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Vicky Melfi

Vicky started working as a zoo keeper in the United Kingdom at the age of sixteen. It was there that her interest in animal behaviour and welfare was sparked. Completing a degree in Animal Science followed by a Masters degree in Applied animal behaviour and welfare, Vicky began a research project in behaviour comparisons between wild and zoo Sulawesi crested black macaque populations which then led her to completing her PhD at Dublin zoo studying the same species.

Before arriving in Australia, Vicky’s most recent work was as the Senior Research officer with the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust based at Paignton Zoo.  It was in this previous role that she founded a conservation program for the critically endangered Sulawesi crested black macaques which aims to conserve the species and their remaining habitat on this Indonesian island.

Vicky says to date her greatest achievement has been to co-write a book about Zoo animals; their behaviour, management and welfare which has been very well received. In her role as a Behavioural Biologist at Taronga zoo Vicky leads the Behavioural Studies unit.. This unit is a team of behavioural scientists and volunteers that monitor animal well-being, the use of the exhibit space, wild behaviours and coordinate enrichment programs to maintain optimal animal welfare.