A world-leading primatologist has been appointed as the new director of conservation at Bristol Zoo Gardens.
Christoph Schwitzer joins the senior management team at Bristol Zoological Society – which operates Bristol Zoo Gardens and the new Wild Place Project at Cribbs Causeway.
Dr Schwitzer now has responsibility for a broad portfolio of the society’s activities, including its worldwide projects to protect endangered wildlife, its animal collection, the onsite veterinary team and the zoo’s learning and research departments.
Dr Schwitzer, who was previously head of research at the zoo for seven years, starts his new role on May 1.
He said: “I feel honoured to have been offered this position, and it is a fantastic privilege.
“Bristol Zoological Society has a strong and world-renowned reputation for its animal husbandry, welfare and commitment to conservation, both at home and around the world.
“However, there is always more we can do and we will strive to do it to the best of our ability.”
Dr Schwitzer is a biologist who received his PhD in Zoology from the University of Cologne, Germany, for his study on the nutritional ecology of lemurs.
He worked as part of the primatological research group at Cologne Zoo and also coordinated the European Endangered Species Programme for ruffed lemurs.
Dr Schwitzer’s research interests are the conservation ecology of lemurs in their native Madagascar, as well as the nutritional ecology of frugivores. He is a visiting professor at the University of the West of England.