Meet the team
We take great pride in our team!
We have more than 40 dedicated and passionate members of staff and over 80 volunteers. Get to know some of the team and find out what they do here at Dartmoor Zoo.
Abby Morgan, Communications and Marketing Officer
Abby joined Dartmoor Zoo in 2020 and has worked in the public relations / marketing sector for eight years. Starting her career within the NHS, Abby has a particular interest in audience development and engaging the disengaged.
Abby has a passion for animals and conservation and her role contributes to the charitable mission of the organisation. From managing the social media channels, creating content for the website, writing press releases and news stories, and generally keeping everyone informed about what’s happening at DZS, her role is extremely wide-ranging and certainly keeps her on her toes!
Francesca Canale-Dow, Education and Research Manager
Francesca is the newly-appointed Education and Research Manager. She started her journey at Dartmoor Zoo nine years ago as an animal management student, before going on to complete a BSc, PGCE and finally her masters in anthrozoology.
After some years teaching animal care, Francesca re-joined Dartmoor Zoo in 2019 as a Presenter and Volunteer Co-ordinator, before her recent promotion. You may have seen her live on the internet throughout lockdown doing her Facebook lives, virtual animal talks for the zoo, and singing live to raise money for the charity. In her personal life, Frankie is a dedicated and shameless Disney fanatic.
Justin Aird, Senior LVI Keeper
Justin started his time at Dartmoor Zoo as a volunteer 11 years ago, gaining much experience in animal husbandry and also finding confidence in presenting public talks to guests. After volunteering for four years, Justin was employed as a member of staff and by this time had developed a great love for reptiles, amphibians and bugs.
Justin is now the Senior Keeper of the LVI section, which he describes as a ‘dream come true’.
Lydia Kiem, Deputy Head of Catering, Retail & Events
Lydia has worked at Dartmoor Zoological Society since 2017 and is now the Deputy Manager of the Retail, Catering and Events Department. She ensures that guests have an amazing experience at DZS and helps them to plan their special day, whether that’s a day visit, a party, a conference or even a wild and wonderful zoo wedding! Lydia loves the natural world and is honoured to work at DZS and help people to enjoy the zoo.
She is still negotiating with the trustees to change the zoo uniform to match her favourite beautiful yellow shoes.
Lynne Hodgson, Fundraising Lead
Lynne joined Dartmoor Zoo in June 2021 as the Charity’s Fundraising Lead and with over 20 years fundraising experience with both national and local charities, she brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and creativity to contribute to the ambitious growth plans of the Zoo.
A born and bred Plymothian, Lynne is proud of her West Country heritage and passionately champions all the wonderful opportunities the South West has to offer, her favourite place is Bigbury on Sea on the South Devon coast where she spends quality time with her family at her static caravan.
Lynne will be working closely with the team at the Zoo to develop a broad mix fundraising programme which will include securing funding from trusts and foundations and developing corporate and community engagement partnerships.
Simon Moore, Senior Keeper
Simon started working at Dartmoor Zoo in 2018. He has worked in the animal care industry since 2005 and has been zoo keeping since 2008.
After achieving a national diploma in animal management, Simon went on to complete the Diploma in Management of Zoo and Aquarium Animals (DMZAA), a recognised zookeeping qualification.
He has worked with a wide-range of species including large hoofstock, carnivores and birds, but primates are his passion. At Dartmoor Zoo, Simon’s favourite animal is the gelada, which are part of the collection plan at the zoo that he was involved in.
Simon enjoys being the animal department’s volunteer co-ordinator, where he helps to teach and guide the next generation of zookeepers. He also has a passion for fundraising and conserving the natural world and one of his biggest achievements was raising £1800 for lemur conservation by doing a skydive.