Dr Jake Veasey BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, CBiol, MIBiol
PhD in Avian Reproductive Behavioural Ecology from the University of Glasgow
MSc with Distinction in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare from the University of Edinburgh
BSc with First Class Honours in Zoology with Geology from the University of London
Jake has over a decade of experience as a zoological director in some of the largest zoos in Europe and North America. Originally from London but has worked in North America, Africa, South East Asia and Europe, he is recognized internationally as a leader and innovator in the management of wild animals, both in the wild and in zoos.
Experienced in master-planning and zoo development, his unique blend of extensive scientific experience, vision for designing environments based around a deep understanding the behavioral and cognitive needs of wild animals, have resulted in designs widely recognised as ground breaking and winning numerous awards for welfare, management and visitor experience.
Jake spent nearly two decades as a zoological director in some of the largest and most successful facilities in the UK and Canada where has oversaw extensive growth in visitation and the development of some of the most innovative facilities in the zoo world including the biggest collection of critically endangered African ungulates on earth and the largest penguin habitat in captivity which was also a truly immersive experience for visitors and one in which mammals and penguins share the same complex space.
Beyond the zoo world, Jake has a particular passion for the conservation of large herbivores and has been involved in rhino, giraffe, elephant, woodland caribou and mountain bongo conservation and research for many years working mainly in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Canada and Vietnam. He is a highly respected conservation biologist and member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and Conservation Breeding Specialist Group.
Jake has undertaken extensive academic research into the area of why animals have evolved to behave the way they do and how this impacts their welfare when removed from the environments in which they evolved. This combined with his practical experience in managing and designing habitats gives Jake a globally unique perspective. He is widely published on the topic of zoo animal welfare and was an advisor to the UK Government on the management of zoos. Since being in Canada, Jake has been advising CAZA and the Canadian Government particularly on animal welfare and the role of zoos in conservation. His latest research exploring how we might best identify the behavioural and cognitive needs of animals has the potential to revolutionise welfare management and assessment.