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The Program


ReNewZoo is a graduate (MSc/PhD) training program funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) that brings together zoos/aquariums with academic ecologists/conservation biologists. Zoos and aquariums are important conservation organizations, and as this mandate expands, so must their skills. ReNewZoo will train conservation professionals to work seamlessly with zoos, aquariums, and other conservation organizations in Canada and globally to help them achieve their conservation goals.



Potential graduate students must contact one of the 11 researchers/supervisors associated with ReNewZoo (see our Researchers page here). These researchers may also be recruiting students for specific projects. The students will have to be accepted into the graduate program at the university of their supervisor.  Students will be required to do an academic thesis that is consistent with the standards of their university program, and the thesis must be done in collaboration with an accredited zoo or aquarium.


Students will be mentored by their academic supervisor AND a zoo/aquarium staff member. The academic supervisor and student must have a collaboration with a zoo/aquarium organized prior to the student’s entry into ReNewZoo



Mandatory Components:

ReNewZoo has several mandatory components. An on-line course, RNZ 101, will be required for all students. The course will emphasize the science of conservation, and explore the ethics and biopolitics of the zoo/aquarium. A committee including academics and zoo/aquarium staff is currently developing the course, and it will be ready for September 2017.


Students will be required to engage in 4-month internships (1-2 for MSc, 2-3 for PhD students) at a zoo/aquarium where they will collect data for their thesis, engage in job-shadowing, learn how to access and use the various databases associated with zoo collections, and other skills associated with the zoo/aquarium workplace. For information on internship guidelines, please click here


Students will also participate in the annual ReNewZoo symposium, which will be twinned with the CAZA annual meeting. This symposium will involve research presentations from the students, and professional development workshops relating to the science and practice of conservation in the zoo/aquarium environment.


Students will receive a certificate in “Zoo Conservation Science” once they complete their degree to reflect the added training they received as part of ReNewZoo.

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