Dr. Heather Koldewey

Heather Koldewey/ZSL

Heather Koldewey/ZSL

Co-Founder and Field Conservation Manager, Project Seahorse

Head of Global Programmes, Zoological Society of London

Ever since peering into rockpools as a small child, Heather has been fascinated by what lives in water. Following a BSc honours degree at the University of Plymouth, she completed a PhD (Genetics) at the University of Wales, Swansea.

In 1997, Heather became the Curator of the Aquarium and Reptile House at London Zoo. Since starting at the Zoological Society of London, Heather has worked to advance the role of aquariums in fish conservation globally. In 1998, she facilitated a series of workshops that established the first co-ordinated conservation breeding programmes for fish and aquatic invertebrates in European aquariums. She has co-chaired this initiative since its inception.

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Phone: +44 207 449 6480

Email: heather.koldewey@zsl.org

Twitter: @heatherkoldewey

Historically, aquariums have not been well connected to conservation of animals in their natural habitats. Heather has developed a more direct engagement in marine and freshwater conservation efforts, including programmes in the UK, Philippines, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Nepal and Mozambique. In 1996, Heather co-founded Project Seahorse with Amanda and is now Associate Director. The opportunity to work with such an inspiring and diverse group of people around the world, as well as such incredible animals, has been a great privilege and motivation.

Heather wears a lot of different hats and is involved in many national and international initiatives, ranging from being Chair of the Fish Section of the IUCN Re-introduction Specialist Group to a UK government zoo inspector. She is currently the Section Head for Global Programmes at ZSL.


PhD University College Swansea/University College London. Thesis: A genetic study of brown trout (Salmo trutta) populations in Welsh rivers.

BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Marine and Fish Biology), University of Plymouth (First Class Honours)

Research interests

  • Marine and freshwater conservation
  • Seahorse biology and genetics
  • Impact of the aquarium trade on wild populations of fish and aquatic invertebrates

Other experience

2007 - present: HM Government Zoo Inspector
2006 - present: Board Member: The Shark Trust
2005 - present: Fellow: Linnean Society of London
2004 - present: Member: Board of Trustees, Project Seahorse Foundation for Marine Conservation Inc., Philippines.
2003 - present: Member: European Association of Zoos and Aquaria EEP Committee
2002 - present: Member: European Union of Aquarium Curators Executive Committee
2001 - present: Chair: IUCN Re-introduction Specialist Group Fish Section
1999 - present: Special advisor: American Association of Zoos and Aquariums Marine Fish and Freshwater Fish TAG
1998 - present: Chair: European (EUAC/EAZA) Fish and Aquatic Invertebrate TAG
1997 - present: Member: Reef Conservation UK committee