Our Team & Partners |
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Sabrina Brando is the director of AnimalConcepts and is pursuing a PhD at the University of Stirling in Scotland on the topic of “24/7 across lifespan: zoo animal and human wellbeing”.
She is a Research Associate with the Smithsonian Institution, manages 24/7 Animal Welfare and is the Primate Care Training Program Coordinator for the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance. She has worked in and with the global zoo and wildlife profession, including zoos, aquariums, wildlife centres and sanctuaries for 27 years. Sabrina has a BSc. in psychology and an MSc. in animal studies.

Globally known as an animal welfare scientist, she prefers to say, ‘I am in the business of animal happiness, PS: the human animal too!’. Animal care professionals are playing a key role in animal wellbeing. Dedication to caring for animals and the people who care for them is the core of AnimalConcepts’s philosophy, recognising that the human-animal relationship is essential for the wellbeing of both. Sabrina feels compassion awareness is key in the animal care profession in order for animal care professionals to serve animals and people with compassion and integrity.

Sabrina is a frequent invited and keynote speaker at conferences and seminars and runs a wide variety of workshops through AnimalConcepts. She teaches as a guest lecturer at various universities and colleges as well as many zoos, aquariums and sanctuaries worldwide, on animal welfare, behaviour, environmental enrichment, animal training, the human-animal relationship, and other topics.

Sabrina serves on zoo expert groups and collaborates on a wide variety of research projects regarding animal care and wellbeing, behaviour, and advocacy, serves as a reviewer on academic journals, contributes chapters to animal wellbeing books, and has extensively published popular and academic articles.

Sabrina is a Chief Storyteller. She loves storytelling and writing - particularly about animals, the human-animal connection, and the natural world. She often wears a button with “I love stories”. The button sparks a lot of great conversations and storytelling about animals among many other topics, from people she meets at conferences to strangers on a plane. If you have a story you want to share about the animal(s) you care(d) for, a special friendship you have with your favourite animal, a great action for animals or for the planet you were involved in, or anything else that makes your heart sing concerning animals and nature, Sabrina would love to hear from you!
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Caitlin Ball is the executive office assistant at AnimalConcepts, working on research projects, publications, communications, and operations.

Caitlin’s passion for animals and conservation began with spending most of her childhood outdoors. Having been raised in southern Africa, Central & North America, and the Middle East, she was immersed in and learned about a wide variety of biomes and animals. As a result, she has always felt strongly about the importance of protecting biodiversity and helping it flourish. Her dedication to this solidified during 8 years in southern Africa where she spent free time volunteering with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals and visiting sanctuaries and game reserves, learning about the ongoing mass extinction event.

In 2018 she graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a degree in International Relations focused on development and global political ecology. During her education she took a series of philosophy courses that related to human-animal-environment relationships. Additionally, she spent several months in India doing a field study program on sustainable development and social change, completing an independent research project on water conservation project management in Sikkim.

Over the course of Caitlin’s professional experience she has worked at the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the United States Agency for International Development’s Water Resources and Environment Office in Jordan, and US Embassies in Jordan and the Republic of Georgia. Through her travels and these various positions she has studied many languages and has published magazine articles, blog posts, and success stories on a variety of topics, including the zoo and aquarium community, extinction, the climate crisis, and resource conservation. Furthermore, she has gained experience in a diverse range of skills that includes writing, outreach, administration, diplomacy, research, and event management, among others.

Specific projects she looks forward to working on include human-animal relationships, primate care, welfare and protection, and policy research.
Long Term Partners

AnimalConcepts is delighted to partner with highly experienced, knowledgeable, committed, and passionate long term partners, learn more about our partners below!
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Martina studied biology at the University of Innsbruck and got her Master’s Degree in ‘Behaviour, Neurobiology and Cognition’ at the University of Vienna. At the moment, she is studying to become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Veterinary Sciences in Brno, Czech Republic. She started off training animals for research, working for the Ibis reintroduction and conservation project and flying with those birds, changed her life for the better.

Over the last 10 years she has managed research labs, executed scientific studies, and trained animals for different universities all over the world. She has experience in keeping, training, and running experiments with wild and captive corvids & parrots, as well as monkeys, pigs, sheep, dogs, rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.

Her biggest passions are improving the lives of animals, as well as training animals for medical and research procedures and helping to improve human-animal communication. She is regularly invited to speak at animal training, welfare & research workshops and has also published and co-published peer-reviewed papers and presented her work at international conferences.

Martina’s life and work with animals are best represented by her two favourite citations:

‘Training should not mean breaking their fragile hearts.’ (Mark Bekoff)

‘Our prime purpose in this life is to help others, and if you cannot help them, at least do not hurt them.’ (Dalai Lama)