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Who We Are

Our work would not be possible without our incredible team. 


Dr Sue Walker

Head of Science, Chester Zoo

BSc, MSc, PhD

Dr Sue Walker has worked within zoo science and the field of animal reproduction for over 25 years. She has a passion for wildlife and is a keen advocate of the role zoos play within the conservation of nature. 
She has worked within reproductive biology departments at the University of Guelph and Toronto Zoo in Canada, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institution in the USA and the University of Liverpool in the UK. Additionally, she has established wildlife endocrinology laboratories around the globe in six different countries. Sue joined Chester Zoo in 2007 as the zoo’s Wildlife Endocrinologist, became Scientific Manager in 2013 and Head of Science in 2014. 
She co-founded the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) Reproductive Management Group and the International Society of Wildlife Endocrinology. She is also a member of the EAZA Research Committee and EAZA biobank.


Sue is also passionate about delivering opportunities for applied scientific training.  Over the past 10 years she has established Chester Zoo’s Conservation Scholars and Fellows Programme and the zoos science industrial placements. These all aim to maximise conservation impact by providing evidence to influence conservation management, while expanding and equipping a new generation with the skillset required to address global conservation challenges.


Currently, Sue leads a team of 11 scientists whose expertise range from behaviour and welfare assessments, population health and ecological monitoring, social sciences, conservation physiology, contraception and reproduction. Collectively they develop novel and innovative techniques to support wildlife health and population sustainability both within zoos and in the wild. Her personal research interests focus on reproductive biology with an aim to provide evidence to inform decision making for long-term population fitness.


Nature’s SAFE is a new tool in the conservation ‘toolbox’. It provides options for the future and ammunition in the fight against extinction. Nature’s SAFE will be working alongside accredited managed breeding programmes, and together, we will improve endangered species population health and stability and reverse the decline in global biodiversity.

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