We ensure that all our Trainer Coaches have true life experience in their areas of expertise, Grace Goddard shares her experience.
We ensure that all our Trainer Coaches have true life experience in their areas of expertise, to enable them to offer support and advice to our learners and employers with a detailed understanding of what it takes to achieve.
Grace Goddard, our amazing Keeper and Aquarist Specialist, speaks to us about about her experience in the industry.

Grace says, “My passion with small freshwater fish began when I was younger and helped at my uncle’s aquatic pet shop. I went on to gain a degree in animal behaviour and a master’s in fish research at the University of Derby, which enabled me to expand my work with different animal collections. I worked at Bristol Zoo where I learnt how to care for small mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish. At home I have various animals, but yet to have my own aquarium!

I love working with animals because they all have their own personality, and you can adapt the care they need to suit them. I enjoy assessing animal cognitive abilities, particularly when training puffer fish and sharks to come to targets and turtles to respond to different coloured items. I especially enjoy being part of conservation projects who breed species to be released back into the wild.

Zoos and aquariums are often received negatively, but they have a huge positive impact in conserving endangered species. Many zoos conserve endangered species, play an active role in releasing species back into the wild and fund research into many zoological areas. Since working in the zoo industry, I have built up the knowledge needed to care for a wide range of animals, specifically in their behaviour, enclosure design, legislation, diets and health.

My greatest achievement was gaining my rescue scuba diving qualification! It took years of confidence, will power and commitment to pass, but it enabled me to work as an aquarist and put me above the rest. I have fond memories of diving with different animals at the zoo.

After working with animals for so long, becoming a Trainer Coach allows me to share my knowledge and experience with future keepers and aquarists. I want to inspire others to work in the field of conservation in the zoo industry and encourage people to work at the centre of conservation! It’s great to see apprentices so engaged in learning about different species and I find it exciting to think that I have contributed to their enthusiasm and interest in the field.”

If you are interested in working in the zoo or aquarist industry, Grace says, “Go into the industry with an open mind. There are plenty of organisations that offer work experience and voluntary work. Working in this environment comes with its challenges, but it is enormously rewarding.”

For more information, contact us here.