Behaviour & Nutrition

Behaviour & Nutrition

Taronga Science

Wildlife Nutrition Centre: Ms Michelle Shaw

Taronga houses Australia’s only Wildlife Nutrition Centre which is focused on the physiology of wildlife species – nutrient requirements, digestibility, food preferences and tolerances. Taronga’s scientists are interested in the interaction between nutrition and behaviour, disease, habitat health and reproduction to understand how a changing environment may change the nutrient requirements of wildlife and in turn, how that changes the ecology and carrying capacity of its habitat. We are taking up the unique opportunity to study Australian species and are currently focusing on echidnas, dasyurids and other marsupials.

Behavioural Studies Unit: Dr Alicia Burns, Dr Ben Pitcher and Dr Caralyn Kemp

Our behavioural scientists are studying fundamental behavioural parameters of wildlife to understand their characteristics, their role in the ecosystem and how they may adapt to a changing environment. Recent studies have focused on human-animal interactions, understanding how people and wildlife affect one another. We will use this information to improve these relationships and improve conservation outcomes by inspiring people to act for the wild.