Who we are

Our Zoo in the heart of Bristol, is run by around 170 staff and 300 wonderful volunteers that run the Activity Centre and our animal encounter and outreach sessions. Our team engages with local community groups, schools and supports conservation projects within the field.

Our shareholders elect 12 trustees to govern our society, the director and senior managers all report to the trustees. 

Our staff

Dr Bryan Carroll CEO of Bristol Zoological Society - Director of Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project

  • Chair, EAZA Conservation Committee
  • Inspector Secretary of State's List of Zoo Inspectors
  • Member, BIAZA Council
  • Chair BIAZA Membership and Licensing Committee
  • Member, EAZA Council
  • Chair EAZA Conservation Committee
  • Member, Species 360 Board
  • Member, IUCN/SSC Chiroptera Specialist Group
  • Member, IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group
  • Member, IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group
  • Member, WAZA Conservation Committee
  • Member, WAZA Membership Committee

Carol Groves - Director of HR 

Carol’s career in HR began as a recruitment consultant for a High Street agency before she qualified as a member of the CIPD whilst working as a HR generalist in a not for profit organisation.  After running her own freelance HR business securing work with a wide variety of industries, she gained valuable experience through an HR contract with First Choice during their merger with Thomson, which brought about substantial business and cultural change.

Carol then had a three year period as a General Manager in the aviation security industry, managing multi-site contracts based throughout the UK, followed by fixed-term management contracts in the transportation and hospitality sectors.

Her experience in a variety of industry sectors, both as a HR specialist and general management positions, prior to her appointment as HR Director adds significant value to the partnership between HR and other business areas within the Society.

Tom Hedges MRICS BSc (Hons) PGDip Surv - Director of Estates

A multi award winning chartered surveyor with 12 years’ experience in land and landscape management including; estates management, facilities management, construction, project management and health and safety. 

Kathryn Price BA Hons (Dunelm) ACA - Director of Finance

Kathryn has most recently worked in various finance director roles in the housing sector and prior to that held senior finance and customer facing roles in blue-chip financial services companies. She is a qualified coach and mentor and a registered PRINCE2 Practitioner.

  • Member of Charity Finance Directors Group

Dr Christoph Schwitzer - Director of Conservation

Dr Christoph Schwitzer has been Director of Conservation at the Bristol Zoological Society since May 2014. Prior to this he was BZS’ Head of Research for seven years. Before coming to Bristol, Christoph worked as part of the primatological research group at Cologne Zoo, Germany, and spent two years in Madagascar building a field station and heading a lemur research and conservation programme for a French NGO. Christoph gained his PhD in Zoology from the University of Cologne in 2003 and has been a Visiting Professor at the University of the West of England since 2013. He is the Deputy Chair and Red List Authority Coordinator of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group. He was a Vice President of the International Primatological Society between 2012 and 2016 and is currently the Vice President of the Association Européenne pour l’Etude et la Conservation des Lémuriens, a consortium of European zoos dedicated to lemur conservation. Christoph’s recent research has focused on how different critically endangered primates are coping with habitat degradation and fragmentation with regard to their behaviour patterns, food intake, population density, and parasite burden.

Wendy Walton - Director of Commercial Operations

Has spent 25 years in Venue and Attractions Management. Formerly Head of Marketing & Programming at the Brighton Centre; General Manager of Stanmer House, and Centre Manager for the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust.

  • Member of Destination Bristol’s Board of Directors
  • Member of the Bristol Guild of Guardians
  • Member of BALPPA Zoo Group.
  • Chair of BALPPA Zoo Group
  • Member of Destination Bristol’s Board of Directors
  • Member of the Bristol Guild of Guardians
  • Member of BALPPA Zoo Group.

Joe Allotey - Head of Maintenance

Michelle Barrows  - Head of Veterinary Services Bristol Zoo

  • Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Diploma Holder in Zoological Medicine
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Conservation Medicine
  • Clinical Teacher at University of Bristol Veterinary School
  • Veterinary Advisor to Wattled Crane Recovery Program
  • Veterinary Advisor to the EAZA Pigeon & Dove Taxon Advisory Group and the Pink Pigeon EEP
  • Member of BIAZA Veterinary Focus Group - Advisor to Bird Working Group
  • Previously Head of Veterinary Department at Johannesburg Zoo South Africa

Owain Cassidy - Head of Marketing and Development 

Simon Garrett - Head of Learning

  • Member, International Zoo Educators' Association
  • Member of the Bristol Natural History Consortium Communicate Committee
  • Member, Bristol Natural History Consortium, Education and Outreach

James Kitto - Head of Guest Services

Dr Gráinne McCabe - Head of Field Conservation and Science

  • Trustee, Ape Action Africa
  • Research Collaborator, University of Bristol School of Biological Sciences
  • Member, Society for Conservation Biology
  • Member, IUCN Species Specialist Group, African Primates
  • Member, American Society of Primatologists Conservation Committee
  • Member, International Society of Primatology
  • Review Editor, Frontiers in Veterinary Science: Animal Behaviour and Welfare

Eddie Mole - Head of Horticulture

  • Chair of the EAZA Zoo Horticulture Group 
  • Committee member, BIAZA Plant Working Group
  • Trustee, UK PlantNetwork
  • Member RHS
  • Member, Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh Guild

John Partridge - Senior Curator of Animals

  • National Assessor, DMZAA
  • Honorary Life Member, Association of British Wild Animal Keepers
  • Member, EAZA Hippopotamus & Tapir TAG
  • Member, EAZA Small Mammal TAG

Nigel Simpson - Head of Operations Wild Place Project

  • Co-chair EAZA Charadriiformes taxon advisory group
  • EAZA EEP coordinator Visayan tarictic hornbills
  • EAZA ESB coordinator Keas
  • EAZA ESB coordinator Mindanao bleeding heart doves
  • Member EAZA Hornbill taxon advisory group
  • Member EAZA Parrot taxon advisory group
  • Member EAZA Pigeon and Dove taxon advisory group


Trustees of the Society

Chair of Trustees - Charlotte Moar MA (Cantab), FMCA
Director of Transformation and Efficiency, NHS England.  Has previously worked in Finance Director roles within the NHS both locally in Bristol and nationally. Prior to that Charlotte worked in manufacturing, the arts and publishing.  Charlotte is a Non Executive Director of Avon & Wiltshire Partnership Trust and a Member of the Medical Research Council Audit & Risk Committee. 

Richard Clarke
Society Ambassador, former Chair of Trustees, shareholder since birth.

Victoria Ash
Marketing Director, consultant and business coach.

Chairman of The Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust;  Trustee of the ss Great Britain; Chairman of Bristol Rugby; Merchant Venturer.  Spent 40 years in the construction industry as a consultant, being Chairman of The Symonds Group then Capita P & I (Capita’s property business).

Malcolm Broad MBE
Former HSBC Senior Commercial Manager, with specialism in the Charity sector.  National Leader in Governance for the Department of Education. Chair of Governors at St John’s CE Primary School, Keynsham and Trustee of the Wellsway Multi Academy Trust. Governor at St Patrick's Primary School, Bristol. Co-Founder and Director of ABLAZE providing business support to Bristol’s schools. Treasurer of the Bristol Baptist College and Director of the Baptist Insurance Company plc and former Treasurer of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. 

Ben Cosh
Born and educated in Bristol.  He has 25 years’ professional experience. This includes 10 years as a Management Consultant advising FTSE 100 companies and at the highest level in Whitehall.  And 10 years growing Bristol based TGC from a start-up company run on the kitchen table, to a power company which has developed over £300m of electricity generation assets across Britain. 

David Esam
BA Hons degree from Warwick University in English and American Literature. Qualified as a solicitor in 1977. Previously a partner with DAC Beachcroft, specialising in commercial real estate law. Keen birder, volunteering with the RSPB and carrying out surveys for the British Trust for Ornithology. He is a shareholder of the Society."

Paul Kearney
Has spent 30 years in the regional newspaper and media sector and was previously Managing Director of Bristol United Press PLC.  He is Chairman of Bristol Community Health CIC which provides adult community healthcare for greater Bristol, Head of Business Development for Made in Bristol, the new City region TV station for Greater Bristol, Trustee with ABLAZE, an education support charity and sits on the Local Enterprise Partnership Health and life Sciences Board. He also has consultancy interests in the PR and SME sectors.

Claire Ladkin
Self-employed ‘Marketing Director’ specializing in ad hoc project work, most recently running the successful electoral campaign for Police and Crime Commissioner. Has spent 15 years in advertising agencies and Marketing Departments with particular specialism in Educational Marketing.  Also runs small property rental portfolio and sits on the Regional Development Committee for The Prince’s Trust.

Mathew Laws BA (Hons)
Senior Investment Manager JM Finn & Co stockbrokers. Chairman of the Alderman Steevens charity.  Committee member of the Bristol Benevolent Institution and the Colston Society.

Professor Steven Neill BSc PhD
Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences and Professor of Molecular Plant Science at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol.

Professor Richard Pancost BSc (Case WReserve), PhD (PennState)
Professor of Biogeochemistry and Director of the University of Bristol Cabot Institute (representing University of Bristol)

Professor Joanna Price BSc, BVSc, PhD, MRCVS 
Recently appointed Vice-Chancellor of the Royal Agricultural University. Qualified as a vet from University of Bristol, spent some time in veterinary practice, then had an academic career undertaking research in skeletal biology. Previously Head of the University of Bristol Veterinary School which has a strategic alliance with Bristol Zoo. 


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