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, accessible to individual professional members with their AZA login.

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.

Corinne Kendall, Ph.D., North Carolina Zoo

Jason Watters, San Francisco Zoological Gardens

J.P. Auffret
Erika Bauer, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Richard Bergl, North Carolina Zoo
Sharon Bowen, The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore
Michael Briggs, African Predator Conservation Research Organization
Jennifer D'Agostino, Oklahoma City Zoo
Tina Dow, University of Central Florida, College of Medicine
Lisa Faust, Lincoln Park Zoo
John Fraser, Knology
Nancy Hawkes, Woodland Park Zoo
Brian Johnson, Inform Evaluation & Research
Katie Kalafut, Habit Technology
Corinne Kendall, North Carolina Zoo
Bethany Krebs, San Francisco Zoological Gardens
Austin Leeds, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Katherine Leighty, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Amanda Makkay, Zoo Miami
Katie Manion
Nancy McInerney, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Cheryl Morris, Iowa State University
Darby Proctor, Florida Tech and Brevard Zoo
Michael Renner
Kelly Riedinger, Oregon State University
Terri Roth, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Vicki Searles, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Jennifer Tobey, San Diego Zoo
Jason Wark, Lincoln Park Zoo
Jason Watters, San Francisco Zoological Gardens
Anna Young, Otterbein University

Joy Kubarek, Ph.D., Inform Evaluation & Research
Amy Niedbalksi, Saint Louis Zoo

Board Liaison
Dwight Scott, San Diego Zoo

Committee Liaisons
Joe Barkowski, Tulsa Zoo
Darin Collins, Woodland Park Zoo
Rachel Metz, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Lance Miller, Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo

AZA Staff Liaison
Shelly Grow

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