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last edited  2009

My name is Dirk Petzold, I am a Biologist (Behavioral Ecology) at Bielefeld, Northern Germany, PhD dissertation on "Diving Behaviour and Ecology of the Australian Water Rat" at the University of Bielefeld, a nice, unusual rodent that hunts for live prey under water (more info and photos on my PhD pages).

Born in Frankfurt in 1968, I grew up in many different places including Neusiedl at the famous lake in Easter Austria. I have been very interested in zoology and conservation since my early childhood. While studying biology in Bielefeld, I also participated in the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust Summer School in 1995 in Jersey (zoo biology course).

Together with some other zoo enthusiastic students, I started a student zoo biology workgroup in Bielefeld in 1995. This represented our attempt to further educate ourselves in absence of any zoo-related courses being offered by the University. Meanwhile, this so-called "Zoo-AG" runs on a wider scale. More about us can be found on our English Zoo-AG homepage. I also wrote essays for the "Encyclopedia of the World's Zoos" (on the Zoos of Dortmund, Hannover, Bern, Frankfurt and Walsrode Birdpark), which was published in 2001.

Working as a consultant to many small zoos and zoo-related projects (for internet magazines, TV Productions and animal-related journals) has rapidly grown over the years.

Feeling like I should be more active in conservation as well, I began to work voluntarily with the ZGAP (Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations) as editor of the ZGAP magazine, "ZGAP Mitteilungen". ZGAP is a small, but very effective organisation especially involved in Vietnam and the Philippines. With limited funding, we run and fund a lot of projects around the world, concentrating on the least known and most forgotten, yet highly endangered species.
The conservation foundation 
“Stiftung Artenschutz” was set up in 2001 to promote and start conservation project together with zoos and the business sector. I have been active in the managing board of this foundation ever since.

Feed free to email me if you have any questions or comments.

Dirk Petzold

(Regarding websites: Many of the websites I've mentioned above are German-based sites, as well as my own pages that are linked on the left. Several of my Water Rat pages are in English.)