Our projects

Dr Helen Senn

Head of Conservation and Science Programmes

Helen manages the RZSS Conservation department. She has worked at RZSS since 2011, including managing the RZSS WildGenes lab. She is a specialist in conservation genetics.  She also works on species conservation strategies and action plans across the globe.

She has particular interests  in the management of reintroductions, the detection and management of hybridization, relationship between taxonomy and conservation, strategic planning and capacity building. Her academic research work mainly focuses on arid-land ungulate species (e.g. Arabian oryx, scimitar-horned oryx, addax and dama gazelle), wildcats, beaver and other mammals. Her PhD research focused on the hybridisation of red and sika deer in Scotland. 


  • PhD (University of Edinburgh, UK) Molecular Ecology/Evolutionary Biology
    • BSc hons (University of St Andrews) Environmental and Evolutionary Biology


  • IUCN Antelope specialist group member (2014-)
  • IUCN Conservation genetics specialist group member (2016-)
  • Sahara Conservation Fund Conservation & Science Committee Member (2014-)
  • EAZA population management group (2015-)
  • EAZA bio-banking working group (2016-)
  • Genetics advisor to Scottish Wildcat (2016-) and AZAA Arabian Sand Cat (2014-) breeding programmes.
  • Genetics advisor to the European Association of Zoo and Aquaria (EAZA) Antelope and Giraffe Taxonomic Advisory Group (TAG) and EAZA Felid TAG.
  • University of Edinburgh, Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Hon. Fellowship (2016-)
  • University of Glasgow, Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, Affiliate (2016-)
  • Sharjah International Workshop for the Conservation of Arabian Biodiversity Scientific Committee Member (2017-)
  • Scottish Environment LINK Trustee (2017-)


For all of Helen's publications please visit her Google Scholar page here.