Professor Robert Young
School of Science, Engineering and Environment
Chair in Wildlife Conservation
Ever since I was a child I was fascinated by animals and their behaviour. Growing-up in the 1970s I became aware that if I wished to study animals in the wild or zoos that animals first needed to be conserved and their welfare protected. It was, thus, that studied for a BSc (Hons) in Biology at the University of Nottingham (1986-1989) and then did a PhD in Animal Behaviour/Animal Welfare at the University of Edinburgh (1989-1993).
After this I worked for four years, as a researcher, at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (Edinburgh Zoo) before moving full-time into academia. Whilst working at Edinburgh Zoo I learnt about how zoos can make significant contribution to animal conservation whilst at the same time respecting the wellbeing of their animals. From 2001-2013, I worked as Professor of Animal Behaviour and Conservation at a Brazilian university (PUC Minas in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais) where I was able to realise my lifelong ambition of conducting fieldwork on everything from mammals, birds and reptiles to fish.
In 2013, I returned to the UK accepting the Chair in Wildlife Conservation at the University of Salford Manchester where I divide my time between field conservation projects mainly in Brazil but also Madagascar – and zoo-based research (both conservation and animal welfare orientated). In my career to date I have published research on approximately 50 different species of animal (everything from giant anteaters to humans). I am the author of more than 100 full scientific papers and one textbook about zoo animal welfare.
Recently, my research group has become very interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, and we are using a wide range of methodologies and techniques to answer scientific questions including: behavioural observations, biotelemetry, molecular biology, microbiology, colour analysis, machine learning (artificial intelligence), bioacoustics, biogeography, social network analyses, physiological, amongst others.
All of this rich experience I bring to the supervision of my postgraduate students and to my teaching/tutoring/supervision of undergraduate students. My greatest pleasure as an academic is sharing my wonder of animals with the students that I supervise and teach.
Areas of research
Wildlife Conservation, Animal Welfare, Animal Behaviour, Zoos, Anthropogenic Impacts
Areas of supervision
Animal Conservation, Animal Behaviour, Animal Welfare
Undergraduate: Introduction to Zoo Biology; Zoo Animal Management: Final Year Project; Study Skills; Wildlife Study Skills; Evolution.
Postgraduate (MSc): Wildlife Biology, Ecology and Behaviour; Contemporary Topics in Wildlife Conservation; Acoustics Master Class.
- Animal Conservation
- Animal Behaviour
- Animal Welfare
- BSc (Hons) Biology (Nottingham 1989)
- PhD Animal Behaviour and Welfare (Edinburgh 1993)