Marjolein Osieck

Research Assistant animal behaviour and welfare


As a Research Assistant, I am responsible for the practical work involved Applied Animal Behaviour end Welfare Research. I work closely with the CRC-scientists and Animal Caretakers, Coordinators and Curators, in the office and in the ZOO. I provide researchers and students with background information about the animals and current developments in the parks. I also take care of orders for the research materials, keep the students' records and help enter data from our Biobank.

My main interest is in Animal Welfare. That is why I am particularly involved in Marina Salas' research projects, which involve assessing the welfare of our animals in a scientific way. We share the results of these studies with our colleagues from the Animal Care department and give advice on what is needed to further optimize it.

I also organize monthly ZOO Science Sessions. During these informal presentations for staff, volunteers and students, various topics are discussed, all of which have a link to Research, Conservation and the Management of our animals at Antwerp ZOO and Planckendael ZOO. Once a year, the Antwerp ZOO Centre for Research and Conservation (CRC) hosts the ZOO Science Research Symposium, where researchers present their work to colleagues and students all over the world.

Extra activities

Since I started working at Zoos I have been connected to the Harpij Foundation (Stichting de Harpij), an organization by- and for employees in Dutch and Flemish Zoos, with over 1300 members. Our goal is to increase the quality of animal care at Zoos all over the world by sharing knowledge. We organize workshops, conferences and sports days and we have a quarterly magazine. I am a member in the board and an editor for this organization.

My interest in Zoos and Wildlife is not limited to working hours; in my spare time I love to visit Zoos and Nature reserves all over the world.

Research Interests

  • Animal welfare
  • Animal behaviour
  • Conservation

Brief Biography

I have no background as a Researcher, but Zoos and Wildlife have always fascinated me. I studied Animal Care and Management at Groenhorst College in Barneveld, the Netherlands. During weekends and school holidays, I combined these studies with a job as Zookeeper at Ouwehands Dierenpark in Rhenen (NL). After graduating, I started at Dierenpark Wissel and a few years later at ZooParc Overloon, where I became head keeper. After ten years at these Zoos, I became a bird keeper at Antwerp ZOO. Then I started working with small primates to become Animal Care Coordinator still later. In February 2018, I got the opportunity to become a Research Assistant at the Antwerp Centre for Research and Conservation of Antwerp ZOO and Planckendael ZOO, where I can use my practical experience and make the link between Research and daily Animal Management.