Our Zoo, in the heart of Bristol, is run by around 250 staff together with approximately 300 volunteers who run the Activity Centre and organise 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 the Society and the Chief Executive reports to the trustees. You can find a list of our trustees here.
Dr Justin Morris, Chief Executive of Bristol Zoological Society - Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project
Justin joined the Society in August 2018, with more than 20 years’ experience working in two of the UK’s most popular museums, and a lifelong passion for the natural world.
Justin was Director of Public Engagement at the Natural History Museum where he led on all public engagement and commercial activities setting the long-term strategy for these areas, including the physical and digital public programme and on-site visitor experience, as well as overseeing commercial strategy on-site, across the UK and internationally. In particular, he oversaw and led the project to transform the Central Hall of the Museum including the installation of the blue whale exhibit, which opened to critical acclaim.
Prior to this, he was Director of Operations and Projects and Director of Strategic Planning at the British Museum and also spent two years working in the private sector at the John Lewis Partnership. He began his career as a Curator at the British Museum undertaking archaeological fieldwork throughout the South Asian sub-continent.
Dr Christoph Schwitzer - Chief Zoological Officer & Deputy Chief Executive
Dr Christoph Schwitzer has been Chief Zoological Officer and Deputy Chief Executive of the Bristol Zoological Society (BZS) since August 2018, with Executive Board responsibility for BZS’s two animal collections at Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Wild Place Project, as well as its veterinary services, its Institute of Conservation Science and Learning (including the Learning, and Field Conservation and Science departments), its public programming, and for Wild Place Project’s general daily operations. Prior to this he was BZS’s Director of Conservation for four years (2014–2018) and Head of Research for eight years (2006–2014).
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.
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. He is a trustee of the Natural History Consortium, serves on the Council of BIAZA and is a member of the EAZA Research Committee and the EAZA Prosimian TAG, and adviser to the EAZA Callitrichidae TAG.
Charlotte Brown - Commercial Director
Charlotte joined the Society as Commercial Director in March 2019 from Bacardi, where she was responsible for the strategic development and daily operations of the award winning UK visitor attractions including the Bombay Sapphire Distillery. Prior to that, Charlotte has been responsible for commercially managing and operating a number of key attractions across the UK, having previously been a General Manager at The Lakes Aquarium in the Lake District, and Marketing & PR Manager at the Oceanarium in Bournemouth.
As Commercial Director, Charlotte is responsible for Marketing, Press, Digital, Fundraising and Development as well as Guest Services and commercial operations within the Society.
Tom Hedges MRICS BSc (Hons) PGDip Surv - Director of Estates
Tom is a multi-award winning chartered surveyor with 15 years’ experience in land and property management including; estates management, facilities management, construction, project management and health and safety. Tom began working for a private contractor, before moving to a FTSE100 support services company and then into the third sector with the well-known charity Help for Heroes.
Having grown up on a large country estate in Oxfordshire, Tom’s passion for wildlife and estate management grew hand in hand and he now oversees the Society’s 160 acre mixed portfolio estate including the two zoos at Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place.
Angela Mather - Director of Finance and Corporate Services
Angela is a chartered accountant and has over 25 years’ experience of working in finance. She joined the Society in June 2018 and has responsibility for all aspects of finance, HR, payroll, legal matters and insurance.
Her previous roles have included Finance Director of an international retail, distribution and manufacturing group, and 13 years working within the audit department of Deloitte where she led the audit of various clients including FTSE listed groups.
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