Topic outline

  • Genetics and Inheritance

    Genetics and Inheritance

    Looking for Science in the Language Class? You can find it's new home here!
    • Content

      Using some of our zoo examples this sessions covers topics such as mutations, variation, phenotype & genotype and the importance of genetics in the conservation of species globally.  

      Available at both Highland Wildlife Park and Edinburgh Zoo
      Suitable for S3 - S6.

      • Pre-Visit Resources

        Genetic Science has an integral part of day to day operations at Edinburgh Zoo, the Highland Wildlife Park, and our conservation in the field. When you visit us having booked this lesson, we aim for you and your class to understand exactly why.

        Such is the importance of Genetic Science to our conservation, RZSS runs a genetics lab on site at Edinburgh Zoo called 'Wildgenes'. Before you visit, why not check out the below video to understand a little more about their work.

        Want to did deeper into their work?

        And why not see if you can find it on your next visit? Happy exploring!

        • Post-Visit Resources

          We sincerely hope that you enjoyed the session. For next-steps, why not find out more about why hybridisation has had such an impact on the Scottish Wildcat in particular:


          Plus, how DNA extractions from elephant ivory and rhino horn can lead to successful convictions on people engaged in wildlife crime internationally such as poaching and trafficking.

          Our zoo keepers need to consider genetics on a daily basis when picking mates for individuals within the captive breeding programme. Use the below resource to explore how genetics can inform such decisions in the real world:

        • Summary Quiz

          A quick summary quiz to consolidate the main learning outcomes of the session.

        • What Next?

          Want to keep engaging with RZSS Education?


          - Book your school on for our biannual Global Classroom Conferences (free to attend student conferences for you and your class (S1-S6) to attend at Edinburgh Zoo. Each year has a different topical conservation theme on which fun and interactive workshops are created for your class to engage with)

          - Look out for updates on other projects or CPD opportunities on our dedicated 'RZSS Education' website, facebook, or twitter.

          - Explore the other educational resources on this moodle page, or better yet, come visit us again at Edinburgh Zoo or the Highland Wildlife Park!


          - Join the Conservation Action Team (a club for 11-15 year olds based out of Edinburgh Zoo's Wildlife Garden that meets monthly to promote and explore local and global biodiversity).

          - Apply for Science Summer School (a free week long experience at Edinburgh Zoo or the Highland Wildlife Park designed for 16-18 year olds)

          - Book on to RZSS ZEBRA (a free 13 week course run at Edinburgh Zoo over winter for 16-18 year olds on Friday afternoons - available to Edinburgh students only)

          - Do your Advanced Higher Projects with us (Students may apply to complete their Advanced Higher Investigations at Edinburgh Zoo or the Highland Wildlife Park by means of a non-invasive observational behavioural research project)