Click on any of our Rangers to view their profiles.
ZooLab is for people of all ages and in all places.
Simply call us now on 0845 330 6322
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
and see how we can help you to make that vital
difference and create some real ‘animal magic’.
Why do you love your job?
I love having a job where every day is different. I get to meet really wonderful people and inspire future scientists. I find the animal therapy aspect of my role particularly rewarding.
What’s your favourite animal?
My favourite ZooLab animals would be my rats, Jelly and Beans! They are so intelligent and cheeky! They are a definite favourite at my visits and are always learning new tricks that they can show off.
Interesting fact about yourself?
I spent four months studying cockroaches whilst at university, and wrote my dissertation on them! I now have ten pet cockroaches!
I have a lifelong passion for animals and the environment. I have experience keeping a large range of animals from Shetland ponies to scorpions. I trained to be a volunteer bat carer, which allows me to care for and rehabilitate sick or injured bats before returning them to the wild.
I studied Zoology at Cardiff University where I covered a variety of topics, including avian and mammalian diversity, animal communication, population ecology and animal parasitology.
Alex Jones - Team Leader
Why do you love your job? I love educating children all about the animals and how wonderful the natural world is. I am very encouraging and enjoy seeing children's confidence grow once they know the animals aren't so scary after all.
Alex’s favourite ZooLab animal is Tracey the Chilean rose tarantula. Alex has had her since she started her job with ZooLab, back in 2006. She must be over 12 years old now! She loves to chill in her plant pot and hide. Her favourite food is juicy crickets.
Interesting fact - I have kept various exotic animals now for nine years.
Experience/qualifications: BSc (honours) Animal Behaviour and Welfare degree.
I love being able to share my passion for animals with everyone I meet. My job takes me all over the country and allows me to bring new and exciting experiences to children and adults alike. One of my favourite parts of my job is showing people how amazing my creatures really are.
My favourite animal has to be my Vietnamese centipede. I can sit and watch them for hours, they are absolutely fascinating!
Interesting fact about yourself?
I’m currently in the Army Reserves. Monday to Friday, I teach children and adults about the fascinating natural world, and, at weekends I'm on military manoeuvres!
Barry Anderson - Central Ranger (East Midlands)
Why do you love your job? I am extremely interested in broadening minds; through education and animal handling.
Barry's favourite ZooLab animals are his young female rats. Rats are very intelligent and very social, which means they are always willing to learn new tricks. Although they haven't mastered the Rubik's cube yet, they are still super cute and friendly.
Interesting fact - I have a degree in Psychology, and I am a Pokémon Master - you are welcome to ask me about either!
Experience/qualifications: BSc (honours) Psychology degree
Caz Cutler - Team Trainer
Why do you love your job? My animals are my life, so there is nothing better than working alongside them at every given moment. Teaching and educating children about my passions is a very fulfilling and rewarding job.
Caz's favourite ZooLab animal is Roo the rat. She is very intelligent and knows lots of cool tricks. She comes when Caz calls her name and loves giving cuddles and kisses. She has beautiful round eyes and a lovely smooth coat and she's always happy to see Caz and join her at work.
Interesting fact - In the past I have worked for the RSPCA and Yorkshire Wildlife Park. I breed most of my animals and rear them by hand. I am the proud owner a rare Madagascan Tenrec, which resembles a hedgehog, but is not related.
Experience/qualifications: Animal Management & Science Foundation degree, and BTEC National Diploma Animal Management and Care. Two years with RSPCA and working in several farm settings.
Working for ZooLab is my dream job! Every day is different. I can be an animated storyteller for preschool children and then lead secondary school pupils on an imaginary journey through the rainforest!
It is a very rewarding job. I help children to see past the whiteboard and learn things they never normally would have. I have visited secondary schools were young adults have used me as role model and met children with special needs who get so much out of meeting my amazing animals. I also work within care homes where I’m considered a friend, helping those who may be struggling to have fun and relax.
I don't have a favourite - they are all my babies and I treat them that way. If I had to choose it would probably be Fudge my corn snake, I have had him since I was 14 years old. He has such a character and also loves being part of the ZooLab team.
Interesting fact about yourself
I love to scuba dive! I've been lucky enough to dive in Jamaica and Fuerteventura, where I have seen huge stingrays, barracuda, angel sharks and many more amazing animals.
Before ZooLab, I worked at stables, pet shops and the odd office. After completing Animal Care at college, I did a childcare apprenticeship and for four years worked with a range of children including those with additional support needs. My job at ZooLab puts all my previous experience together!
What do you love about your job
I have always had the desire to work with animals. Working with ZooLab has not only allowed me to work with an incredible range of species, but also live with them and observe their behaviour and learn more about them myself.
No day is the same as the one before, and I am able to meet individuals of all ages, and educate them about a variety of species. The real highlight of the job though is seeing the amazement on people’s faces when they learn something new, hold one of the creatures or even face their fears!
What is your favourite ZooLab Animal?
An impossible question! However, Gary the Madagascan hissing cockroach is a particular favourite. He performs well at shows, I like to think I’ve trained him well, as despite the negative reputation of the cockroach, he is often the groups’ favourite. He is also missing half an antennae, which makes for some interesting stories about how it went missing!
Interesting fact about yourself
I have been lucky enough to travel to a range of countries and have found myself in some incredible places, from standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, swimming in the blue lagoon and climbing glaciers. My other interests include music, I can play three instruments and have always been involved in various concerts and orchestras.
Qualifications and experience
I have a BSc in Animal Management with a focus on companion and zoo animals. My undergraduate thesis involved me feeding kebabs to hyenas, getting me a 1st and even finding its way into the paper and on BBC radio! Whilst I was a student I was involved with volunteering for animal charities, namely in catteries.
Chris Knowles -South Ranger (Eastern)
Why do you love your job? I love my job because I meet new people every day and get to see their reactions to the animals, especially after I've given them some cool facts about them!
Chris's favourite ZooLab animal is Rosie the Chilean rose tarantula. What makes them cool is that they exhibit advanced behaviour such as parental care but are also one of the most primitive (oldest) spider groups. Tarantulas really are dinosaurs of the spider world!
Interesting fact - I've spent more than a year of my life living in rainforests all over the world and enjoy passing on some of the more interesting stories about my adventures during workshops.
Georgie Jefferies -Team Trainer
Why do you love your job? I am passionate about animals and nature and believe that to protect the environment we need to learn about it and to love it. I like to help children and adults learn through being expressive and enthusiastic in my workshops.
Georgie's favourite ZooLab animal is 'Lord Voldemort' the Emperor scorpion. He has a dangerous sting in his tail and has many eyes which allow him to see his fellow scorpions glowing green at night time!
Interesting fact - I am editor of the International Turaco Society. A turaco is an exotic African softbill bird. The International Turaco Society aims to research and promote good husbandry practices; support conservation projects that have an impact on wild populations and unite turaco enthusiasts around the world.
Experience/qualifications: BSc (honours) Animal Science and Management degree.
I love being able to share my passion with younger generations and hopefully ignite the same passion in them during my shows. Teaching children to love, respect and care for animals is a valuable skill which will stay with them for life.
It's hard to choose a favourite animal within my animal team because I love them all! A favourite in shows would have to be Norbert, my very handsome Citrus Bearded Dragon. His cheeky personality always makes everyone laugh!
I love to sing! Anyone who spend long car journeys with me will know that they don't get to listen to any music without me singing at the top of my lungs! I'm also up for any adventure or travelling to as many different places as possible!
I have a degree in Animal Management and have worked in many different places. Including- a livestock farm situated in a secondary school; where the students and I raised the livestock and sold the produce and a children's adventure farm park conducting animals tours, pig racing, haunted house tours and Christmas sleigh rides!
Heather Pearce – Team Leader
Why do you love your job? I have been working for ZooLab since 2010 and love it! Working for ZooLab means every day is very different and extremely interesting. I also like working with a wide range of ages, and hearing the funny questions we get asked about the animals.
Heather’s favourite ZooLab animal is Terry, her Giant Africa millipede. He is so cool. He has 240 legs and is 22cm long! He loves to tickle peoples' hands with all his legs during workshops. Terry loves melon and cucumber.
Interesting fact - When I finished college I went to volunteer in South Africa. I was only meant to go for 11-weeks but ended up staying for nearly two years! While there, I worked with baboons, penguins and Vervet monkeys. While at the Vervet Monkey Foundation I lived in a tent for a over year!
Experience/qualifications: National Diploma in Animal Management. Two-years travelling abroad; volunteering with various conservation and research organisations.
Joe Campbell - Team Trainer
Why do you love your job? With my job I am able to visit new places and meet a large range of different people. I love trying to help people overcome any unwanted irrational fear of some animals and hopefully stopping any starting with young children. To see how excited and inspired children can be from a ZooLab visit makes my job very worthwhile.
Joe's favourite ZooLab animal is Tank the rat. She is very clever and very well trained. She comes when called and plays fetch. She will also very happily sleep in Joe's arms like the little baby she is.
Interesting fact - I have a diploma in Animal Care and a degree in Animal Welfare & Behaviour. I have worked in wildlife rehabilitation centres, zoos and performed talks at Brighton Sea Life Centre.
Experience/qualifications: National Diploma Animal Management and BSc (honours) Animal Welfare and Behaviour degree.
I love living and working with my animals. We have a special bond with our animals that is definitely noticeable during our workshops. Watching people interact with animals that they rarely get the chance to see and spreading a positive message is so rewarding.
I love all my animals so much. If I really had to choose a favourite it would probably be Trevor my corn snake. Customers love him as he is well behaved and enjoys the attention when being handled.
I used to be terrified of spiders. Thanks to Thelma, my Chilean rose tarantula, I've overcame the fear.
I grew up in the Italian countryside surrounded by nature. I have been interested in animals since I was little and I had lots of pets growing up. While I was finishing school, I worked at an agriturismo (an Italian version of a rural farm B&B) looking after the animals and giving tours of the farm. Before moving to London in 2014, I worked at my local stables gaining experience working with customers and animals.
I love the variety the job brings; educating people of all ages and backgrounds about animals, science and the environment.
My favourite animal is the dragonfly, one of the most primitive and effective hunters! My favourite ZooLab animal is Froakie, the very cute Australian tree frog.
I worked as an English language teacher in Japan for a year. I enjoyed seeing all the different varieties of wildlife they have including lots of very beautiful, big bugs!
I have a degree in Zoology so I'm passionate about spreading the importance of preserving the natural world, and all the creatures within it!
Working with animals has always been my ideal job. As a ZooLab ranger, I take care of a wide-range of domestic and exotic creatures who travel with me every day to shows and events.
I love working with the public, visiting schools, community centres and care homes. I enjoy answering questions and telling people unusual facts about the animals that I bring!
I like talking to people about their personal experiences with animals and introducing them to creatures they might not otherwise have the chance to see. We usually find that after meeting our creatures, people who were once squeamish or reluctant to handle them no longer have the same aversion.
My favourite animal to work with is the Madagascar hissing cockroach. Cockroaches are fantastically diverse animals, found all over the world with at least 3 species in the UK alone – they can be winged, flightless, eat practically anything and are incredibly robust! They’ve managed to exist on the planet for over 400 million years by surviving all kinds of conditions. People are always surprised by just how tickly they are to hold and they’re very docile to handle.
I am trained in the martial art of Aikido, including fighting with the bokken (wooden sword) and jō (staff). As a member of my centre, I have done charity training demonstrations for Help for Heroes.
I have a BSc. (Hons) degree in Zoology from the University of Glasgow where I studied genetics, microbiology, biodiversity, evolution, animal behaviour and development. Before becoming a ZooLab Ranger, I volunteered on farms and parks with horses, cows and llamas! I also gained experience working with snakes, spiders, bugs and birds through giving live handling demonstrations!
Peter Davies - Central Ranger (North West)
Why do you love your job? I think the most rewarding part of the job is educating people not to be afraid of certain animals. I myself have a bit of a fear of spiders but being able to observe them has allowed me to overcome this fear.Iif I can apply that to someone who has a fear of a certain animal then it makes me feel proud that I'm able to change a person’s life by doing something I enjoy.
Peter's favourite ZooLab animal is his snake, because these are his favourite type of animal!
Interesting fact - I have a fascination with reptiles; snakes being a particular favourite. I'm a collector of boas and pythons and hoping to expand my collection in the future. I am also a semi-professional miniature painter!
Experience/qualifications: Over 10 years’ experience dealing with exotic animals.
Why do you love your job? One main reason why I will love my job is down to educating people on environmental pressures on wildlife and habitats throughout the world. Also introducing them to new animals and hopefully quashing a few phobias.
Phillip Burnett - Customer Services Coordinator
Why do you love your job? I love this job because it involves working with young children whose perceptions of these animals can be set straight from the start and hopefully create some future zoologist, biologists alike.
Phillip's favourite ZooLab animal is his snake. And because Phillip is massively into tank design; creating lifelike jungle environments, his snake is very grateful!
Interesting fact - I was a cheerleader for my 4-years through uni - best social decision I've ever made.
Experience/qualifications: BSc Zoology (honours) degree and lots of experience volunteering around the world carrying out scientific research and conservation work.
Rob Hunt - Team Trainer
Why do you love your job? I love the experience of meeting new people every day and educating future generations about animals and their care. I also enjoy trying to help people put their fears to one side.
Rob’s favourite ZooLab animals are his rats Fudge and Rascal. Fudge and Rascal have just recently started working with Rob but have already proved themselves at doing shows. Their favourite food is dry dog biscuits.
Interesting fact - I own all sorts of weird and wonderful animals; from tailless-whip scorpions to pancake slugs. Having 44+ species of animal’s means having to keep up with animal knowledge and care. I am constantly learning fascinating things about the natural world!
Want to meet some of Rob's extraordinary animals? Contact us for more information on Rob's special workshop.
Experience/qualifications: National Diploma in Animal Management and HND in Animal Science.
Ross Muir - National Training Manager
Ross is one of our most experienced presenters!
Why do you love your job?
I am extremely passionate about conservation and teaching through play and drama.
Ross's favourite ZooLab animal is genuinely ALL his animals. He really can't pick one; from his hundreds of cockroaches, to his tree frog, they are all his best friends.
I am also an expert on Healthy Eating. Please ask me about ‘The Junkfood Roadshow’. A workshop all about the dangers of junk food and the merits of eating healthily.
Sarah Akarsu – Customer Service Champion
Why do you love your job? I love telling kids about the animals and seeing their wee faces light up when they get to hold them. Its great going to care homes and watching first-hand how positively animals affect the residents.
Sarah's favourite ZooLab animal is Dave the tree frog. He is just such a stunning little fella. He has such a chilled out personality.
Interesting fact - I have a 15-year old goldfish. I've been keeping reptiles since I was eleven. And I can move my eyes like a chameleon (lizard).
Experience/qualifications: Eleven years keeping reptiles and qualified first aider
Tristan Bruce - Team Leader
Why do you love your job? I love working for ZooLab. It is amazing working with all these awesome animals and teaching people about just what makes them so special.
Tristan's favourite ZooLab animal is Yoshi the black and white tegu lizard. He is a big softie and enjoys walking around the classroom between all the children. His favourite foods are mice, chicken and pieces of cow heart.
Interesting fact - I have kept snakes for over 20 years. I've been lucky enough to see some incredible animals in the wild. I have stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon just a few feet from circling Condors. I have been within touching distance of a nesting, leatherback turtle coming up on to Maracas beach in Trinidad. I have visited a colony of two million bats, and have even lived in the rainforest!
Want to meet some of Tristan's extraordinary animals during a MEGABEAST workshop? Contact us for more information.
Experience/qualifications: Twenty-five years’ experience keeping and breeding reptiles.
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