BRAIN FOOD: Unlikely managers - Curator of lower vertebrates/London Zoo

BRAIN FOOD: Unlikely managers - Curator of lower vertebrates/London Zoo - Name: Dr Heather Hall

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Name: Dr Heather Hall

When did you become a manager? Five years ago, when I started this job.

Before that I was doing research at the Institute of Zoology.

What does management mean to you?

I manage a team of four staff in the aquarium and four in the reptile house, as well as a part-time person who liaises with overseas projects.

In terms of animals, I manage 230 fish species and 120 species of reptiles and amphibians. Responsibilities range from deciding which species we're going to keep, their nutrition and breeding and conservation. I co-chair a group for reptile breeding across the UK and fish breeding across Europe.

Today, I'm also duty manager at the zoo, meaning I'm responsible for the entire staff and have to look after everything from absences and moving a tiger, to celebrity visitors.

What do you love/hate about it? You get to see unique things every day and, with the conservation programmes, you feel like you make a difference.

I dislike getting pulled in so many directions that I feel I never do anything as well as I'd like.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

What Lego robots can teach us about motivating teams

People crave meaningful work, yet managers can so easily make it all seem futile.

What went wrong at Debenhams?

There are lessons in the high street store's sorry story.

How to find the right mentor or executive coach

One minute briefing: McDonald’s UK CEO Paul Pomroy.

What you don't want to copy from Silicon Valley

Workplace Evolution podcast: Twitter's former EMEA chief Bruce Daisley on Saturday emails, biased recruitment and...

Research: How the most effective CEOs spend their time

Do you prefer the big, cross-functional meeting or the one-to-one catch-up?

6 rules for leading a remote team

Our C-suite panel share their distilled wisdom.