Jason Wark, Ph.D.

Department

Conservation & Science

Center

Animal Welfare Science Program

Title

Animal Welfare Scientist

Education

Ph.D. – Biology, Case Western Reserve University
B.S. – Biology, Pennsylvania State University

Headshot

Areas of Expertise

  • Animal welfare
  • Data visualization
  • Product management

About

Jason is part of the Animal Welfare Science Program, a program through which scientists and Animal Care staff work together to evaluate and enhance the well-being of animals in zoos and promote positive animal welfare. Jason oversees the ongoing behavioral monitoring program at Lincoln Park Zoo, supervising the training and organization of dozens of volunteers and interns. Jason works alongside Animal Care staff to translate data into actionable insights to help animals thrive in the zoo environment.

Jason also manages the development of the ZooMonitor app, a web-based tool to measure behavior and infer the welfare of animals. This application was made available to zoos, aquariums, sanctuaries, and others to provide the community with an easy-to-use electronic means of recording behavior and better understand animal welfare. Jason regularly provides guidance and training on how other institutions can use ZooMonitor to advance welfare.

Before joining Lincoln Park Zoo, Jason conducted his graduate research at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Case Western Reserve University. Jason studied a wide range of topics, including behavioral thermoregulation in colobus monkeys, wheel-running in fossa, and aggression in piranha. Jason’s dissertation research investigated the influence of sound on the behavior and hormone levels of callitrichid monkeys.

Publications

  • Wark, J.D., Cronin, K.A., Niemann, T., Kao, A., Shender, M.A., Horrigan, A. & Ross, M.R. 2019. Monitoring the behavior and habitat use of animals to enhance welfare using the ZooMonitor app. Animal Behavior & Cognition, 6: 158-168.
  • Wark, J. D., Cronin, K. A., Niemann, T., Shender, M. A., Horrigan, A., Kao, A., & Ross, M. R. 2019. Monitoring the Behavior and Habitat Use of Animals to Enhance Welfare using the ZooMonitor App. Animal Behavior and Cognition, 6(3), 158–167. https://doi.org/10.26451/abc.06.03.01.2019.
  • Rog, J. E., Lukas, K. E., & Wark, J. D.   2015. Social and environmental influences on pacing in a female Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus). Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research, 3(4), 151–156.
  • Wark, J.D., Kuhar, C.W., Lukas, K.E. 2014. Behavioral thermoregulation in a group of zoo-housed colobus monkeys (Colobus guereza). Zoo Biology, 33: 257-266.