Course Description

In the current era known as the Anthropocene, our planet faces a double crisis: climate change and biodiversity loss. These inextricably linked forces will have a significant impact on the viability of animals in wild spaces and under human care. Zoo populations provide us with an opportunity to understand the health and welfare needs of animals in a monitored environment. Inter-disciplinary teams of health, welfare, nutrition, reproductive and husbandry specialists come together to develop individualized care plans that support animals throughout the critical stages of their lives: neonate, juvenile, reproductive adult, and geriatric adult. The knowledge gained from zoo-based wellbeing programs can one day inform decisions for animals in the wild. This course will provide an overview of species conservation challenges and the role of zoo-based science and technology in mitigating anthropogenic impacts on animal wellbeing.

Course Director

Gabriela Mastromonaco
Gabriela Mastromonaco has spent more than 25 years working with assisted reproductive technologies in livestock and wildlife species. Her interest in comparative reproductive biology inspired her to complete a PhD at the University of Guelph in the department of Biomedical Sciences of the Ontario Veterinary College. As Manager of Reproductive Sciences at the Toronto Zoo, she has implemented research projects to investigate fundamental questions on the reproductive biology of non-domestic species with the goal of integrating results into conservation management programs. With the more recent additional role of Senior Director of Wildlife Science, she oversees the Zoo’s science and care teams and endeavours to build multi-disciplinary collaborations to support species recovery strategies ex situ and in situ. Gabriela currently maintains adjunct professor positions at four Canadian universities (Guelph, Laurentian, Trent and Saskatchewan) as part of her commitment to the training of future scientists and conservationists, and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in reproductive and conservation science.

Picture of Gabriela Mastromonaco

Gabriela Mastromonaco

Term and Time

Winter 2025 – starting January
9:50 am on Friday morning
Room TBA in York Hall

Course Outline

Two weeks before the course starts, you can download a printable PDF giving the 10-week detailed course outline.

NOTE: The course outline opens in a new browser tab where you cannot see the LLIR page header and menu. You can download the outline for future reading and printing. When you are finished, return to our website as follows:
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Lecture Notes

Links to resources such as additional reading or play lists are provided here as the Course Director makes them available during term. Like the course outline, lecture notes open in a new browser tab so that you can download and print them.

Return to the list of courses for 2024-2025 to check out another course.