservation, 37, 133–150. https://doi.org/10.3897/natureconservation.37.39501

Marshall, H., Collar, N. J., Lees, A. C., Moss, A., Yuda, P., & Marsden, S. J. (2020). Characterizing bird-keeping user-groups on Java reveals distinct behaviours, profiles and potential for change. People and Nature, 12.

Moss, A., Jensen, E., & Gusset, M. (2017a). Evaluating the impact of a global biodiversity education campaign on zoo and aquarium visitors. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 15(5), 243–247.

Moss, A., Jensen, E., & Gusset, M. (2017b). Probing the Link between Biodiversity-related Knowledge and Self-reported Pro-conservation Behaviour in a Global Survey of Zoo Visitors. Conservation Letters, 10(1), 33–40.

Moss, A., Jensen, E., & Gusset, M. (2014). Conservation: Zoo visits boost biodiversity literacy. Nature, 508(7495), 186.
Moss, A., Jensen, E., & Gusset, M. (2015). Evaluating the Contribution of Zoos and Aquariums to Aichi Biodiversity Target 1. Conservation Biology, 29(2), 537–544. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12383