Institute of Zoology - Research

ZSL Position Statement on the Use of Animals in Research

The use of animals in scientific research has made, and continues to make, significant contributions to the biological sciences; e.g. to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in animals – including zoonoses – and to the management of the health of animals in wild and captive settings. Wherever possible, we replace the use of animals in our research; however, replacement methods are not yet available for all of the science we undertake to combat the processes that threaten to put wildlife at risk of extinction. Animal-based research is behind some of the important and pioneering work for which ZSL is best known, including our world-leading research into the drivers of diseases that threaten amphibian populations worldwide, and the strategies we employ to mitigate their impacts.

Welfare is at the centre of our research and all research involving animals is scrutinised by the ZSL Ethics Committee for Animal Research or, in the case of research regulated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 Amendment Regulations 2012 and thus requiring Home Office licences, by the ZSL Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body. These committees and the relevant staff and students are actively involved in improving application of the 3Rs (replacing animals with non-animal alternatives, reducing the numbers of animals used and refining techniques that involve animals). All researchers and technicians are highly trained and committed to a culture of care that is good for both the animals and our science.  ​​

For further information please see our PDF icon Policy on the Use of Animals in Research (192.34 KB).

Research at the ZSL Institute of Zoology

Research at the ZSL Institute of Zoology (IOZ) is organised into five conservation challenge areas:

Zoo-based research opportunities

ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos present a unique opportunity to study species and aspects of their biology that are difficult or impossible to study in their natural habitat. Find out about the types of opportunities available and how to apply. Please note that these are not run in conjunction with IoZ, but within ZSL's Zoological directorate.

Find out more here..

Research Projects

IOZ carries out a wide range of research projects, a selection of which are detailed below.


Wildlife health

Identifying disease threats to wildlife and understanding their impacts.
Male hihi

Bringing threatened species back from the brink of extinction

In the face of unprecedented biodiversity losses, effective strategies for the...
Stony Coral Colony

Global biodiversity monitoring

As the extent of human impacts on global biodiversity becomes clearer,...
Lake Ossa Wildlife Reserve

Co-existence between wildlife and people

Human development can only be sustainable if it does not destroy the ecosystems...
Pollution seawalls  mangroves

Mitigating the impacts of climate change on biodiversity

Promoting nature-based solutions to the socio-economic challenges posed by...