Dr Lisa Holmes

Lead Conservation Scientist - Behaviour & Welfare

  • Qualifications BSc PhD
  • Specialisms
    Conservation Breeding & Management Wildlife Health & Wellbeing
  • Additional Information Vice-Chair EAZA Animal Welfare Working Group

I started my career working in finance before embarking on a career change in 2004 to retrain in the sciences. I completed my undergraduate degree in Animal Behaviour at Liverpool John Moores University, conducting my dissertation research on female social behaviour in Siamese fighting fish.

After spending time working in a primary education setting, I moved to the University of Liverpool to conduct PhD research investigating the physiological and reproductive consequences of female competition in wild house mice.

I joined Chester Zoo as the Scientific Assistant in 2013 and in 2015 was promoted to the position of Behaviour and Welfare Scientist. I work closely with the animal curators and teams, leading on research which contributes to best practice for animal health and welfare. Together with our curators I am also currently developing welfare assessment protocols for captive zoo animals.

I deliver lectures for a number of universities focusing on animal behaviour, ethics and welfare, and supervise student research projects from undergraduate to PhD level. I hold an honorary position at the University of Liverpool, I am Vice-Chair of the EAZA Animal Welfare Working Group, member of the BIAZA Research Committee and sit on Chester Zoo’s Ethical Review Committee and the Animal Health, Welfare and Husbandry Sub-Committee.


Key publications

Stockley, P., Bottell, L. (now Holmes, L.) and Hurst, J.L. 2013. Wake up and smell the conflict: odour signals in female competition. Royal Society Philosophical Transactions B, 368 (1631) DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0082


Related links

Learn more about why we study animal behaviour here

Meet our animal behaviour & welfare scientist

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