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.
Brian Zimmerman - Director of Conservation and Science
Brian Zimmerman has been the Director of Conservation and Science of the Bristol Zoological Society (BZS) since July 2020, 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).
Prior to joining BZS, he was the Chief Zoological Officer at the Zoological Society of London, with responsibility for the curatorial team and species planning at London and Whipsnade Zoos. Brian joined ZSL as the Head Keeper of the Aquarium in 1999 and eventually became Curator of the Aquarium. At ZSL, he created the Fish Net Programme, an international consortium of zoos, aquariums, research institutions and NGOs working to save threatened freshwater fish species from extinction. He developed projects under the Fish Net Programme in Greece, Turkey and Madagascar, undertaking monitoring, translocation and establishing security populations of some of the most threatened species on Earth. Through consultancy and with other partner organisations, he has conducted biodiversity surveys in Nepal, Liberia and Turkmenistan and worked to develop an alternative sustainable livelihood programme in Brazil utilising ornamental fishes for the aquarium hobby.
Brian was the Chair of the BIAZA Aquarium Working Group for several years and Chair of the EAZA Fish and Aquatic Invertebrate Taxonomic Advisory Group (FAITAG) for seven years. He also sat on the EAZA Conservation Committee. He is currently the Chair of the Freshwater Fish TAG for EAZA and sits on the Committee of the European Union of Aquarium Curators.
Before coming to the UK, Brian worked at Dallas Zoo and Aquarium and served in the US Peace Corps in Nevis, West Indies as a primary school teacher at three schools, teaching environmental education. He gained his BSc at the University of Wisconsin in Natural Resource Management and Environmental Education.
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.
Francesca - Director of Transformation
Francesca joined as Director of Transformation in March 2021. She is responsible for the Society’s capital programme to deliver the new Bristol Zoo and will oversee the sale of Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Society’s adjoining properties in Clifton.
She was previously Director of Estates at University College London (UCL), implementing a £1Bn+ estate transformation programme as well as managing the day-to-day operation of the campus and has led strategic estate transformation programmes at the BBC and MOD. Prior to this, she was a partner at JLL for 20 years advising many of the world’s leading companies on their global real estate portfolios.
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