The Institute of Zoology (IoZ) is the research division of ZSL.

We are a world-leading research organisation, directly addressing global challenges in the field of conservation science. Our staff and students undertake research that powers sustainable, innovative solutions that work — for wildlife, people and the planet.

We are funded by Research England, the same body that supports universities, with additional funding for specific projects from the UK research councils and various other academic, corporate, governmental and charitable organisations. 

Read the IoZ business plan 2022-2025

Our people

We are a community of internationally recognised researchers and students working in conservation science.

Find out more about our scientists

Our research focusses on five global conservation challenges

  • Male hihi bird on a branch
    Bring threatened species back from the brink of extinction

    Biololgy and recovery of small populations

    We are developing a holistic understanding of small population recovery, including drivers of extinction risk, conservation management and the science to best support the implementation of solutions.

  • girl with goat
    Fostering both biodiversity and human well-being

    Co-existence between wildlife and people

    Our aim is to develop effective tools that foster biodiversity and human well-being, to attain sustainable development goals alongside improved nature conservation.

  • Coral
    Evidence-based conservation action

    Global biodiversity monitoring

    To recover restore wildlife, we first need to understand where it most needs our help. Our evidence-based approach enables us to target the species and ecosystems most in need of support.

  • Aerial view of mangrove forest and river
    In the face of increasingly challenging climatic conditions

    Mitigating the impacts of climate change on biodiversity

    Research at the Institute of Zoology is improving our understanding of how climate change impacts the distribution and functioning of biodiversity.

  • Red kite health check by ZSL scientists
    Cutting-edge science

    Wildlife Health

    Ensuring the health of wildlife, improving the health of people, domestic animals and the environment.

2021 Research Assessment Framework

The Institute of Zoology has an established record of excellence in research and impact, most recently evidenced by our performance in the Research Excellence Framework 2021. In a joint submission with University College London (UCL) and Birkbeck, University of London, to the Biological Sciences unit of assessment (UoA5), 88.5% of our research outputs were judged as ‘world leading’ or 'internationally excellent' and 90.9% of our impacts were judged as having ‘outstanding’ or ‘very considerable’ impact.  In addition, while we only contributed 10% of the staff in this submission, we contributed five of the 11 Impact Case Studies, which can be found below.

Teaching and training

We offer a range of postgraduate teaching through PhD studentships and Masters-level courses. Each year we support around 70 PhD students, who are registered with partner universities and co-supervised by Institute of Zoology and university staff. 

Just some of the study opportunities we provide include: 

  • PhD research and studentships
  • Masters courses
  • ECZM veterinary residencies 

Find out more about our postgraduate study opportunities


Institute of Zoology affiliations and partnerships 

We work with our key academic partners, University College London and the Royal Veterinary College. Our partnership with UCL enables collaborative research projects, postgraduate research training, joint academic appointments and research support. 

Our partnership with RVC enables the joint delivery of MSc taught courses and projects, including the MSc Wild Animal Health and MSc Wild Animal, and joint delivery of three-year Residencies, in Wildlife Population Health and Zoo Health Management, under the auspices of the European College of Zoological Medicine. 

The Institute of Zoology collaborates with 410 academic institutions in the UK and around the world, and we work with over 100 conservation organisations worldwide, with whom we translate our research into impact.  

female scientist at ZSL

Research ethics and integrity

Researchers at the Institute of Zoology are expected to observe the highest standards of ethics and integrity in the conduct of their research and, as such, all staff carefully adhere to the Institute of Zoology Code of Practice for Research, as well as the UKRI Code of Practice for Research and The Concordat for Research Integrity. 

Find out more about our research ethics and integrity policies


Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) at the Institute of Zoology 

As a Higher Education Institution, we believe that a sense of belonging should exist for all staff and students, empowering them to freely share ideas and experience, as well as to foster innovative and creative solutions. 

We are therefore committed to supporting the development of a dynamic, flexible, equal, diverse and inclusive work environment that promotes, attracts and retains this diversity.

Our four-pillar framework outlines a vision where equality, diversity, and inclusion are considered in every aspect of the Institute’s activities and functioning. We seek to achieve this vision through:

  • Inclusive and diverse representation
  • Transparent and equitable science
  • Outreach and engagement
  • Oversight and accountability

Read more about EDI at the Institute of Zoology

More from the Institute of Zoology

  • soapbox science display
    Working to help people and wildlife live better together

    Our People

    Our hundreds of scientists and conservationists are working all around the world.

  • Pitcairn_Islands_sharks
    Our year in review

    ZSL Annual Reports

    Each year, ZSL review everything we do, from our impact and our achievements to our progress in shaping policy. We also share a financial summary.

  • Huxley Theatre - Purple Uplighting
    Take a look at the events we have coming up


    We host a huge range of science events, from family occasions and special workshops to scientific and conservation meetings.

  • An African wild dog running through water
    Read our Science for Conservation report

    Science for Conservation report

    The Institute of Zoology, part of the Zoological Society of London, is at the forefront of conservation science and capacity building.

Science is the most powerful tool we have to make conservation happen smarter and better.

Find out more about our research.