Training the next generation of species conservationists

Together with the Biology Department at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), the Species360 Conservation Science Alliance has a strong commitment to helping science students reaching their full potential and become the next generation of conservation leaders. We are dedicated to developing the student’s capacities to think critically and act creatively to address global conservation issues while equipping them with state of the art data analytical skills.

Graduate level conservation class

In our intensive 6-day Graduate-level course “Species Conservation – a key element to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals” led by Director of Science Prof. Dalia Amor Conde the students discussed issues related to keeping great apes under human care, de-extinction, wolves in Denmark, and wildlife trade bans.

During the course the students learn how modern zoos contribute to conservation through education, conservation, breeding, and research on behind the scenes guided tours at our Sponsor-Partners Givskud zoo and Terrariet Vissenbjerg – Reptile zoo.

The course includes guest lectures from experts who join us from all continents, introducing current conservation topics and the critical nature of collaboration and data sharing amongst zoos and aquariums worldwide.

Graduates of the 2022 class on “Species Conservation – a key element to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals” visiting the dinosaur exhibition at Givskud Zoo.

Student Program

Students at the Biology Department of SDU can do a Bachelor, Master or PhD thesis developing research in the strategic areas of the Conservation Science Alliance.

Current Master students
Mathias Buch Andersen is a Master student working on the improvements of life expectancy and lifespan equality in zoo-held Great Apes.


Current Guest PhD students
Simeon Smeele is a PhD fellow at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Animal Behavior and the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany working on monk parakeets. As former CSA research assistant he continues to collaborate with the CSA working on sex-differences in parrots.
Graduate PhD students (2018-2020)
Andrew Mooney (Species360 PhD Fellow), PhD graduate 2020 from Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland. Andrew analysed zoo species composition, reproduction patterns in flamingos, and species prioritisation for genetic rescue. His supervisors are Prof. Yvonne Buckley (Trinity College) and Prof. Dalia Conde (Species360).
Rita da Silva (Species360 PhD Fellow), PhD graduate in 2019, from MaxO, CPop and SDU. Rita did her doctoral thesis on demographic analyses to enhance biodiversity conservation and sustainable international trade in fish, corals, turtles and tortoises.l
Johanna Staerk (Species360 PhD Fellow), PhD graduate in 2018 from MaxO, CPop and SDU. Johanna did her doctoral thesis on filling demographic knowledge gaps and decision analysis for the conservation of threatened species.
Graduate students (2021)
Jacqueline Jürgens did her ERASMUS internship working on developing the Songbird Species Knowledge Index to prioritize passerine species for conservation and policy action. She as well did her Masther thesis on the EU import ban on wild birds, analyzing the legal and illegal trade of wild birds in Europe
Caroline Pedersen did a company project in collaboration with Copenhagen zoo focusing on Best Practice Guidelines for Amphibians
Caroline Pedersen did her company project in collaboration with Copenhagen zoo focusing on Best Practice Guidelines for amphibians


Sarah Vig Hansen did her research project investigating Denmark’s role in the legal and illegal international wildlife trade
Ditte Holm Andersen did her Bachelor thesis investigating ex situ historical collections of marine mammals across the last 150 years in five continents
Katrine Bonke Johansen did her Bachelor thesis on comparing sex-specific survival patterns for the Binturong using global zoo data
Graduate Master students (2020)
Rikke Øgelund Nielsen did her Master thesis investigating opportunities for zoos and aquariums to support Elasmobranchii species threatened by international trade. She is currently working as a student assistant for CSA.



Line Lindholm Sørensen did her Master thesis on prioritizing critically endangered species for genetic rescue.
Simon Kaae Andersen did his Master thesis on trade chain analyses of Southeast Asian freshwater turtles
Graduate students (2017-2018)
Ioanna Alexiadou (M.Sc.) did her Master thesis on investigating potential illegal laundering of critically endangered ASAP species traded as “captive-bred” in the international market.
Jeanette Hedeager (M.Sc.) did her Master on assessing the alignment of species breeding programs with global conservation prioritization schemes.
Cecilie Hee Frederiksen (M.Sc.) did her Master thesis on investigating international trade of Asian big cats and conducted survival and fertility analyses based on ZIMS data.
Former employees
Simeon Smeele (CSA research assistant, 2019) analyzed and visualized data on survival and fertility in mammals and birds.

Thank you!

We thank our sponsoring partners: Copenhagen Zoo, Mandai Wildlife Group, and the Toronto Zoo. We could not achieve critical success without your partnership.


Conservation Science Alliance needs your support

Our work would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsoring partners, which helps to fund researchers and data analysts conducting this important work.