Welcome to the website of the Data Zoo Gang! A research group on wildlife quantitative biology from the Leibniz IZW, Berlin, Germany.

Who are we?

The Data Zoo Gang is a small team of scientists (mostly biologists) with a slightly geeky data-driven take on wildlife and humans.

We all love mammals, birds, computers and R.

knitr::include_graphics(path = "images/great_tit.jpg") # this is R code
© Alexandre Courtiol

We enjoy collaborating with people – whoever they are – as long as they want to discover something cool and not too obvious about their favorite species.

We hate demonstrating the obvious, and strongly dislike low quality datasets and proprietary software (although we sometimes use both).

What do we do?

We embrace eclecticsm and draw concepts from ecology, evolution, demography and conservation to tackle our questions.

At the technical level, we mix statistics and programming (with an occasional dash of mathematical modeling) to analyse data collected in the wild so as to solve puzzles about wildlife conservation, the ecology and evolution of life history traits, animal behaviour, as well as to better understand various aspects of health in wildlife populations (check out our publications for more details).

We also create open source tools (R packages) for researchers from these communities, teach stats, experimental design, and R programming, and offer consulting and training both within and outside academia.

Where are we based?

We are based at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, Germany (or IZW for short). Some of us occasionally do field work in Tanzania as members of the hyena project, so as not to lose track of the real world.

Why are we called Data Zoo Gang?

We call our team, the Data Zoo Gang or DZG (pronounced “deezeegee”) for short.

Data because that is the raw material for almost everything we do.

Zoo because we work on animals and are also based next to an animal park.

Gang because there is a nicer rhythm to it than group or team and because we are almost rebels:

How to join us?

We love collaborating with field biologists, NGOs, or geeks from any background.

If you would like to join us and are a motivated scientist with overlapping interests, no matter your skills, origin, age, sex & gender, please do contact us and we will figure out the details together.