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School of Environment and Life Sciences

Dr Paul Rees

Senior Lecturer in Wildlife


I was born in Cardiff, Wales in 1954 and attended Marple Hall Grammar School in Cheshire before studying Environmental Biology at the University of Liverpool (1974-77). I then worked for my PhD on the ecology and management of feral cats at the University of Bradford under Prof. Michael Delany. After briefly teaching in colleges in Stockport and Wythenshawe, I took up an appointment at the Sokoto College of Education in Nigeria in 1982. I subsequently taught at Bolton College for 16 years, including a five-year secondment to United Utilities. During this period I completed teacher training, studied for a Masters degree in Environmental Law and was also awarded a Certificate in Education Management. I took up my current appointment at Salford in 1998.

In 2002 I introduced Wildlife Programmes at Salford and in 2005 established the first undergraduate programme in the UK focusing on zoo biology (BSc (Hons) Wildlife Conservation with Zoo Biology).


My teaching interests are primarily in zoo biology, animal ecology and behaviour, and wildlife law.

Research Interests

My research interests include the behaviour and welfare of animals in zoos (especially elephants), the ecology and behaviour of mammals (particularly African large mammals), biological education and wildlife law. I have a particular interest in the importance of policy and legislation in influencing the pivotal role of zoos in the conservation of biodiversity and the welfare of animals living in zoos.

Qualifications and Memberships

BSc (Hons) Environmental Biology (University of Liverpool) 1977

FE Teachers' Certificate City & Guilds (Manchester Polytechnic) 1981

PhD Environmental Science (University of Bradford) 1982

Cert. Ed (Further Education) (University of Manchester) 1987

LLM Environmental Law (University of Central Lancs) 1995

Cert. in Education Management (Manchester Metro University) 1996


Selected recent publications


Rees, P. A. (2017). The Laws Protecting Animals and Ecosystems. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester.

Rees, P. A. (2017). Examining Ecology: Exercises in Environmental Biology and Conservation, Academic Press, Cambridge, Mass.

 Rees, P. A. (2015). Studying Captive Animals: A Workbook of Methods in Behaviour, Welfare and Ecology. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester.

Rees, P. A. (2002). Urban Environments and Wildlife Law; a manual for sustainable development. Blackwell Science Limited, Oxford.

Rees, P. A. (2011). An Introduction to Zoo Biology and Management. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.

Rees, P. A. (2013). Dictionary of Zoo Biology and Animal Management. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.


Oates, L. and, Rees, P. A. (2013). The historical ecology of the large mammals of Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. Mammal Review. 43: 124-141.

Rees, P. A. (2009). Activity budgets and the relationship between feeding and stereotypic behaviours in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in a zoo. Zoo Biology: 28: 79-97.  

Rees, P. A. (2009). The sizes of elephant groups in zoos: implications for elephant welfare. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science. 12: 44-60.