The University of Queensland

Zoo Case Study


How can zoos and aquariums better tailor their exhibits to captivate visitors and encourage conservation behaviours in everyday life? This project aimed to investigate the influence of values or broad life goals on the ways in which people engage with and respond to a zoo or aquarium visit.

This research was funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council [ARC Linkage Project: LP150100266] in collaboration with The University of Queensland, other universities, and a number of zoos and aquariums across Australia. 


Longitudinal surveys

Participants completed three surveys over a two-month period, providing a baseline measure, a touchpoint immediately following the zoo visit, and a one-month follow-up.

Panel members visit zoos

Pureprofile account holders were invited to visit their local zoo in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth with a friend for free to participate in the conservation study.

In-depth focus groups

A series of values-based focus groups were conducted at the zoos to examine how different values groups interacted with particular exhibits and how conservation messages might be tailored to more effectively influence environmental action.


The findings have assisted zoos and aquariums to better understand the visiting public and thus improve the design and effectiveness of their communication practices, enabling the development of more effective materials that engage a wider cross-section of society.

The team at Pureprofile were wonderful, and were always available to assist us with the data collection throughout the longitudinal study. Importantly, Pureprofile’s panel enabled us to easily find study participants in four capital cities who were willing not only to complete a series of online surveys, but to physically attend their local zoo and participate in the study. Overall, we were very impressed with the high level of engagement of Pureprofile’s panel members.


Associate Professor Karen Hughes, The University of Queensland