Understanding the Role of Ex Situ Conservation to Enhance Public Understanding, Awareness, and Support for Biodiversity

The purpose of this research is to use an evidence-based approach to further the Toronto Zoo’s social science and education programs, in order to support in situ conservation and biodiversity in relation to Canadian goals and the Aichi Targets. Using a collaborative approach this research will result in the co-production of knowledge, where the researcher and the partner organization collaborate in all four stages of the research project. This project is mutually beneficial for the researcher and the partner organization. The researcher will gain additional skills and networking opportunities as presented through the research project and the Mitacs Elevate training. This training and expertise can then be shared with the Toronto Zoo. This will be achieved through the collaborative research process, and through the workshops, webinars and training that the researcher will provide as part of the outcomes for this project. This will help ensure that the Toronto Zoo will benefit in an ongoing way from the sharing of Dr. Bueddefeld’s expertise in social science research and project design. This funding will support the production of innovative research dissemination projects such as the proposed podcast and research video – in order to share these research findings beyond traditional academic contexts.

Faculty Supervisor:

Chris Lemieux


Jill Bueddefeld


Toronto Zoo


Environmental sciences


Arts, entertainment and recreation


Wilfrid Laurier University



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