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"Research is formalized curiosity."

— Zora Neale Hurston

Research is an integral part of our mission at Zoo Atlanta. Research helps us better understand and provide stewardship for the animals in our care, and it provides us with valuable insights that enable us to protect their counterparts in the wild. Our basic research also contributes to our knowledge of life on Earth. Scientists at Zoo Atlanta lead research efforts involving animals housed here at the Zoo as well as animals in the wild. Our scientists collaborate with scientists around the world. The Zoo’s scientific staff hold faculty appointments at Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, and the University of Georgia. The results of our research have been published in such journals as ScienceBehaviour, Conservation Biology, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, as well as featured by media such as National GeographicWired, and The New York Times.

Topics explored by our staff scientists include management of small populations of endangered species both in zoos and in the wild; many aspects of animal behavior and cognition; reproductive physiology; animal health and well-being; biomechanics; and biodiversity studies. Zoo Atlanta is the headquarters of the Great Ape Heart Project and the hosting institution and partner of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.


Reptile and amphibian research

Zoo Atlanta has a productive history of herpetological research, with insights based on our own diverse population of reptiles and amphibians as well as field sites around the world. 

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Giant panda research

Take a look into our studies on giant panda maternal behavior and giant panda visual discrimination. 

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Zoo Atlanta’s research publications

Check out our most recent list of publications (PDF).

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research News

Cognitive Bias

In our last blog post, we talked about some of the methodologies we use to study animal welfare. We often...
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Exactly how many ears do frogs have?

Ask any child what sound a frog makes, and you’ll get an adorable, enthusiastic croaked “Ribbit” probably matched with a...
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Assessing the big picture in animal well-being

In our last Animal Science Blog, we examined how observations can provide useful insight into animal behavior. Watching animals and...
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Quantity assessment in animals

When I first joined Zoo Atlanta, almost 20 years ago, one of the things I was excited about was the...
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