Research and Technology Committee


Several AZA Committees (e.g. Animal Welfare, Animal Health, Field Conservation, and Wildlife Conservation and Management) focus on activities that depend on science, however, previously no one Committee had been charged with forwarding research and the development of new and emerging technologies that specifically advance basic zoological science and improve the use of research in the operation of zoos and aquariums.

Science is and must be a core underpinning of all that zoos and aquariums do for the animals in their care as well as for in situ populations. The creation of an AZA Research and Technology Committee promotes the use of good science throughout the zoo and aquarium profession, builds relationships with the scientific community, and facilitates collaboration to identify the best scientific practices to improve wildlife survival. The Research and Technology Committee is charged with advancing science and technology and increasing our understanding of the animals in our institutions and their populations in the wild.

Therefore, the Research and Technology Committee's mission is to:

  • Define niches for science in AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and identify how high quality science affects and supports institutional missions.
  • Provide a means for easing, and thereby increasing, the amount of scientific investigations held at or sponsored by AZA-accredited institutions.
  • Provide a means for enhancing the quality and efficacy of zoo and aquarium based scientific inquiry.
  • Develop mechanisms for testing and increasing the application of new and emerging technologies to the advancement of zoo and aquarium operations and in situ habitat protection and wildlife conservation.
  • Promote academic, government, and other scientific relations and collaborations.
  • Foster the peer-reviewed publication of AZA-accredited zoo and aquarium-based scientific research.
  • Provide leadership in setting a vision for the future of science and technology in AZA-accredited institutions.
  • Work closely with the AZA-accredited institutions, Committees, Scientific Advisory Groups, and Animal Programs to facilitate coordinated approaches and collaborative advancement of research, science, and technology in zoos and aquariums.

The Research and Technology Committee has developed a Zoo and Aquarium Researcher Directory.

The Committee has also developed an AZA Standardized Research Application Form. The purpose of the form is to facilitate and expedite the proposal application and review process for single and multi-institutional research projects conducted in AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums. The form is designed to be as comprehensive as possible to allow for its use by as many AZA institutions as possible. Before submitting your application to a particular institution, please check in advance as to whether they accept the AZA standardized form or whether they need any supplemental information.

Katie Leighty, Ph.D., Disney's Animal Kingdom

Vice Chairs
Lisa Faust, Ph.D., Lincoln Park Zoo
Steve Thompson, Ph.D., Lincoln Park Zoo

Board Liaison
Alejandro Grajal, Ph.D., Woodland Park Zoo

AZA Staff Liaison
Shelly Grow

Kathayoon Khalil, Seattle Aquarium
Joy Kubarek-Sandor
Andy Stamper, D.V.M., Living Seas
Stuart A. Wells

Matthew Anderson, Ph.D., San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park
Paul Anderson, Ph.D., Mystic Aquarium
Cheri Asa, Ph.D., Saint Louis Zoo
J.P. Auffret, George Mason University, New Century College
Andy Baker, Ph.D., Philadelphia Zoo
Scott Barton, Fresno Chaffee Zoo
Erika Bauer, Ph.D., Smithsonian National Zoo
David Becker, Chicago Zoological Society / Brookfield Zoo
Rich Bergl, Ph.D., North Carolina Zoo
Tammie Bettinger, Ph.D., Disney's Animal Kingdom
Louise Bradshaw, Saint Louis Zoo
Michael Briggs, D.V.M., African Predator Conservation Research Org, Inc.
Lisa Faust, Ph.D., Lincoln Park Zoo
John Fraser, Ph.D., New Knowledge Organization
Janet L. Gardner, Grand Valley Zoological Quest / Children's Nature Center
Anna George, Tennessee Aquarium
Nancy Hawkes, Ph.D.,Woodland Park Zoo
Matthew Heintz, Detroit Zoo
Corinne Kendall, Ph.D., North Carolina Zoo
Gregory R. Koch, Ph.D.
Cynthia Kreider, Erie Zoo
Kristen Lukas, Ph.D., Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Colleen McCann, Bronx Zoo
Leah Melber, Ph.D., Lincoln Park Zoo
Lance Miller, Ph.D., Chicago Zoological Society / Brookfield Zoo
Cheryl Morris, Ph.D., Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
Michael Renner
Terri Roth, Ph.D., Cincinnati Zoo
Mandi Schook, Ph.D., Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Vicki Searles, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
David Shepherdson, Ph.D., Oregon Zoo
Judy St. Leger, SeaWorld San Diego
Tara Stoinski, Ph.D., Zoo Atlanta
Jason Watters, Ph.D., San Francisco Zoo

AZA Committee Liaisons
Chair, Animal Health Committee (currently Sharon Deem)
Chair, Animal Welfare Committee (currently Lance Miller, Ph.D.)
Chair, Conservation Education Committee (currently Kelly Matis)
Diversity Committee (Wei Ying Wong, Philadelphia Zoo)
Chair, Field Conservation Committee (currently Mark Penning, BVsc)
Chair, Trends Committee (currently Debra Erickson)
Chair, WCMC (currently Larry Killmar)

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