Clare Frances Ellis

Clare Frances Ellis
Reaseheath College · Zoo Management Higher Ed

PhD MSc, BSc (Hons), PGCE Lecturer in Zoo Conservation Biology

About

22
Publications
7,771
Reads
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34
Citations
Introduction
Lecturing in Zoo Conservation Biology, my research interest relates to the welfare of captive animals. ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-2176-8484
Additional affiliations
September 2020 - present
Reaseheath College
Position
  • Lecturer
July 2019 - November 2020
University of Nottingham
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2017 - June 2019
Twycross Zoo, United Kingdom
Position
  • Manager

Publications

Publications (22)
Article
Full-text available
To mitigate the effects of anthropogenic environmental impacts, conservation education (CE) aims to increase public awareness of biodiversity and encourage the uptake of pro-environmental behaviours (PEB). One way of achieving this goal is the use of controlled animal interactions with animal ambassadors to promote CE goals. This study aimed to det...
Thesis
Full-text available
The purpose of the study was to attempt to identify personality traits in domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and to evaluate a range of tools, suitable for use in a shelter setting, that can be used to measure personality traits. A literature review highlighted limited evaluation of reliability and validity in rabbit personality research publ...
Conference Paper
The study of personality traits in animals has grown in recent years. While domestic dogs have been well studied in this relatively new field, there has been limited research on domestic rabbits in this context. The identification of personality traits in domestic rabbits could support the selection of rabbits for roles in society, such as those us...
Conference Paper
Personality in animals has been an area of growing interest over the past 10-15 years. However, attention from a variety of disciplines has led to a wide range of different methods being employed to test for and assess personality. While there have been an increasing number of attempts to explore and describe dog and cat personality in recent years...
Conference Paper
When looking to extend existing animal welfare assessment tools at Twycross Zoo (TZ), the opportunity came up to tap into the expertise of keepers through the use of Qualitative Behaviour Assessment (QBA). QBA is a method that asks observers to describe and rate the dynamic expressive body language (e.g. relaxed, nervous) of observed animals. This...
Article
Full-text available
Rabbits are commonly kept in a variety of settings, including homes, laboratories, and veterinary clinics. Despite the popularity of keeping this prey species, little research has investigated current methods of handling. The aim of this study was to examine the experience of caregivers (owners and keepers) in using five handling methods commonly r...
Poster
Rabbits are both popular pets commonly seen within veterinary practices, and frequently used in laboratories in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. However, to date there is minimal research that has investigated why and how people handle rabbits and why they choose to use such methods. In addition, few studies have considered the sources individuals...
Article
Full-text available
Rabbits are a common companion animal in the United Kingdom, and some reports have suggested that large numbers are relinquished to rehoming centers each year. This study aimed to investigate the characteristics of rabbits relinquished to 2 UK rehoming centers and explore reasons given for relinquishment. The centers contributed data for all rabbit...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Enrichment should be a part of everyday activities for zoo animals. Simply put the goal of enrichment is to provide environmental complexity that stimulates the mind and encourages species appropriate behaviours. Enrichment needs to be relevant to the behavioural biology of the target species. Additionally, enrichment goals should be set, prior to...
Poster
Full-text available
Domestic rabbits have received relatively little attention for personality and temperament research to date, despite being a popular pet in the UK. The field of animal personality research is still in its infancy and there is much discussion around appropriate methods of assessing personality, due in part to the many reasons for exploring this phen...
Poster
Rabbits are considered to be the third most frequently kept pet in the UK as well as being utilised for medical and veterinary research. Despite this, little research has been conducted on rabbit handling methods. A literature review was conducted that focused directly on proposed handling methods of rabbits within different contexts. This included...
Poster
Full-text available
Rabbits are a popular pet in the UK with an estimated one million being kept. Concern has been raised about the standards of care afforded to pet rabbits and a 2012 survey suggested that 67,000 rabbits are handed over to rescue centres each year, possibly due to owners losing interest. To determine reasons for rabbit relinquishment a survey was con...
Poster
Full-text available
Zoo keepers spend much time observing the animals in their care to ensure they are healthy and have good welfare, however to truly ensure that the animals have good welfare it is important to implement evidenced based husbandry, which should take into consideration each individual’s needs. This can be very time consuming for zoo staff and it is pro...
Article
Full-text available
Social media can be both a boon and a problem in owner awareness of canine medical conditions. YouTube videos could be used in research of owner perception of dog ‘skipping’.
Conference Paper
Animal carers get to know their animal changes on an individual level through daily observations and aim to provide the best care to suit the animals' needs, however we know that an animals behaviour changes when a keeper is present (Anderson et al., 2004). To enable the staff at the Welsh Mountain Zoo (WMZ) to further understand their three female...
Conference Paper
The data presented was collected as part of a wider study that utilised behavioural and physiological measures of welfare to develop informed husbandry routines for three female, European brown bears (Ursus arctos) at the Welsh Mountain Zoo. The bear in this study was undergoing diagnosis for arthritis (degenerative joint disease DJD) during the fi...
Article
TONIC immobility (also referred to as ‘trancing’ and being ‘hypnotised’ [Varga 2013]) has been noted in rabbits, by Buseth and Saunders (2015), as ‘a condition certain prey have acquired to escape enemies. It is a defence mechanism rabbits habitually revert to when they have no other options of escape. The rabbit will play dead; so that …
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Prize winning poster presented at the University of Northampton Annual Postgraduate Research competition in 2014. Rabbits are a commonly kept pet in the UK but are also given up as pets to rescue centres in large numbers. The present study highlights preliminary findings of a public survey that investigated where rabbit owners relinquished their ra...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
E.g. Identify possible domains and use process of elimination to id notify appropriate measures of these (if any), or explore aspects of the individuals (e.g. Behaviours) that may be grouped to identify personality Domains. 

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Projects

Projects (4)
Archived project
Development of QBA tool for use for welfare assessment with zoo species, including siamangs, chimpanzees and Humboldt penguins.
Project
We are currently investigating various rabbit handling methods and determining the frequency of use and what they are used for within Pet, veterinary and laboratory contexts. Alongside this we are also collecting data on rabbit owner perceptions of emotional states during different handling and handlers self reported confidence